Posted by Sean Price on May 28, 2018

The Story of Sean Price

I was raised throughout western Canada, including Kelowna, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Prince George.  I made friends as I went, mainly through sports, especially hockey, soccer, and football. I came to Edmonton to study at the University of Alberta, living in Lister Hall residence and loving every minute of my four (and a half) years.  I majored in international business and minored in marketing, but enjoyed working for Campus Recreation and living in residence more than anything else.  I arrived at university as a very shy and unsure kid and left with confidence – maybe the greatest gift of a university education.
Upon checking my final marks in my final semester at university, I noticed a job posting for a sales agency called Pocklington Sports Marketing.  I was hired in May of 1995 to sell season and group seats for both the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club and the Edmonton Trappers Baseball Club. By the fall of ’95, we were officially part of the Oilers organization.
Soon after, there was a drive to reach 13,000 season seats to save the Oilers from relocation.  It was an inspiring time; companies, fans and average citizens passionate about the city stepped up to support the team.  I was lucky enough to be in the middle of it and finished the year with the highest number of season seats sold.
From here I took on new projects with the Oilers. I first sold out the remaining Luxury Suites at Rexall Place (then known as the Edmonton Coliseum).  Soon after I joined out the corporate sales team, working with local and regional partners on sponsorship agreements.   Throughout my first five years with the team we had great success, re-claiming our fan base and enjoying thrilling playoff victories in the spring of 1997 (in game seven over Dallas) and 1998 (in game seven over Colorado).
In the spring of 2000, I left the team to further my education.  I fulfilled a lifelong dream to attend the University of Notre Dame to attain my MBA.  It was probably the most incredible year of my life.  Living on such a beautiful and inspiring campus was like living a fantasy every day.  The education was great, the football even better, and I still return to campus often to re-live my experience.  I was very proud to graduate at the top of my class – a testament to the education system in Canada that prepared me.
Upon graduation, I had many offers, but my heart was still with the Oilers.  I returned in the spring of 2001 for another eight years.  I started back in corporate sales, this time working with our largest partners including Ford, McDonalds, Tim Horton’s and many others.  I then became Director of Ticket Sales, then Director of Marketing, and then Vice President of Ticket Sales and Customer Experience. 
 During that time we experienced some significant events.  In 2003 we hosted the Molson Canadian Heritage Classic, where I played a major role in drafting the initial plan and leading the sponsorship efforts.  In the spring of 2006 we sold out of our season tickets while I was Director of Ticket Sales – a major milestone that allowed us to sell out games for years to come. And soon after, we got to within one game of the Stanley Cup – an exhilarating but heartbreaking experience that leaves a hole in my heart to this day.
My final role with the Oilers was the most fun of my career – launching the Edmonton Capitals Baseball Club.  I was able to practically invent the team.  I developed the brand, the marketing strategy, ticket sales strategy, promotional strategy, food and beverage strategy – everything but manage the team.
Of course, my fondest memories during my second stint with the Oilers were specific to my personal life.  I married my wife Kristine in the spring of 2004, who I had met during my final year at the University of Alberta.  She is a physiotherapist in St Albert (one of the most in-demand in the Edmonton area) and a lifelong Rotarian.  Kris was a Rotary Exchange Student, spending a year of high school in Toulouse, France and spent many years helping to organize student exchange afterwards, donating hundreds of volunteer hours over more than a decade to the district.  She also took a group of kids from the Amiskwaciy Academy to Belize on a Rotary playground build.  Kris is talented at everything she does, including cycling, yoga, snow sports and everything associated with being a mom, a philanthropist and an overall inspiration.  
In summer of 2005 we had our first child, a daughter named Reagan.  She is now 12 years old, doing great in school and happily enjoying dance six days a week, eleven months a year.  She is a great kid.
I left the Oilers in the summer of 2009, just before Kris and I celebrated the birth of twin boys, Oliver and Harrison.  They are now eight years old.  Oliver is an avid artist who plays soccer, hockey and participates in Taekwondo. Harrison is a competitive little athlete who also enjoys hockey, soccer and almost every other sport.  The two of them together are just crazy.
In the fall of 2009, I joined the University of Alberta as Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations, a role I hold to this day, other than a brief hiatus in 2015-16 with the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club (when we won the team’s fourteenth Grey Cup).  In my role with the university, I am responsible for leading a team of staff, as well as hundreds (actually, thousands) of volunteers, to help keep our 280,000 alumni connected to the university.  We host hundreds of events here in Edmonton and abroad annually, such as Alumni Weekend, research presentations, mentorship sessions with students and family events.  I also lead our Alumni Council, a group of forty dedicated graduates that provide advice about our alumni relations strategy.  This role has been incredible for me to re-connect with my alma mater, where I first found my strengths.  It is a truly great place to work with an honourable mission, to make Edmonton, Alberta, and Canada a greater place to live, through developing new minds, forging cutting-edge research and contributing to the public good.  I am privileged to work with a great team of professionals.
I am proud to call myself a Rotarian.  I mentioned my wife’s commitment throughout her life to the organization, from Edmonton to Toulouse to Belize.  My father is a Rotarian and has been president of three clubs.  We hosted multiple exchange students over the years and my parents were able to accompany an international mission to India to help deliver eye exams to those in need.  I look forward to continuing my relationship with Rotary over the course of my life.