A member of the Victoria HarbourCats local ownership group, and giant of the Victoria business community, John Wilson was honored recently by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. At the chamber’s annual Business Awards held at the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel this past Thursday evening, Wilson was named 2016 Victoria Business Person of the Year.
John Wilson was honored for his work as CEO of Wilson’s Transportation, a successful charter transportation company serving Victoria and Vancouver Island, as well as his contributions to sport in the community, including his role in the local ownership group of the HarbourCats.
Wilson became the CEO of Wilson’s Transportation in 1986 and under his leadership the company has taken significant steps forward in its core areas and also with diversification, now boasting a fleet of more than 160 vehicles across Vancouver Island, while also operating Gray Line Sightseeing Victoria as well as YYJ Airport Shuttle and the newly-minted BC Ferries Connector.
In the spring of 2015, Wilson became part of the four-member local ownership group that took control of the Victoria HarbourCats. The group which also includes Rich Harder and Jim and Ken Swanson, led the team to its best season yet in its third year, averaging 1,910 fans per game at Royal Athletic Park, while also cementing the long-term future of the HarbourCats in the West Coast League.
Wilson is also a part-owner of two hockey teams, the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies and the VIJHL’s Peninsula Panthers. Rumor also has it, he’s a big fan of the mini-donut street-vending industry.
“John and Val and the entire family are leaders in this community and I know their passion for Victoria and Vancouver Island is never-ending, and it’s a pleasure to work with John,” said Cats’ managing partner Jim Swanson. “John’s love of baseball is well-known, and we’re all looking forward to the season ahead.”
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 12-year-old, 11-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences in addition to the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and more than 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the major leagues, such as home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitcher Josh Osich (San Francisco). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 in 2015. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.