Tigers Host Women in Sports Event on Friday, April 22 at Comerica Park

Pregame program features panelists Emily Griffin, Miriam Hickey, Aileen Villarreal and Dr. Jen Welter

DETROIT- The Detroit Tigers will host their annual Women in Sports event on Friday, April 22 prior to the game vs. the Cleveland Indians at 7:10 p.m.

This event will explore the expanding role of women in the professional sports industry. The program is designed to engage middle school, high school and college students and will feature a dynamic, interactive panel of female sports executives. The panel will discuss their careers in professional sports, college sports and sports media.

The panelists for the Women in Sports event include:

 

ERIN BROWN

Assistant Athletic Trainer- Wayne State University

Erin Brown is an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Wayne State University. She serves as head athletic trainer for the men's and women's swimming and diving, cheerleading, and dance teams and an assistant for the football team. Erin graduated from Central Michigan University in May 2013 with a degree in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine. During her time at CMU she worked with baseball, women's basketball and football. She became a board certified athletic trainer in May 2013. She began working at Wayne State as an intern in January 2013 through July 2015 and went on to serve as a graduate assistant from August 2015 to February 2016. She will graduate in May from Wayne State with her Master's degree in Sports Administration.

In her time working at WSU Erin has worked with student athletes from all 16 varsity sports and she served as the host athletic trainer for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference baseball and swimming and diving championships. Her experience also includes volunteering on the medical staff for the Special Olympics of Michigan Summer Games and providing medical coverage for the AAU Junior Olympics. In her free time Erin is an avid Detroit sports fan and loves attending games.

 

EMILY GRIFFIN

Vice President of Marketing- Detroit Lions

Emily Griffin is the Detroit Lions Vice President of Marketing, overseeing all marketing operations for the club including branding and creative services, advertising, game day entertainment and special events as well as broadcasting, digital/social media, corporate communication and youth football.

Griffin joined the Lions in December 2014 as digital media and corporate partnership strategist, tasked with aligning the team's digital, social and mobile platforms, streamlining corporate partner activations in the space and driving digital media revenue. Before entering the NFL, Griffin spent more than three years (2012-2014) with HelloWorld, Inc. (formerly ePrize) in a variety of roles. Most notably, she was account director for the firm's largest client, the Coca-Cola Company, developing and executing digital marketing campaigns for their sports and entertainment partnerships including the NBA, American Music Awards and Live Nation.

Griffin began her career with Palace Sports & Entertainment in 2008 as a marketing coordinator. She spent three seasons in the NBA where the Pistons named her 2009 Corporate Marketing Employee of the Year; she was promoted to account manager in 2011. While with PS&E, Griffin implemented corporate sponsorships for all of their properties (Detroit Pistons, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Music Festival).

Griffin graduated from Hope College in Holland, Mich. with degrees in Communication and Political Science. She is an avid Detroit sports fan and native of the Metro Area, currently residing in Midtown.

 

MIRIAM HICKEY

FIFA Women's Football Instructor

Originally from The Netherlands, Miriam started playing soccer at the tender age of six with the boys in her neighborhood. At that time there was no organized soccer for girls and for years she had to sneak on the field to be able to play with the boys in league games. From age 18 on Miriam played soccer at the highest women's level in the Netherlands and was recruited to play college soccer in New Mexico.

Miriam was one of the first women in the Netherlands to earn the UEFA-B coaching license, and she also holds the highest US Soccer coaching license. During her 25-year career she has coached at the Dutch National Team level, US Collegiate level and Youth level. Miriam received the US Youth Soccer National Coach of the Year Award in 2008. 

Currently Miriam is a FIFA Women's Football Instructor and was a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group at the Women's World Cup in Canada this past summer. As of this fall she will be the Coaching Director for girls at Troy Soccer Club. Miriam will be married 25 years this June, and has raised three children in Michigan.

 

MARCIA TURNER

Vice President and General Sales Manager- FOX Sports Detroit

Marcia Holland Turner is Vice President and General Sales Manager at FOX Sports Detroit. She joined FOX Sports in 2009 overseeing both the local and national advertising sales. She leads a best-in-class sales operation, comprised of multiple sales divisions. FSD is the exclusive TV rightsholder of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit Pistons. She is considered a highly skilled leader in managing media resources.

