For the first time in North Bay Sports Hall of Fame history the Jim Aspin Memorial Award for Sports Executive of the Year is going to a curler. Due to COVID-19 having cancelled of the Induction and Awards Dinner, Brown will be presented his award at a later date.
While this honoree requires no extrinsic motivation, the Jim Aspin Award for Executive of the Year is a distinction that Mark Brown says is a privilege to accept and to cherish.
Brown, the reigning President of the Board of Directors for the North Bay Granite Club, has been contributing in an executive capacity within the sport of Curling since he became General Manager of the club in 1983.
Brown led the operation of curling in the City of North Bay until 1997 when he ventured on his own to start MRB Finance, a bookkeeping business which continued to provide administrative services to the club until 2013. In 2015 Brown joined the governance efforts of the non-profit sport organization as Treasurer and has now been chairing the board of directors for the past four seasons.
Under his direction the club has amalgamated the functions of curling and tennis services, updated the corporation’s constitution, and undertaken aggressive measures to modernize the way in which operations reflect that of a quintessential business.
In recent times, Mark has been a key force behind hosting a procession of major curling events with unprecedented success; the most recent pair breaking substantial attendance records.
As Secretary and Head Statistician for the 2015 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships, Chair of the 2018 Northern Ontario Men’s Curling Championship, Co-Chair of the 2018 World Women’s Curling Championship, and Chair of the 2019 Masters Grand Slam of Curling; Brown and colleagues have cemented North Bay as one of the all-time great curling communities drawing exceptional feedback from fans, organizers and players alike.
The year 2018 saw North Bay host the single largest tourism event in its history, which was commended by Northern Ontario Business with their annual Judge’s Choice Award. The world championship also drew acknowledgement as a finalist for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance’s Canadian Sport Event of the Year award and inspired the Kiwanis Club of Nipissing to name Brown and his co-chairs 2018 citizens of the year.
As anyone involved in similar matters can attest, successes such as the aforementioned do not appear out of thin air and is almost always the result of many years (or in Mark’s case – decades) of cumulative efforts.
Even prior to 2018, Brown was recognized by the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame with the John Toswell Memorial Award and received an honorary lifetime membership from the Northern Ontario Curling Association. Such honours were bestowed on the basis of many executive contributions including, but not limited to: Marketing Delegate (Curling Canada, 1992), Vice-President (Northern Ontario Curling Association, 1994 and 1995), President (Northern Ontario Curling Association (1996 and 1997), Chair of four Northern Ontario provincial curling championships, and delegate for the Northern Ontario Curling Association at four Canadian Men’s Curling Championships (Briers).
It is in celebrating a lifetime of achievement as extensive as this, with no distinguishable end in sight, that Mark Brown be presented with the Jim Aspin Memorial award for 2019.