ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, OPERATIONS
Dean Thibodeau joined the WCHA Office as Operations and Administration Manager in July 2018 and begins his first year as the Association's Assistant Commissioner, Operations.
Thibodeau came to the WCHA following eight seasons in various operations roles with a trio of league member institutions and a stint at Twin Cities-based Cargill. In his current role, Thibodeau manages the Association budget, accounting and payroll, vendor contracts and Association Office operations, while serving as director for the men's postseason tournament and the women's WCHA Final Faceoff championship.
A WCHA veteran, Thibodeau most recently served a two-year stint as the director of women's hockey operations at the University of Minnesota (2015-17), overseeing all non-coaching aspects of the program – including budgeting, video and travel planning – as the Golden Gophers won the 2016 national championship and advanced to the 2017 Frozen Four. Prior to joining the Minnesota staff, he spent the 2014-15 season on the other side of the "Border Battle" as the men's and women's video coordinator at the University of Wisconsin.
Thibodeau began his career with the St. Cloud State University women's hockey program as an undergraduate, advancing from video duties his first season to extensive involvement in operations, team travel, video, creative services and game management during the 2013-14 campaign. He also spent the summer of 2011 as an intern with USA Hockey, returning to assist in future years with operations and video coordination at several international tournaments. While at Cargill, Thibodeau served as an associate credit analyst, building upon his four years (2007-11) as an accounting assistant for his father, a Certified Public Accountant based in Connecticut.
Upon his arrival to the State of Hockey in 2008, the Connecticut native earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from SCSU. Thibodeau and his wife, Hannah, currently reside in Bloomington, Minn.
COORDINATOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND ENHANCEMENT
WCHA Vice President and Women's League Commissioner Jennifer Flowers has announced the hiring of Jenna Jorgensen as Coordinator of Strategic Communications and Brand Enhancement.
"We are thrilled to have Jenna become a part of the WCHA," Flowers said. "Jenna rose to the top of a talented pool of candidates. Her experience in college hockey and her excellent communication skills earned her this opportunity. Jenna will bring an innovative style that will help us elevate the promotion of our league. We are excited for Jenna to get started."
In her position, Jorgensen will be responsible for the social media coverage, graphic design, and external communications of the league, while coordinating with member institutions to promote the athletic and academic achievements of its eight programs and alumni.
"I am excited to join the WCHA and am looking forward to covering a league with so much tradition in college hockey," Jorgensen said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Commissioner Flowers as we promote the many successes of the league's programs and advance coverage for women in sports."
Jorgensen joins the WCHA office after spending three years as an Assistant Director of Athletic Communications at Colgate University, where she was the primary media relations contact for the Colgate hockey programs. In her time at Colgate, Jorgensen covered the first ECAC Tournament title in program history for the women's hockey team and men's hockey's participation in the 2019 Friendship Four in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Jorgensen joined Colgate after spending two years at Bowling Green State University from 2016-18, where she served as hockey's primary media contact when it advanced to their first WCHA Championship since 1988.
Getting her start in hockey communications, Jorgensen joined the statistics staff for both hockey programs while studying at the University of North Dakota. In addition to taking stats, she was a media relations intern for two years within the UND Athletic Department from 2012-14.
A member of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 2014, Jorgensen also currently serves on the New Media Committee and WoSIDA steering committee connecting with the women of CoSIDA.
A native of Blaine, Minn., Jorgensen received her bachelor's degree in communications and visual arts from UND in May 2014. She went on to earn a master's degree in sport administration from Ball State in May 2016.
SUPERVISOR OF OFFICIALS
One of the most experienced and respected ice hockey officials and supervisors in college hockey, Greg Shepherd enters his 42nd season with the WCHA – and 28th as Supervisor of Officials – in 2020-21. The longest-tenured officials' supervisor in college hockey, Shepherd began in the role with the WCHA Men's League in 1992 and has served in that capacity since the inception of the WCHA Women's League in 1999.
Known for being an excellent instructor who stresses the importance of proper and open communication with players and coaches, Shepherd is responsible for identifying, training, developing and sustaining the WCHA officiating staff. Under his tutelage, several men's and women's officials have received prominent postseason assignments – including his sons Derek and Brad, each of whom have worked NCAA Frozen Fours.
Shepherd's commitment to hockey has spanned more than 40 years and six decades on and off the ice. After beginning as a youth hockey official, he worked his way up to the collegiate level and debuted with the WCHA in 1978. Shepherd spent 14 years as an on-ice official with the league, working in 10 NCAA Men's Frozen Fours during that time.
A veteran, Shepherd served in the United States Navy from 1967-69. He also worked for Northern States Power Company for 35 years, while serving his community on the West Saint Paul City Council for four years.
Shepherd and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 49 years. Greg and Nancy are parents to three children (Derek, Tiffany and Brad) and are proud grandparents to Austyn, Madison, Cameron, Lauren, Gabby, Anthony, Joe and Ryan.