Jim Craig

jimcraig.jpgJim Craig is a Olympic Gold Medalist and was the goalie for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team. He has been called the backbone of a team
that accomplished one of the most extraordinary and memorable sports
victories of all time. He went on to play professionally and
transitioned to tremendous and ongoing success in the business world. Jim
is in demand from coast to coast and internationally as a motivational
speaker, spokesperson, marketing and sales strategist, and master
storyteller.
Over the past 25 years, Jim has
inspired, instructed, and provided strategic and winning direction for
employees and associates from more than 300 organizations, including
Allianz, Bayer Corporation, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Coca-Cola,
Dunkin’ Donuts, Evergreen Financial, GE Access, Gore Medical, John
Hancock, Next Financial, Time Inc., Walt Disney, Welch’s, and other
companies that hold some of the world’s most recognized brands.

An
All-American goalie at Boston University and standout for the Terriers’
1978 NCAA championship squad, Jim was selected as the starting
goaltender for the U.S. 1980 Olympic hockey team. At the Lake Placid
games his performance was phenomenal. Indispensable to Team U.S.A.’s
epic – what some have called miraculous – upset of the Soviet
Union was the play of Jim Craig. In the game against the Soviets, the
Americans were outshot 42-16, but Jim made 39 saves, many of the
spectacular variety, and his teammates scored four times. Two days
later, against Finland, Jim was again superb, and the Yanks won, 4-2,
to take Olympic gold.

How
incredible was the victory over the Soviets? Consider that as the 20th
century came to a close, most major media sports polls selected what
happened two decades prior in Lake Placid, as the number one sports
episode of the previous 100 years.

“It
may just be the single most indelible moment in all of U.S. sports
history,” said Sports Illustrated of Team USA’s win over the Soviet
Union.  “One that sent an entire nation into frenzy.”

Following
the Olympic Games, Jim Craig played in the NHL where he started for the
Atlanta Flames, Boston Bruins, and Minnesota North Stars.  While in net
for the North Stars, Jim sustained an injury that ended his
professional hockey career.  Jim is enshrined in the Boston University
Athletic Hall of Fame, the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of
Fame, the United State Hockey Hall of Fame, and the United States
Olympic Hall of Fame.

When Jim
retired from pro hockey, he pursued a marketing and sales career with
the same passion, focus, work ethic, and dedication that he put forth
on the ice. He signed on as marketing and sales consultant for Valassis
Inserts, owned by Australian media magnate Kerry Packer’s Consolidated
Press Holdings and the largest freestanding newspaper insert company in
the U.S. While with Valassis Inserts and later Valassis Communications
(also owned by Consolidated Press Holdings), Jim took an operating unit
that had $300,000 in annual sales and over a 10 year period built it to
unit that did $50 million in annual sales, the top sales-producing
division of the corporation. During these years, Jim received “Salesman
of the Year” awards from the Marketing Corporation of America and
Valassis Communications.

Jim left
Valassis in 2005 to become the top salesman of Hat Trick Group, a
company that creates and produces promotions, incentive marketing, and
custom premium programs and products.  Under his stewardship and
guidance, Hat Trick Group developed new products and services and
increased annual dollar sales by 80 percent and its number of clients
by 30 percent.

In 2007, Jim
directed his competitive zeal and devotion to innovation and teamwork
to the launch and operation of Gold Medal Strategies.  Still in its
infancy, the firm has as growing roster of highly satisfied clients all
receiving premium value and competitive advantage.

Jim
has volunteered for several years as a youth hockey coach and
contributes to and supports many philanthropic organizations and
causes, including taking to the ice with the Boston Bruins Alumni to
play in benefit games.

Jim and
his wife, Sharlene (Charlie), have been married for 20 years.  They
have a teenage son and daughter, both of whom are talented hockey
players, neither of whom play goalie.

 

 
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