Monday, June 9th
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Keynote Speaker


Jim Hopson
CEO and President of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club

Off the field, the Riders excel as a business and achieve record profits. Long green underwear, rubber ducks with tiny green football helmets painted on them, and a foam helmet that looks like a watermelon: there’s no end to the list of things bearing the Saskatchewan Roughriders logo. The Riders’ merchandise sales account for over two-thirds of total CFL merchandise sales - more than all the other seven CFL teams combined and more than any Canadian NHL team, except Toronto and Montreal.

Jim’s roots in Saskatchewan football run deep. He began his football career in high school with the Thom Collegiate Trojans and then went on to play for the Regina Rams. He joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1973, became a starter in 1974, and lined up at guard or tackle for each game during the season. Jim played four seasons with Saskatchewan and helped open holes for the likes of legendary back George Reed and protected quarterbacking great Ron Lancaster.

Jim has been named one of the Power 50 of Canadian Sports by The Globe and Mail, recognized by Saskatchewan Business Magazine as one of the province’s most influential men, inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, and awarded a 2011 International Communication and Leadership Award by Toastmasters International. Jim is also the official spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association’s “Save Your Melon” campaign. This campaign has been nationally recognized for its impact on the prevention of brain injuries. Jim has been awarded both a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and, most recently, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.