By Tyler Penney 
BELLEVILLE – The man hired to lead Belleville’s new AHL team says he is a St. John’s boy at heart who credits his success in the sports industry to an internship and a passion.
The Belleville Senators  announced on Monday that Rob Mullowney would be the Sens Chief Operating Officer.
Mullowney was born and raised in St. John’s, N.L. Like most Canadian kids, he said he grew up playing hockey and his passion for sports started from there.
“It’s been both humbling and a real pleasure to work in professional sports in my hometown,” said Mullowney. “Something was nice that I was able to come back here and work in professional hockey.”
Mullowney completed a masters degree in sports management at the University of New Brunswick  and his main goal was to find a career in something he was passionate about.
“When you’re choosing a career path when you’re in your 20s, you have this idea that you’ll likely do it and stay in the same industry for a long time,” said Mullowney. “When I looked at it, I simply said ‘yeah, sports is where my passion is.’“
In his time at UNB, Mullowney was required to complete an internship as part of program requirements. He completed his internship back home, with the St. John’s Maple Leafs , the Toronto Maple Leafs  AHL affiliate at the time, for six months and credited his success in his career to his internship with the Maple Leafs.
“That’s what got my foot in the door and started me along this path,” Mullowney added.
Mullowney isn’t new to moving around for work. He most recently worked in Vancouver, where he was part of the award-winning marketing and sponsorship team of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games . Mullowney was also a part of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
“My experience with the Olympics  has been very influential and it made a big impression on me, both personally and professionally. Honestly, a lot of the things that I learned from my experience with the Olympics, I brought here with me to St. John’s,” said Mullowney. “We’ve done things, from my point of view, a lot differently than we did them back in my days with the St. John’s Maple Leafs. At the end of the day, I believe that there are certain fundamentals that are the same and if you have those fundamentals right I think that’s the base to help you be successful.”
Mullowney was excited when he found out about his position with the Belleville Senators.
“I’ve been working towards this opportunity for a long time and to see it come to fruition is humbling and very exciting,” said Mullowney. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about the city of Belleville, I know they have a long and rich history of hockey. So to have the opportunity to come to a market like that, in the position I’ll be in, is really a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”
Although Mullowney said he given much thought to any goals he’d like to accomplish with the Senators, he said he does have one main goal in mind.
“I want our organization to be very community-driven,” said Mullowney. “I think that’s one of the principles that will make us successful and that is something that will be a big priority of the team.”