Former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams is an icon. He is currently the President and CEO of the St. John’s IceCaps, IceCaps Entertainment and DEW Corp. Danny says, “As the President and CEO I am responsible for the overall management and direction of the companies. I have a very strong vision for all of my business undertakings and I have experienced, dedicated teams throughout the organizations to help me realize that vision.”
The St. John’s IceCaps are without question one of the most successful teams in the American Hockey League (AHL). Last year, the IceCaps made it all the way to the Calder Cup finals and they earned a reputation in the league among players as a preferred place to develop as a young athlete. Additionally, through the IceCaps Care (the charitable division) and the Williams Family Foundation, over the past few years they have donated approximately $2 million back into the community to a wide range of worthwhile organizations.
Through DEW Corp., Danny explains, “We are in the process of building Galway in St. John’s south end. Galway is a planned community and will see the completion of retail and industrial components followed by a large residential area. The project will be developed in several phases with Phase I alone providing a tremendous boost to the region, creating substantial jobs and economic benefits. Phase I will see development of approximately 150 acres of industrial at the Glencrest Industrial Centre, 120 acres of retail and up to 100 acres of residential land. Industrial use lots are available for sale now; and retail stores are scheduled to open in 2016 consisting of more than 650,000 square feet from leading North American retailers, with plans to include some unique retailers to the province. The residential component of Galway ultimately has the potential for some 5,000 units.”
The career path of Danny Williams is an exciting one. Danny says, “Education definitely laid a strong foundation for the successes I have had. From Memorial University, to my Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford and onto Dalhousie Law School, I received an outstanding education. But ultimately, the experiences I gained in the oil and tourism industries, as trial lawyer in my street practice, and the negotiating and business skills I learned in the cable business all prepared me for my role as Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. I learned to never fear holding out for the right deal; I learned that fighting for the underdog is the most rewarding and worthwhile thing you can do; and I learned to never back down when you believe in what you are doing.
Danny Williams is a leader and a strategist. He sees opportunities long before they happen and has believed in our province and people from the start. Danny describes his strategic success in the following companies, “At Cable Atlantic, we strived to always be on the cutting edge of technology. We knew that in such a competitive business, we had to stay ahead of the game and always be willing to try new things – that approach really gave us the competitive advantage. At this point in my career, the Galway development is where I am really focused. And from a strategic perspective I saw the opportunity more than 20 years ago to start acquiring that land – at a time when people really did not see the value in it. But I felt very strongly even all those years ago, that Newfoundland and Labrador was poised for greatness and that prosperity was inevitable if we started managing our resources properly. Now, today all these years later the province is in an economic position to sustain such a large-scale development.
Danny passes along his knowledge and wisdom to others. He prides himself on having great mentors. He shares his lessons, mentors, and successes, “I always admired John F. Kennedy. I admired his oratory skills and his passion for public service. And of course from a legal perspective, my father was my greatest mentor. He was an outstanding lawyer whom people absolutely loved and he taught me more than I ever learned in school.
The most important thing, I believe, it to make sure you believe in what you are doing. If you don’t believe in it, no one else will. One of the most important ways in which Newfoundland and Labrador has really evolved over the past decade or so, is that collectively we really believe in ourselves and have gained a renewed confidence and optimism. You cannot put a price on that.
My proudest moments are when young and old alike stop me on the street and thank me for the time I spent serving them as Premier. I had a great team of people working with me and I had the extraordinary people of Newfoundland and Labrador supporting me every step of the way. And the fact is, that if the people had not been with me and believed in what we were doing, it wouldn’t have been possible. I was incredibly fortunate in that regard. So, just seeing this province reach a whole other level in terms of confidence and optimism and prosperity – that is worth everything to me.”
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