Prior to joining Fox Sports Detroit, Marcia spent 25 years in print media, at the Detroit Free Press, and Detroit Newspapers partnership. Marcia held a variety of senior level positions. Lastly, working with the President of the company to transform the newspapers' delivery system while minimizing the impact on lost revenue from top level clients.

Turner's 30+ years of experience and proven track record of building deep sales competency and solid reputation for increasing revenues and profitability has accumulated industry recognition, including Knight Ridder's President Award.

Marcia continues donating her time serving on many committees, boards and community service organizations. The work she is most proud of continues to benefit underserved children as a Board of Trustee for The CATCH Foundation, a Mentor for Women of Tomorrow, WomenUNITED Initiative of United Way of Southeastern Michigan and her current role as President of the Detroit Chapter of Links, Incorporated. She attended Spelman College and graduated with Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Wayne State University.

 

AILEEN VILLARREAL

Director, Media Relations- Detroit Tigers

Aileen Villarreal is in her sixth season with the Tigers and third full season in the role of director, media relations after being promoted to the position on September 25, 2013. She joined the club in November 2010 and served two years as the team's coordinator of media relations. Aileen works directly with local, national and international media on a daily basis. She also supervises all day-to-day efforts of baseball-related media relations, including the coordination of interviews with Tigers baseball executives, the manager, players and coaches, the production of game notes, all player-related announcements, the media guide and the credentialing of media. Additionally, she oversees the club's Spanish social media communication via Twitter and Instagram (@TigresdeDetroit). Aileen is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is the sole female Latina Media Relations Director in Major League Baseball.

Prior to joining the Tigers, Aileen interned with the Houston Astros Marketing Development Department for a portion of 2010. She served as Head Senior Personnel Manager for the Notre Dame Football team and supervised the entire Athletic Student Manager Organization during the 2009 season. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May, 2010 with a BA in Sociology and Film, Television and Theatre and minor in Latino Studies.

 

DR. JEN WELTER

First Female Coach in the NFL- Arizona Cardinals

Dr. Jen Welter is the first female to coach in the NFL. In summer 2015, she served as a linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals, a period of time defined by the bond she has formed with the players. She appears regularly as an NFL analyst on NBC, as a guest on the NFL Network and ESPN, and in national newspapers and other publications. Welter has become a regular empowerment and sports speaker sharing the stage at events with sports and political giants like Serena Williams and Condoleeza Rice at events across the country. As guest editor of Wired Magazine, Serena Williams highlighted Welter as one of her Trailblazers, 10 heroes who are showing the way forward to a better, fairer world for all. Welter was recognized at the United Nations as Sports Pioneer of the Year on Women's Entrepreneurship Day.

Most recently, ESPNW named her one of the 25 most influential women in sport in 2015. Widely known as a trailblazer and pioneer in professional football, becoming the first woman to coach in the NFL was only her most recent first. In 2014, Welter became the first woman to play running back in a men's professional football league. In early 2015, Welter was hired as the first female coach in men's professional football, helping coach the most successful Revolution season in franchise history. She is also a veteran of several women's professional and semi-professional football teams and a member of the 2010 and 2013 gold medal-winning USA Team at the International Federation of American Football's (IFAF) Women's World Championship.

Welter holds a doctorate degree in Psychology, a Master's in Sport Psychology, and a Bachelors degree from Boston College. She has 18 years of experience in fitness, and as a professional athlete. Welter is a native of Vero Beach, Florida.

 

This event can be attended by purchasing the Women in Sports ticket package that includes an upper box infield, upper box reserved or lower baseline box ticket and an exclusive Detroit Tigers Women in Sports t-shirt.

Comerica Park gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the panel will start promptly at 5:45 p.m. in the Blue Moon Brewhouse. Tickets to the Women in Sports event are still available for purchase. To purchase a tickets for the Women in Sports event, please visit tigers.com/wis.