One of the club’s most accomplished and successful head executives, Dennis enters his sixth season as the team’s 29th president. Strategically cultivating the strengths of the organization’s business operations since 2010, Dennis has earned a league-wide reputation as a driving force behind its growing popularity as evidenced by a historic television deal with TSN which Dennis played a key role in negotiating two years ago.
Dennis’ relationship with British Columbia’s most successful professional sports organization began in 2003, when then-president and CEO Bob Ackles assembled a group of influential business leaders to help reignite the Lions’ presence in the business community.
As a key strategist among his peers in the now-renowned Waterboys group, Dennis not only complimented the work done by Ackles to have the Lions regain a foothold in the local sports community, he also played a key role as chairman in helping to stage one of the most successful Grey Cup Festivals in the history of the CFL in 2005; an event which created a benchmark for future festivals across Canada.
Following the passing of Bob Ackles in 2008 and a short stewardship as club president by owner David Braley, Skulsky was brought in to continue building the club’s strong corporate brand presence originating from its rich history and foundation that was restored when Braley purchased the club in 1997.
Among his first accomplishments, Dennis’ valued guidance and leadership prowess helped the club successfully navigate a transitional period playing games in a temporary facility in 2010 and part of 2011 while BC Place underwent a monumental facelift including a retractable roof. Just months into his tenure, Dennis’ experience and keen governance skills were tested as the club returned to BC Place midway through the 2011 season while simultaneously preparing to host the 99th Grey Cup that November.
Working closely with a Grey Cup Festival Committee that he helped to assemble, the Lions again enjoyed unprecedented success by playing in and winning the Grey Cup while hosting another outstanding festival which created $118 million in associated economic activity for British Columbia. Less than two years later, Dennis parlayed the club’s monumental success in 2011 by securing the hosting rights to the 102nd Grey Cup played in Vancouver last November.
The week-long celebration of Canada’s national championship was again embraced by football fans across the province and Canadians from coast-to-coast who descended on Vancouver resulting in an economic impact of almost a quarter-billion dollars over the past four years.
Skulsky honed his business acumen as a very successful media executive spending six years as the president and CEO of Canwest Publishing heading up the BC daily newspapers – The Vancouver Sun and The Province. During that time, Dennis was also responsible for a number of community newspapers and Global television stations throughout British Columbia.
Since arriving in BC in 1996, Skulsky has become immersed in the community and is actively involved in boards such as the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation, the Vancouver Board of Trade, the BC Football Hall of Fame and the Richmond Olympic Oval. Dennis and his wife Marlene have two daughters, Jodi (Adam) and Kimberly (Francis) and are proud grandparents to Gracie.