From seafood to Sea Dogs
Wayne Long recalled a piece of advice one of his UNB Saint John professors gave him: pursue your dreams.
“He told me there’s nothing out there that you can’t achieve,” Long said. “It’s been my motto ever since and it’s helped me get to where I am today.”
Long graduated from UNBSJ’s Business Administration program in 1987, and spent over 15 years working in the aquaculture industry, even leading his own company for seven years.
Now, he’s the president of the Saint John Sea Dogs, who in May won the most coveted award in junior hockey: the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
A historic season
“It’s a terrific accomplishment for the organization,” Long said. “And I think that this year’s team will be looked back at and recognized as one of the greatest teams of all time in junior hockey.”
The Sea Dogs became the first team from Atlantic Canada to win the MasterCard Memorial Cup. When the team returned to Saint John with the cup, they were greeted with a parade attended by thousands of people.
“It’s tough to have a city’s weight on their shoulders, and then a region’s weight when we went to the Memorial Cup,” Long said. “But we kept them focused, as fresh as possible, and kept them grounded. And we went out every game and prevailed.”
Aside from celebrating a winning season, which also included winning the President’s Cup, Long is celebrating some personal accomplishments of his own. He was awarded the John-Horman Trophy for administrator of the year.
“It’s a great honour for me and the whole organization,” Long said. “It’s reinforcement that we’re a hockey team but there is a business side to the hockey. There are times when people forget the business side.”
The trophy is awarded annually to the top executive in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
“For the whole administration staff, it’s recognition that we’re doing things right,” Long said.
A well-rounded background
Long, who is a four-time recipient of the North American Award of Excellence in Sales and Marketing, says that his degree in business administration from UNB Saint John prepared him well for his career.
“The program rounded me out for dealing with all sorts of situations,” he said. “As president, I’m tasked with running the whole business – getting sponsors, dealing with corporations, stuff like that.”
The Bachelor of Business Administration program (BBA) at UNB Saint John offers courses in accounting, economics and finance, as well as human resource management and hospitality and tourism.
“I have a well-rounded background from university that has helped me with my career,” Long said. “I’m certainly a proud UNBSJ-er.”