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Holland to speak at sports commission lunch

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
GRAND RAPIDS -- Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will be the featured speaker at the 3rd Annual West Michigan Sports Commission Luncheon on Wednesday., September 23.

Widely acknowledged as the most successful general manager in the NHL, Holland’s reputation got another boost when the Red Wings made it to the 2009 Stanley Cup finals. It was Holland’s fourth as Red Wings’ GM.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Ken has agreed to join us in September,” said West Michigan Sports Commission Executive Director Mike Guswiler. “The Detroit Red Wings have had an outstanding season, and we know there are huge demands on Ken’s time looking toward 2009-2010. His commitment demonstrates the very strong relationship the Red Wings enjoy with their AHL affiliate, our own Grand Rapids Griffins.”
The Red Wings have qualified for the playoffs in each of Holland’s 12 seasons as GM, winning eight consecutive Central Division titles. In the same period, the team has posted an NHL-record nine consecutive 100-point seasons and has won more games than any other franchise in the NHL, including three Stanley Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2008. Their 51-21-10 record in 2008-09 made them just the third team in NHL history to win 50 or more games in four consecutive seasons.
Holland will bring his message of management leadership and success to an expected crowd of 800 business, sports and community leaders at the 2009 luncheon. The event serves as the West Michigan Sports Commission’s annual report to the community and primary community fund raising event.
“This isn’t just an event for hockey fans or even sports enthusiasts," Guswiler said, "it’s for anyone who wants to hear from a top name in professional sports management. And it’s for everyone who would like to see West Michigan become a premier venue for major youth and amateur sporting events.”
The WMSC helped draw and support over 75 major events that have or will be hosted in the area since its launch in 2007. The estimated economic impact resulting from these events is more than $30 million in direct visitor spending.
Following his playing career as a goalie with the Hartford Whalers, Holland joined the Red Wings as a scout in western Canada in the mid-80s. He served seven years as director of amateur scouting and three as assistant GM. On July 18, 1997, he was promoted to his current position of general manager/executive vice president/alternate governor. The 2008-09 season was his 12th as GM and his 26th year overall with the organization. 
Luncheon location will be announced soon. Tickets are $500/table of eight or $75/ person and are available by contacting Natalie Rose at 616-233-3562 or  Luncheon information is also available online at
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