The Jacksonville Icemen today announced that Team President Bob Ohrablo has been selected by the ECHL Board of Governors as co-recipient of the 2017-18 ECHL Executive of the Year award, along with Toledo Walleye General Manager Neil Neukam.
"I am honored that the ECHL Board has recognized not only myself, but our organization with this honor" said Ohrablo. "Our investment partners led by Ron Geary, who believed that Jacksonville could support pro hockey, our staff directed by Executive Vice President Scott Einhorn who worked hard to ensure this success, our corporate sponsors who supported the new team, and our wonderful and passionate fans who gave the Icemen one of the strongest debuts in ECHL history--this award would not be possible without you all. We are just getting started. Toledo is known for a long-standing history of excellence in this league and I'm proud to share this honor with Neil."
Ohrablo was instrumental in bringing hockey back to Jacksonville and guided the team to finishing second in group ticket sales and fourth in attendance in the 27-team ECHL in it's inaugural season. The team's non-profit of the night program was secured for 32 of 36 games, while the team's own non-profit, the Icemen Foundation, raised more than $61,000 while making more than 100 community appearances.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the pro sports and entertainment business, Ohrablo's career has spanned six professional hockey teams including teams in the NHL, American Hockey League, International Hockey League, and ECHL. While at the Florida Panthers (NHL), Ohrablo led major growth in sponsorship, which contributed to the team being named the 2008 Sports Business Weekly Business Stanley Cup winner. Ohrablo also helped bring hockey back to Orlando, where the Solar Bears were leaders in the ECHL in many major revenue areas during his tenure.
Co-recipient Neil Neukam helped guide Toledo to an ECHL record with over 69,000 group tickets sold during the 2017-18 season, while also setting team records for sellouts, total attendance, and average attendance, which was second in the league. Toledo has been honored with the award three of the last six years.