This is David’s 17th season as owner of the BC Lions Football Club after taking over the franchise in January 1997. In that time, David’s leadership has spearheaded the club’s growth into one of Canada’s most recognized and respected sports marketing brands.
With key additions by David such as Dennis Skulsky as the club’s president and CEO in 2010, the Lions have experienced exceptional growth in the area of corporate partnerships. The overwhelming success of the Grey Cup Festival in 2011 including a $118 million impact on the provincial economy marked the third time the Lions have hosted the nation’s biggest sporting event since his acquisition of the team. The Lions will also play host to the 102nd Grey Cup Festival in 2014.
A former owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, David has also served as chair of the CFL’s Board of Governors and the CFL's interim commissioner from March 2002 to November 2002. A leader among his peers on the Board of Governors, David’s efforts in recent years including taking ownership of the 2012 Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts have stabilized the CFL and helped spur its unprecedented growth.
David began his business career with the General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Hamilton, before advancing on to London Life Insurance. In 1969, he acquired William Orlick Limited, which subsequently became Orlick Industries Limited, a leading auto parts manufacturer. He was also the founding chairman of Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc., which includes the Hamilton Convention Centre, Hamilton Place and Copps Coliseum.
David’s long history of success in business quickly translated to the gridiron as the Lions captured the Grey Cup in 2000, their first under his ownership. His dedication to the success and growth of the organization has paid off twice more in 2006 and 2011 as the club captured its fifth and sixth Grey Cup Championships. Under his leadership, the Lions are considered one of British Columbia’s model citizens, a team active in charitable and community endeavours focused on health and wellness, public education and the development of amateur football.
Among his personal achievements are his induction into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 1998 and an Honorary Doctorate from McMaster University in 2000 in recognition of his contributions to the city of Hamilton. In 2003, his love of cycling prompted him to run the very successful Road World Championships in Hamilton and in 2004, David was awarded the United Trophy Manufacturing Ltd. Sport Volunteer of the Year Award.
David was inducted into the McMaster University Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2007 and was also awarded the 2007 Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association Appreciation Award for outstanding philanthropic and community service to the business community.
In 2009, David received the Consumer's Choice Award as Vancouver Business Man of the Year and his expertise and leadership have also been a driving force behind Hamilton and Toronto's successful bid to co-host the Pan Am Games in 2015.
In May 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed David to the Senate noting his involvement in sport and philanthropy as well as his commitment to both his community and his country.