Ottawa, Ont. – The Board of Directors of Softball Canada is extremely pleased to announce that Mike Branchaud (Ottawa, Ont.) will become the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer following an extensive search and interview process led by Sport Law. The process was completed following in-person interviews held last week, resulting in Branchaud’s selection and approval by the Board of Directors.

“On behalf of Softball Canada’s Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce the selection of Mike Branchaud as our next Chief Executive Officer” stated Softball Canada President Scott Neiles. “There is no doubt that Hugh Mitchener’s pending departure will leave massive shoes to fill, but we are confident Mike’s experience both as a world class player, and as a valued member of the Softball Canada staff over the last 15 years will certainly enable him to lead our sport going forward.”

“We would like to thank Steve Indig and his team at Sport Law for assisting in this very thorough hiring process” noted Neiles.

Branchaud joined Softball Canada in 2007 as Manager – Canadian Championships and later added the Men’s National Teams program to his portfolio. He has been heavily involved in Softball Canada’s decision-making process and has built strong relationships with members throughout the Canadian softball community throughout his employment, which will help ease his transition to his new role. Softball Canada’s Canadian Championships have significantly improved and have been extremely successful under his watch, and he has helped guide the Men’s National Teams program to tremendous international success over the last decade.

“I am extremely honoured and excited to be moving into the role of CEO for Softball Canada,” said Mike Branchaud. “We have great staff, an experienced Board of Directors and tremendous leadership in our provincial and territorial associations. A special thank you to the CEO selection committee for their confidence in giving me this role. I would like to wish our outgoing CEO Hugh Mitchener all the best in his retirement and thank him for his support and guidance over the last 15 years. Without his trust and confidence, I would not be in the position I am today.”

Current Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener (Ottawa, Ont.) previously announced his upcoming retirement in November and will remain actively involved until late May to ensure a proper transition of his duties to Branchaud, who is expected to take over full CEO duties in early May.

“I look forward to working with Mike over the next couple of months as he transitions to the CEO position” said Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener. “He has the personal skill set and experience, combined with a great staff, to continue to move Softball Canada forward in the coming years.”

Before joining Softball Canada, Branchaud worked as the Labatt Blue Pitch Tournament Coordinator for Labatts Breweries, followed by ten years of employment with the Canadian Adult Recreational Hockey Association (CARHA). He was also a member of the King and His Court for six years, a four-man team that toured North America to play and showcase the sport of softball.

Softball Canada is extremely hopeful for a full return of the sport in 2022 after the 2020 and 2021 seasons were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have so many positive things happening in our game today and I look forward to building on existing programs while growing new initiatives and ideas moving forward” added Branchaud. “Two key priorities are getting a full slate of Canadian Championships back in 2022, and getting membership numbers back up with our minor youth teams and leagues playing again.”

The Board of Directors of Softball Canada looks forward to continuing to work with Mike Branchaud for the betterment of the sport for many years to come.