Tom Dundon is the chief executive officer, owner and governor of the Carolina Hurricanes. Dundon is also the Chairman and Managing Partner of Dundon Capital Partners, a Dallas-based private investment firm. His investment activities have spanned the entertainment, healthcare, real estate and hospitality, technology, automotive and financial services sectors.
Dundon acquired a majority stake in the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 12, 2018, and in his first full season as owner, helped guide the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Carolina has reached the postseason in each of Dundon’s five seasons as owner (2018-23).
Born in New York and raised in Dallas, Dundon attended Southern Methodist University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1993 and served as president of Phi Gamma Delta. Then, with a number of partners, he cofounded a business focused primarily on automobile financing, which over the next 10 years and through a series of transactions, became Santander Consumer USA (“SCUSA”), a large U.S. consumer finance company majority held by Banco Santander. Dundon served in various capacities for the company, and ultimately became chairman and chief executive officer.
In the summer of 2015, Dundon stepped aside as CEO of Dallas-based SCUSA to focus on his entrepreneurial investments via Dundon Capital Partners. Dundon and the firm actively pursue investments across industries. He is the majority owner of Employer Direct, a growth-stage healthcare services company, and was a large investor and director of Topgolf, a premier global sports entertainment business headquartered in Dallas that incorporates technology, golf and entertainment. Dundon also serves as a director for OTO Development, a hotel development and management company headquartered in South Carolina, and for Redpoint Capital, an alternative credit manager. He has also made significant investments in real estate in Dallas and Aspen, Colo., highlighted by his 2015 purchase of 2100 Ross Avenue, a landmark 33-story office building in downtown Dallas, where Dundon Capital Partners and Employer Direct Healthcare currently operate.
Dundon is a consistent supporter of Dallas charities, with a focus on academic and sports-community focused initiatives. Of note is his support of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which hosts the PGA’s annual AT&T Byron Nelson, one of the largest fundraisers for the Momentous Institute, a leading provider of therapeutic and education services that impacts 6,000 kids and family members each year. To help support the Salesmanship Club, Dundon funded the construction and development of Trinity Forest Golf Club, a premier, non-profit, 18-hole championship golf course and 9-hole short course that has served as the home of the Byron Nelson. Opened in 2017, Trinity Forest features a private golf facility built for Southern Methodist University’s men’s and women’s golf teams, and provides support for the First Tee of Dallas, a non-profit organization that leverages golf to develop character building amongst the youth. Dundon formed the Dundon Family Charitable Fund, which will support various qualified non-profit initiatives, with a focus on supporting academic and athletic initiatives at top universities in the U.S.
Don Waddell is in his sixth season as the Hurricanes’ general manager and his 10th as the team’s president. Waddell was named the ninth general manager in franchise history on May 8, 2018. Waddell has over 40 years of experience in professional hockey as a player, coach, general manager, scout and business executive. As general manager, Waddell facilitates all of the team’s hockey decisions and as president he oversees the business sides of the Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena.
In his first season as general manager in 2018-19, Waddell helped the Hurricanes reach the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. The team reached the Eastern Conference Final and Waddell was named one of three finalists for the 2018-19 NHL General Manager of the Year Award. Carolina has reached the postseason in each of Waddell’s four seasons as general manager (2018-22).
Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Waddell spent three seasons as a consultant and professional scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Waddell was general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from the team’s founding in 1998, until 2010 when he took the role of team president. Waddell also served as executive vice president and co-chair of the executive committee of the Atlanta Spirit, the parent company of the Thrashers, the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He won the Stanley Cup as assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.
Before becoming an NHL executive, Waddell helped build and guide two International Hockey League (IHL) franchises in San Diego (1990-95) and Orlando (1995-97) as those clubs’ executive vice president and general manager. While in Orlando, he was vice president of RDV Sports and served on the executive committee that oversaw the NBA’s Orlando Magic, the IHL’s Orlando Solar Bears and the company’s retail and aviation interests. Waddell was twice named IHL executive of the year (1992-93 and 1995-96).
Waddell played four seasons of Division I collegiate hockey from 1976-80 at Northern Michigan University where he majored in business management. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1978, and spent three years with the organization. Waddell played more than nine seasons of professional hockey, spending the final years of his playing career as player/coach of the IHL’s Flint Spirits. He also served as head coach of the San Diego Gulls in 1991-92, and was interim head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers on two occasions during his tenure with the club.
A native of Detroit, Waddell has also served in several capacities with USA Hockey during the past five decades. In October 2013, he was named international consultant with a special focus on player identification and interface with the U.S. National Junior Team and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Waddell was the general manager for United States’ teams at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Italy, and the 2001, 2002 and 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championships. As a player, he helped Team USA to the gold medal at the 1983 IIHF World Championship.
Mike Forman is in his 11th season with the Hurricanes’ organization and third season serving as Chief Marketing Officer. As CMO, Forman oversees marketing and brand strategy for the Hurricanes which encompasses the organization’s digital, social, creative services, content and retail teams.
Forman also helps take the point on a number of long-term, strategic initiatives and projects that require cross-departmental support for items such as the Stadium Series outdoor game, sports gambling, broadcast partner and naming rights deals, special events and anniversaries, major brand enhancements, Centennial Authority building-enhancement projects, as well as new mobile app solutions and technologies.
Forman’s direct reports oversee the organization’s marketing and branding strategies with oversight over the digital/social, creative services, video production, retail and in-game entertainment teams while managing the club’s advertising budget. Forman joined the organization in December of 2013 as the Director of Marketing after previous stints at Duke University and Stanford University. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University in 2007 and his Master of Management Studies degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2010.
Shaun Nicholson is in his 11th season with the Hurricanes’ organization and his second as the team’s chief financial officer. As CFO, Nicholson oversees the accounting, finance and payroll functions for the Hurricanes and PNC Arena. He also serves as treasurer for the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation.
Since joining the Hurricanes’ organization in 2013, Nicholson has served as accounting manager, director of finance and controller. He began his career in audit and advisory services with KPMG in Washington, D.C., and after relocating to Raleigh, he held financial management roles with a Raleigh-based equipment financing company and later a Chapel Hill-based alternative investment advisor.
Nicholson earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from James Madison University in 2005 and is a certified public accountant.
Nigel Wheeler is in his fourth season as the Hurricanes’ general counsel. Wheeler primarily handles the drafting, review and analysis of contracts and assists the hockey operations department with contract negotiations. He also provides input on various business decisions.
Wheeler began his career as a news reporter in various markets throughout the U.S. and later worked several odd jobs while a member of a touring rock band. Prior to joining the Hurricanes’ organization, he worked at a Texas-based law firm. Wheeler earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended law school at Washington and Lee University.