John Lashway, in his 28th year as a communications leader in the North American sports industry, founded Lashway Communications Group in 2008 after serving as vice president then senior vice president with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd (MLSE) from 1995-2008. He played a key role in the launch of the Toronto Raptors (NBA) in 1995, and served on the senior management team with both the Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) after the two organizations merged to form MLSE in 1998. While also leading corporate communications for MLSE and Air Canada Centre, John’s management responsibility also included other areas of the business related to the Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors NBA TV, Leafs TV, the $500m Maple Leaf Square commercial project, and the 20,000 seat BMO Field. He also oversaw all areas of community development, including the Raptors Foundation for 12 seasons and the Leafs Fund for nine seasons.
John led the media relations operation for the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) from 1986-95. During that time the team emerged into the national spotlight as one of the league’s model franchises on and off the court. The national media voted John as winner of the McHugh-Splaver Award for excellence in NBA public relations on multiple occasions.
He also directed communications for Razor Sharp Productions, which hosted numerous national and international sports events in Portland, Oregon. His event experience has included work in three NBA Finals, 11 NBA All-Star Weekends, the 2000 NHL All-Star Weekend hosted in Toronto, the NBA Drafts held in Portland (1992) and Toronto (1995), the 2004 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, and the 1992 Basketball Tournament of the Americas, which featured the original U.S. Olympic men’s “Dream Team”.
John served as assistant sports information director at the University of Oregon for five years. His work with various sports included promoting numerous Olympians and world class athletes, producing national award winning publications, and serving on organizing committees that hosted major events.
John graduated with a degree in public relations from the University of Oregon School of Journalism, where he attended on an Evans Scholarship. He was the national recipient of the prestigious CoSIDA Post-Graduate Scholarship and has received numerous honors for his writing and publications. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, John resides in Toronto, Canada and Portland, Oregon.