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‘Incredible quality of life:’ How Riders president and CEO sees past decade in Sask.

Saskatchewan Roughriders president and CEO reflects on 2019
WATCH: Allison Bamford sat down with Saskatchewan Roughriders’ president and CEO Craig Reynolds to look back on the year that was.

Craig Reynolds began his role as president and chief executive officer for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2015.

While 2019 didn’t bring a Grey Cup championship for the Roughriders, the team did make big strides in their hopes of getting back to the championship game.

With a new decade set to begin, and the green and white set to host the Grey Cup, anticipation is already building.

READ MORE: ‘Lucky to have him’: Jason Maas joins Roughriders as offensive coordinator

Reynolds answered 10 questions for Global News, reflecting on past accomplishments, shortcomings and what he hopes the future will bring.

The following are his answers in a Q&A format.

What were you doing in 2010?

I was just entering my second year with the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club as their chief financial officer and we were getting set to celebrate our Centennial Anniversary through a yearlong celebration.

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How were you hoping things might shape up in Saskatchewan over the decade?

The province was in the midst of tremendous economic growth with a growing population.  I was hopeful for continued economic and population growth in the province and, of course, a continued passion for our football team as we started our next 100 years!

Were you right, or wrong? If you were wrong, how so?

I would say partially right, if you want to call it that.  I think we did see some initial continued economic prosperity and certainly population growth and strong trends there.  However, in the latter part of the decade obviously, the economy shifted as the resource sectors continued to be challenged.

What is the single biggest change that has happened in the province over the past 10 years that has been a game-changer? 

I’ll probably look at this a bit from my lens but trying to keep a broader perspective and say the build of new Mosaic Stadium.  I think in many ways that the build of this world-class stadium was a game-changer as it, in many ways signaled and reflected the “new Saskatchewan”.  It’s had tremendous economic impact not only from Saskatchewan Roughrider games but from major events it’s brought to the province and the national reputation it’s built as the best outdoor stadium in Canada.

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READ MORE: City reveals new stadium construction details

What has been your biggest win? 

Being fortunate enough to be involved in the planning, design, build and opening of new Mosaic Stadium. Being able to play a small part in something that is a generational opportunity and that my kids and my kids’ kids will enjoy is pretty humbling.

What has been your biggest disappointment or miss?

Obviously, we had some tough seasons on the field at the football club and we had to make some fairly significant changes to get to where we are at as we close out this decade.  What did you learn from it?  Learned that you really need to be as equally focused on sustaining success as you are on having it.

What was the biggest story of the last decade in Saskatchewan? 

Unfortunately, it has to be the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.  The grief felt by the province, but also the inspiring response from the province to rally around that community and that team.

READ MORE: ‘On my mind every day’: Nurse first to arrive at Humboldt crash describes life-altering scene

How has the make-up of the province changed over the last decade?

It’s changed tremendously as I think more and more young people are choosing to stay and live and work in Saskatchewan for its incredible quality of life.  I also think it’s experienced a tremendous boom in immigration as new Canadians choose Saskatchewan as a home for their families again because of its quality of life but also, its opportunities.

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How does this drive your decisions?

It’s become a much bigger topic of conversation as we look to ensure that we welcome new Canadians in the province into Rider Nation and that we continue to be relevant to a younger generation.

What’s your biggest hope for Saskatchewan for 2020-2030?

I hope that we can continue to play a leadership role nationally on so many levels.  And that the quality of life we all enjoy here continues to be enhanced.

What is the biggest challenge facing Saskatchewan over the next decade? 

In the short to medium term, it is economic recovery, especially in the resource sector.  Beyond that, it is probably going to be capital reinvestment in aging infrastructure.