Rick Gorman and Phil Mazzone

In 1997, Phil Mazzone was hired by the PHPA to design, develop, and execute what has become the Career Enhancement Program (CEP) to assist PHPA Members with their transition to life after hockey. Two years later, Rick Gorman was hired to assist with the workload, and assumed the responsibility of Program Coordinator upon Mazzone’s retirement in 2004. 2016 marked the 19th year of operation for the CEP which has assisted over 1500 players and alumni with a range of services such as education upgrades, gaining employment, or preparing players for the post-hockey phase of their life, boasting the largest enrollment of any program of its kind for professional athletes.

“The Career Enhancement Program is the most popular non-collectively bargained program the PHPA offers to players, and it wouldn’t have the stature and recognition it does today without the foresight and dedication put forth by both Phil Mazzone and Rick Gorman, who, collectively have spearheaded this program for nearly two decades,” said PHPA Executive Director Larry Landon. “It is truly remarkable how many lives both Phil and Rick have positively impacted through the advancement of the CEP.”

“We didn’t realize the beast that we had created at the time. We knew the program would be popular but never expected the type of enrollment we received in the first year,” said Mazzone. “I am truly honored to be receiving this Award alongside Rick, and continue to be amazed at how far the program has come.”

“I would never have been able to share in the successes we experienced without the foresight and support of Phil, Larry, and all my other colleagues at the PHPA,” said Gorman. “To build such opportunities that were offered over my 17 years such as firefighting training certificates, resume preparation, or completion of education at all levels was huge for players, alumni, and their spouses. I am grateful to be recognized by the Executive Committee and be in the select company of those who have previously received this significant award.”

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