Launched in 2021, the Mitchell Family Alumni of the Year Award is presented annually to a male and female athletic alumni based on their post-graduation contribution to their university and outstanding community leadership. The 2023 recipients of this national award are Martin Zlotnik of UBC and Heather Cartwright of Western.
The winners were announced Saturday afternoon during the Mitchell Bowl broadcast on CBC Sports.
The award honours the long-time champions of the U SPORTS Athlete of the Year Program, Lois and Doug Mitchell, and celebrates former varsity athletes who have become leaders in their communities and recognizes the continued contributions by each alumnus to their alma mater.
Cartwright and Zlotnik were selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation – a not-for-profit Board of Trustees from across Canada, formed by the late Doug Mitchell in 1993, for the purpose of providing more recognition for Canadian university student-athletes.
Zlotnik graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1966 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1969. A UBC football player and golfer, embarked on a successful business career upon graduation.
Since 1984, Zlotnik has raised more than $1 million for the UBC golf program and envisioned the UBC Millennium Scholarship breakfast that has raised more than $13 million for student-athlete scholarships. Always a close and frequent advisor to UBC, Zlotnik has been a model for alumni engagement with much of the success of UBC's teams due to his passion and energy.
“Marty is such a dear friend and supporter of the department, it’s hard to imagine where we would be without his meaningful leadership,” said Kavie Toor, Athletic Director of UBC. “An avid sportsman and fundraiser, his contributions are woven into the very fabric our history and will continue for decades to come.
Heather Cartwright has been an extraordinary contributor, and leader in support of building a culture of high performance and community excellence at Western University.
A Mustang rower from 1988 to 1991, her athletic career was but was cut short after the discovery of a serious heart disorder. She and her family were influential in establishing the Cartwright Inheritable Cardiomyopathy and Arrhythmia Project through the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre that studies the impacts of genes on heart health and inheritable heart diseases. She was also Co-Chair for the ‘Be Extraordinary’ advancement campaign for Western that raised $750 million.
“For Heather to receive the 2023 Mitchell Family Alumni Award is a testament to the consistency and quality of her support,” said Marnie McBean, former Mustang and decorated Olympian. “Her unwavering belief that rowing at Western is as much about building and teaching high performance as it is community.”