Top 40 Under Forty: Mike Warkentin
A belief that Lethbridge is a truly world-class destination, a place with entertainment, culture and an amazing climate. Returning to Lethbridge in late 2018, Mike has had the opportunity help re-engage Exhibition Park with the City of Lethbridge.
His main focus has been the EXolution development project and the creation of the StagEX Music Festival since arriving in Lethbridge. He believes that Southern Alberta is one of North America's best agricultural regions and as the largest agriculture society in the region; Exhibition Park has an obligation to showcase this, not just to the community and region, but to the world.
“As Lethbridge continues to grow, the importance of a world-class gathering place increases. The introduction of the StagEX Music Festival is just the first step in helping to establish Lethbridge as a marquee tourism destination.”
Growing up in Lethbridge and graduating from the University of Lethbridge allowed Mike to understand the unique sense of place that Lethbridge has.
After graduating with an MBA in Sport Management from San Diego State University, Mike returned to Canada and became the General Manager of Rexall Place for Northlands in Edmonton, AB. This experience with one of the oldest agricultural societies in Canada taught him about the importance these groups have in the community and the extensive economic impact they can produce.
During this time, Mike had the opportunity to work on and create some of the country's largest events, including Edmonton Oilers Hockey, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Davis Cup, not to mention countless marquee music events. In 2018, Mike returned to Lethbridge to work for Exhibition Park and has been tirelessly working to redefine how Exhibition Park serves the region.
“We’re uniquely positioned as an organization to showcase the agricultural production and processing sector, while providing entertainment, cultural and commercial opportunities for all of Southern Alberta and Canada.”
In 2018, Mike also founded Three-Sixty Leadership a predictive analytics firm focused on delivering quantitative results to the Sports and Entertainment industry.
Mike has been an active volunteer throughout his career. His passion and understanding of the importance of organized sports lead him to his current role as Vice-Chair of the KidSport Society of Alberta Board of Directors.
Additionally, the connection he feels to his alma mater, the University of Lethbridge lead him to join the University of Lethbridge Senate in 2019.