Monday, August 30, 2010

Saint Mary’s to welcome alum John McDonough, president of Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University alum John McDonough ’75, president of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, will share his triumphant and inspiring story with his alma mater Thursday, Sept. 2.

McDonough will serve as the guest speaker during SMU’s annual convocation ceremony, beginning at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium.

Prior to convocation, McDonough will address business students and faculty from 8:50 to 9:45 a.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall. His presentation is titled, “The Chicago Blackhawks ‘One Goal’ Business Plan.”

Additionally, beginning at 2:15 p.m., McDonough will lead a Q&A session for SMU administration, faculty, student leaders and Winona business leaders from the President’s Roundtable in Figliulo Recital Hall. This event is by invitation only.

McDonough was named president of the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 20, 2007. Under his guidance, in what Forbes Magazine has called the “The Greatest Sports-Business Turnaround Ever,” the Blackhawks have moved quickly to revitalize the team’s profile and re-energize its fan base. Just over two and a half years after his arrival, the organization achieved its “One Goal” of a Stanley Cup title in 2010, the team’s first since 1961.

Under McDonough’s leadership, the Blackhawks have become one of professional sports’ biggest success stories. As of June 6, 2010, the Blackhawks have entertained 102 consecutive capacity crowds at the United Center and have grown a season ticketholder base from 3,400 to over 14,000 in under a year.

Prior to joining the Blackhawks, McDonough served as president of the Chicago Cubs. During his tenure, the Cubs won the 2007 National League Central Division while setting an all-time franchise attendance record. As the Cubs chief, and in his previous role as senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting, he was widely viewed as a sports marketing and management innovator who played a major role in growing the Cubs’ fan base and attracting sponsorships for one of the most successful pro sports franchises in America.

McDonough’s visit will also include media interviews.