Risto Pakarinen is a writer, editor, author, and a one-time wanna-be hockey agent.
His debut novel, Someday Jennifer (HarperCollins Canada) was published in 2019.
In 2020, he co-authored Finnish football manager Markku Kanevra’s book and followed it up with an audiobook the next year. Risto has also written two books with Finland’s Supernanny, and in 2022, he co-authored Janne Puhakka’s “Ulos kopista” (Johnny Kniga) on minorities in hockey.
He’s currently working on the memoir of Alpo Suhonen, the first European NHL head coach.
His first book, Joukkue vailla vertaa (A Team Like No Other), about the 1995 Team Finland that won the country’s first hockey world championship, came out in April 2005. His second book, Off The Post: hockey stories from across the world, a collection of his blog entries on nhl.com, came out in November 2007, and the third, Bernd Brückler’s KHL memoir “This is Russia: Life in the KHL” in December 2013. In 2015, he co-.authored “Pelaa omalla mailallasi” with Alpo Suhonen, the first European head coach in the National Hockey League.
Since 1995, Risto has written thousands of articles, the topics ranging from Pippi Longstocking to Wayne Gretzky and from industrial cranes to cinnamon buns to what it’s like to be a circus clown, a magician or Arianna Huffington.
He was also a freelancing editor at SAS’s Scandinavian Traveler between214 and 2019.
In 2011, a column he wrote about fear for Aalto university’s magazine Profile won third prize at the Pearl awards, in the “Best column” category. (Some dude named Martin Scorsese won first prize).
Between 2006 and 2009, he was Web & Tech department editor and writer at SAS’s in-flight magazine Scanorama and between 2008 and 2009, the editor of the Champions Hockey League’s official website.
His articles have been published in ESPN The Magazine, The Sporting News, and Fast Company as well as on ESPN.com and several Finnish and Swedish magazines. He is also a regular contributor of The Hockey News, NHL.com, and IIHF.com, and a former columnist of Jääkiekkolehti, a leading hockey magazine in Finland. He has previously been a featured blogger/columnist on the Finnish hockey league’s website at www.sm-liiga.fi.
He has also translated and edited several books about sports, such as NHL Hockey, Formula One, Soccer Stars and a series of youth books. Between 2003 and 2005, Finnjewel Oy, a company he founded, published Hockey, a Finnish hockey quarterly.
In his previous 9-to-5 life, Risto was managing editor at Kynämies Oy, Helsinki, Finland, in charge of a seven-person editorial team producing seven customer magazines. In 2002, he drafted a new concept for the Finnish Business Graduates’ Union’s magazine Ekonomi. In 2003, the magazine was voted Best Customer Magazine in an annual competition arranged by Finland’s Post.
Between 1998 and 2002, Risto Pakarinen was managing editor at Sweden’s leading custom publishing house, Appelberg, and was responsible for, for example, Ericsson Mobile Phones’ international internal magazine, Ericsson’s international customer magazine On and M-real’s international customer magazine Embrace for which he also created the initial concept. Embrace won jury’s Special Prize in the 2002 competition.
In the mid-1990s, Pakarinen was Business Development Officer at the Canadian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, helping Canadian companies with finding partners and new markets in Finland. His areas of responsibility included agricultural goods, forestry, environmental technology, and sporting goods.
Risto Pakarinen has a Master’s degree in marketing, from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He’s based in Stockholm, Sweden, and he’s fluent in Finnish (native), Swedish (married), and English – and also claims to speak Spanish and French.
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