Seattle Hockey Partners today announced the appointment of Victor de Bonis as Chief Operating Officer and Ken Johnsen as Construction Executive for OVG-Seattle. As COO, de Bonis will work closely with Chief Executive Officer Tod Leiweke to lead business operations strategically as Seattle Hockey Partners continues its efforts to secure an NHL franchise. Ken Johnsen will serve as the lead on the construction of projects for OVG-Seattle including the Seattle Center Arena renovation, NHL Seattle headquarters at Northgate and the Bressi Garage.
De Bonis comes to the organization with over two decades of professional sports industry experience including his time as Chief Operating Officer of both Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CSE) which own the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena, as well as its parent company, Aquilini Group (AG.) Most recently, as Chief Operating Officer at AG from 2016-2017, he oversaw the group's entertainment, hospitality and treasury divisions. De Bonis served as Chief Operating Officer of CSE from 2007 until 2016, when he was promoted to COO at AG. Since 2010, de Bonis served as an NHL Alternate Governor, liaising with the NHL League Office on business and legal matters.
For the past 30 years, Johnsen has served as owner and principle of Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc. (SOJ), a Seattle-Portland development management firm. A driving force behind many major civic development projects in Seattle, he was Executive Director for the Public Facilities District in Seattle, which designed and built Safeco Field. Other projects he has managed include King Street Station and Pike Place Market's renovation. He managed the design and construction of Seattle City Hall and Seattle Justice Center and led the design and engineering consultant team on Seattle's Central Waterfront Project. Johnsen also managed design and construction of the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.
"We're thrilled to welcome Victor and Ken during this pivotal moment in Seattle sports," said Tod Leiweke, CEO, NHL Seattle. "Victor has been a key player in the Vancouver Canucks' operational success and is a longtime sports industry veteran. Ken is responsible for many civic landmarks in Seattle, and we're looking forward to seeing what he will bring to Seattle Hockey Partners' upcoming projects. I'm excited to bring on individuals that I've personally worked with and have seen their successes firsthand. I know they will keep the astounding momentum going as we continue on a path to make the case for Seattle to be awarded an NHL franchise."
"I am excited to be coming into Seattle Hockey Partners on the ground floor and to get the chance to work with Tod again," said de Bonis. "There's nothing like bringing a franchise to a new city, and having a second chance to do so is an honor, including being a part of the team."
"From the Central Waterfront Seawall Project to Pike Place Market's renovation, I've been involved in many major Seattle projects, but there's something special about supporting a brand-new sports franchise in my city," said Johnsen. "Seattle Hockey Partners has already brought a new energy to Seattle, and there is so much potential for what's to come. I grew up going to exciting sports and concert events at Seattle Center. Getting to bring these visions to life is going to be an enormous passion project for me."
"We appreciate the City of Seattle's ongoing leadership in helping us reach this milestone," said Leiweke. "Mayor Durkan has been a champion in the campaign to bring the NHL to Seattle and leading the charge on the arena project. Seattle Center and city staff have been great partners in making this dream a reality."
"This is an awesome day for Seattle and Seattle sports fans. We are all anxious for the NHL to arrive and for the return of professional hockey to Seattle. Seattle is one of North America's great sports towns, and we're about to become one of its great hockey towns. We are thrilled to be taking this huge step for professional sports in Seattle," said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. "I am grateful to Commissioner Bettman, the NHL Board of Governors, the team at NHL Seattle, and above all, the thousands of hockey fans across Seattle and the Puget Sound who made their voices heard. I hope the Canucks are ready for us."