Sioux Falls Stampede President Jim Olander was named the 2019 United States Hockey League Executive of the Year, as determined by a vote of senior management of all sixteen member clubs, announced Thursday by the league.
Olander was promoted to President of the Stampede ahead of the 2018-19 season, his 16th with the organization, which saw Sioux Falls win its third Clark Cup Championship. In his role as president, Olander oversees the day-to-day operations of the club who drew more than 190,000 fans for the fifth-consecutive season and led the league in attendance for the sixth-straight season.
"We are thrilled that Jim was recognized by the league owners and managers as the 2018-19 USHL Executive of the Year," stated Brian Schoenborn, managing partner of the Stampede.
The passion he has for the Stampede and the entire Sioux Empire is extraordinary. Our season-long 20th anniversary celebration was fantastic and his leadership and vision made it all possible. Night after night fans packed the Premier Center and were entertained in a world class way. To cap off the season with our third Clark Cup National Championship was icing on the cake. Our entire ownership group joins the USHL in congratulating Jim on a job extremely well done."
This is the second time Sioux Falls has been awarded the David Tyler USHL Executive of the Year award (Tom Garrity, 2014-15) and comes off the team’s 20th anniversary. Olander spearheaded the 20th anniversary season, which included the highest gross revenue in the team history.
The Sioux Falls Stampede hosted its 12th annual Wiener Dog Races in February, a promotion Olander helped make a success by changing the team name to the Sioux Falls Fighting Wiener Dogs with a matching custom jersey. The change and jersey was featured on many national outlets, including ESPN’s Golic and Wingo show. The 2019 Wiener Dog Races provided the fifth-consecutive sellout for the promotion, drawing 10,678 fans, and set a team record for highest single-game ticket revenue.
Olander has had a hand in helping grow promotional nights such as Pink in the Rink, Military Appreciation Night, and Special Olympics Night, which all drew more than 8,000 fans this season. Throughout the season, Olander and the Stampede raised more than $100,000 for various local charities including the Scheels Ice Plex, Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Association, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, Dakota Dachshund Rescue, Special Olympics South Dakota and Warriors Never Give Up.
The Stampede Facebook (facebook.com/sfstampede) and Twitter (@sfstampede) pages had an increase of 15 percent over the past season and now have more than 15,000 likes and 10,000 followers, respectively.
The New Brighton, Minn. native was hired in 2003 as the Broadcast and Communications Manager and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2013. Olander still serves as the “Voice of the Stampede” and called his 1,000th career Stampede game on February 12.