Joe Shea, Little League® Canada Regional Director, was recently presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, in recognition for his exceptional volunteer achievements to his community. Mr. Shea was one of only 46 individuals from across the country to receive the honor in a ceremony on April 24.
“It is an honor to see Joe Shea receive such a distinguished award for the hard work and dedication he has shown to Little League throughout his career,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Joe’s commitment to Little League has helped grow the program into what it is today and we are equally grateful for his friendship, loyalty and belief in the Little League mission.”
With more than 50 years of experience volunteering with Little League Baseball and Softball, including time as president of Little League Canada and three decades of service on the Little League International Board of Directors, Mr. Shea has played a key role in the development of baseball and softball across Canada.
A Toronto-native, Mr. Shea attended college at Penn State University where he began his Little League career as a coach for a local team in State College, Pa., in 1955. After graduating with a degree in petroleum engineering in 1958, he moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1959 where he continued his commitment to Little League as a coach and local volunteer with the Hardisty Little League.
In 1964, Mr. Shea moved to Calgary where he was later elected as a District Administrator in 1971. Just one year later, he officially joined the Little League organization as the founding director of Little League Canada.
Mr. Shea’s historic development of the league continued in 2001 as he welcomed Little League volunteers from around the world to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa for the 22nd Little League International Congress, the first Congress to be conducted outside of the United States. While serving as the Congress chairman, Mr. Shea was recognized for his hard work and dedication to the organization as he was presented the Peter J. McGovern Distinguished Service Award during the Little League Baseball World Series later that year.
In November 2005, Mr. Shea formally retired from the Little League International Board of Directors after three decades of service where he worked with former Little League International Presidents Peter J. McGovern and Dr. Creighton J. Hale, as well as current Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. While no longer a member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Shea continues to work as the Little League Canada Regional Director alongside President and Chairman, Roy Bergerman.
“It is truly an honor to earn such a prestigious award,” said Mr. Shea. “I am proud to have helped in the development of baseball and softball throughout Canada and for helping to provide the Little League experience to young boys and girls from all over the country.”
Since his time spent building the league from the ground up, with focus on field construction, training resources and organization of Little League programs across the nation, Little League Canada has provided countless children the opportunity to learn the games of baseball and softball, have fun with their friends, and develop the life lessons of teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship.
About The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honor, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. The Medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honoring the dedication and commitment of volunteers. Learn more about the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.