Eugene Melnyk - Owner, Governor and Chairman
Eugene Melnyk assumed the role of sole owner, governor and chairman of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and Canadian Tire Center on August 26, 2003.
In 1982, Melnyk began building his business career by creating a medical publishing company called Trimel Corporation, which he later sold to Thomson Corporation in 1989.Melnyk then launched Biovail Corporation in 1989. Under his leadership, Biovail (now Valeant Pharmaceuticals) became Canada’s largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company, generating more than $1 billion in annual revenue. He retired as the company’s chairman and founder on June 30, 2007.
Melnyk continues to monitor, evaluate and invest in a diverse range of biopharmaceutical research and development opportunities. In July 2011, after nearly three years of development as a privately held company founded by Melnyk, Trimel Pharmaceuticals officially began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TRL:TSX). The company is focused on employing Localized Dosing Technologies (LDTs) to develop innovative patented medicines. Melnyk’s interest in building innovative companies extends beyond the biopharmaceutical sector. He is chairman and sole owner of Fusion Brands, a fully commercialized cosmetics company with a broad and award-winning product line distributed in more than 25 countries.
Melnyk is passionately committed to supporting the advancement of hockey at all levels of the game. Most recently, he was the owner of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors junior hockey team which he sold in May 2012. During his 11 year ownership tenure, the Majors qualified for the playoffs in 10 of 11 seasons and were finalists in both the Rogers OHL Championship Series and the Canadian Hockey League’s MasterCard Memorial Cup. Melnyk also served as chairman of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa. In April 2013, his organization worked closely with the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association in hosting the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Melnyk’s passion and advocacy for sport development extends far beyond hockey. In August 2007, he launched the national Patrons of Sport campaign to raise funds for Canada’s Olympians and top amateur athletes. Melnyk has provided financial assistance to more than 125 of Canada’s top amateur athletes. These Melnyk-funded athletes have won an impressive 16 gold, five silver and six bronze Olympic medals for Canada. Melnyk also supported Canada’s Alpine Ski Team by launching a unique national online fundraiser in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
In 2001, Melnyk purchased the prestigious Mockingbird Farm in Ocala, Florida. After renaming it Winding Oaks Farm, he committed to restoring it back to its original glory. Melnyk’s horses have yielded victories in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown: the Queen’s Plate, the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Breeders’ Stakes. In the United States, Melnyk’s horses have celebrated wins in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the Travers Stakes, the Jim Dandy Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes. Internationally, his horses have twice won the Barbados Gold Cup and participated in the prestigious Dubai World Cup. In 2007, Melnyk became the first owner to win the Triple Tiara, the Canadian Triple Crown for fillies with Sealy Hill. He was presented with the 2004 Eclipse Award (Speightstown) and was named national owner of the year by the United States Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) in 2005. A winner of 14 Sovereign Awards, Melnyk was recognized as Canadian owner of the year and breeder of the year in 2009.
Melnyk is a longtime supporter of Canada’s military. In April 2007, he made a special surprise visit to Kandahar, Afghanistan to donate hockey equipment to Canadian and NATO troops. His Ottawa Senators were also the first NHL team to dedicate a home game each hockey season to honour and raise funds for the men, women and families of Canada’s military. This special annual event has raised more than $700,000 for the Canadian Armed Forces Military Families Fund. In September 2014, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, the Honorable Rob Nicholson, appointed Melnyk as the Honorary Colonel of the 414 Electronic Warfare Squadron of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Melnyk focuses his philanthropy on children, health care, education and sport development. In August 2014, his Ottawa Senators and its Foundation surpassed making more than $100 million in community investments. He is a lead donor of Anna House, a unique childcare facility in Belmont, N. Y., and of Roger’s House, a pediatric palliative-care facility in Ottawa. Each year he personally hosts the Melnyk Skate for Kids at Canadian Tire Centre, where he donates hockey skates, helmets and Ottawa Senators jerseys to hundreds of underprivileged children. Melnyk is a Trustee, Board Member and Founder of Providence School in Barbados. He has also made significant contributions to St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Toronto), St. Michael’s College School (Toronto) and a humanitarian organization called Help Us Help the Children that benefits orphaned children in Ukraine. In 2008, Melnyk was awarded the prestigious Order of St. Michael, the highest honour conferred by St. Michael’s College School, his alma mater in Toronto. He also received special honours from Ukraine’s then-president Victor Yushchenko for his ongoing charitable work with Help Us Help The Children.