CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames Hockey Club is proud to announce that Mark Giordano and Art Hernandez are this year’s recipients of the J.R. McCaig Award. They will receive their awards this evening in a ceremony prior to the Flames game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Sadly, the Flames lost owner J.R. Bud McCaig five years ago following a lengthy battle with cancer. Mr. McCaig was a long time member of the Flames family and a great contributor to the Calgary community. The J.R. McCaig Award honours two Calgary Flames personnel, a player and staff member, who best exemplify Mr. McCaig’s enduring virtues of respect, courtesy and compassion for all individuals he encountered both in his professional and everyday life.
“As we celebrate the achievements of Art and Mark by presenting them with their Award tonight, we also reflect on a man of great moral character and principle; J.R. Bud McCaig,” said Flames President & CEO Ken King. “Bud ensured that everyone he encountered left his company with their lives enriched by his kindness, integrity and respect. We are proud that so many members of our staff and hockey team share these same qualities.”
Debonair, gracious and welcoming, Art Hernandez has been the heart and soul of the Scotiabank Saddledome for 30 years. He has been the shepherd of the food service department through hundreds of Flames games and concerts and dozens of memorable events, such as the 1988 Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup runs in 1986, 1989 and 2004, national and international curling competitions, the World Figure Skating Championships, and most recently the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. Art's friendly and professional nature, his extraordinary service to clients, and his dedicated leadership are responsible for countless contributions to the Flames success in food & beverage delivery. He has attracted, tutored and inspired thousands of Flames' employees who continue to offer his style of excellence in customer care. His years of service to the Flames have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in all he does. Born the youngest of 13 children on a dairy farm in Girardot, Columbia, Art, his wife Shelley and son Tony have called Calgary home since 1979.
After receiving an invitation from the Flames to attend development camp in the summer of 2004, Mark Giordano signed as a free agent and spent the next two seasons with the Flames American Hockey League affiliate. He split the 2006-07 season between the AHL and Calgary before becoming a staple on the Flames blueline in 2007-08. Giordano was deservingly appointed Assistant Captain this season; a trusted and respected leader by all his teammates. The dedication he displays on ice, one of the league leaders each year in blocked shots, is only parallel with his off-ice commitments. Beyond participation in Flames community relations programs and Flames Foundation for Life events, Mark chose to align with Habitat for Humanity as a spokesman for their 5 for 5 campaign along with his wife Lauren. Giordano is also one of the ambassadors of the Flames’ Reading…Give it a Shot! program which encourages literacy for students through a reading incentive program.
The recipients of the J.R. McCaig Award receive a limited edition bronze entitled RESPECT that depicts a cowboy showing his appreciation and respect to his horse by loosening the cinch, removing the bridle and allowing the horse to drink from his hat. The bronze was sculpted by Cochrane, AB artist Diane Anderson.