Former CFL Acting Commissioner Jim Lawson has been named a Class Member of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame for 2021.
Lawson is inducted as an athlete and builder due to his immense contributions to hockey, football and horse racing, alongside Sean Foley (builder, golf), Carol Angela Orchard (builder, gymnastics), Dr John Kendall (athlete / builder, race) and Don Lovegrove (builder, media).
In addition to his current role as Managing Director of Woodbine Entertainment, Lawson has been heavily involved in the sport his entire life as an athlete and executive.
As a hockey player who grew up in Burlington and graduated from Aldershot High School, Lawson played “AAA” midget hockey and was drafted by the Ottawa 67’s before receiving a scholarship offer to play at the. Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Lawson was then drafted by the Montreal Canadiens from the National Hockey League and played for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League.
After his playing career, Lawson began practicing law and quickly began his vocation as a builder in Canadian sport. This ultimately led to his appointment in 2013 as the first independent chairman of the CFL Board of Governors, where he served for seven years and twice served as interim commissioner. In 2019, Lawson received the prestigious CFL Commissioner’s Award, which is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and made a significant contribution to Canadian football.
“Jim is a great example of someone who has become a better person and a great leader because of the lessons he learned as a talented athlete,” said Bob Young, longtime Tiger owner and goalie. Hamilton Cats, in a statement. . “In turn, he was able to make remarkable contributions through Canadian football, the horse racing industry and a myriad of other projects that have made Burlington, Ontario and Canada a better place.
In 2012, Lawson was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Woodbine Entertainment, before being appointed CEO in 2015, a position he still holds today.