Big Ten Conference Announces Staff Promotions and Hire
July 14, 2010
Park Ridge, Ill. – Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany today announced promotions for seven staff members as well as the hiring of one staff position. Mark Rudner was promoted to Senior Associate Commissioner of Television Administration, while Wendy Fallen and Chad Hawley were named Associate Commissioners of Championships and Compliance, respectively. Stephanie Kirby was elevated to Associate Director of Championships, while Valerie Todryk Krebs was named Associate Director of Communications. Jessica Palermo was promoted to Assistant Director of Championships, while Dan Mihalik was tabbed as Assistant Director of Communications. Additionally, Bill Siitari was hired as Director of Accounting.
In his 32nd year with the Big Ten Conference, Rudner rises to the title of Senior Associate Commissioner, holding the title of Associate Commissioner since 1998. He will continue to serve as the conference’s television administrator, where he is responsible for the scheduling of more than 750 television programs each year and the negotiation of the conference’s media agreements. Currently, Rudner is the conference liaison to Big Ten football coaches and to Big Ten football postseason bowl partners. He also helped develop the Big Ten instant replay “pilot” program, the first of its kind in college football, in 2004. A graduate of Ohio State University, he began his career at the Big Ten in 1979 as the assistant media relations director before becoming Director of Communications six years later, being appointed Assistant Commissioner in 1989.
Fallen will continue to oversee the Big Ten Championships department as Associate Commissioner after spending the last seven years as an Assistant Commissioner. She will manage 22 Big Ten championships and tournaments and will serve as a co-liaison to the Administrators Council and the primary liaison to the Big Ten Senior Woman Administrators, Sports Management Committee, and numerous coaches groups. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Fallen was a gymnastics student-athlete, having won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Michigan’s Freshman Woman of the Year in 1991 after claiming co-all around honors at the Big Ten Championships. She was also a tri-captain for the 1993 and 1994 Big Ten Championship teams. She received her Master’s of Business Administration from Northwestern in 2005.
Hawley was promoted to Associate Commissioner of Compliance after having served as Assistant Commissioner since 2006. He also served as the Associate Director and then Director of Compliance, while beginning as an Assistant Director from 2002-05. He has been involved in all Big Ten and NCAA compliance-related functions at the conference office and also serves as the men’s and women’s track and field, cross country coaches sport co-liaison and the men’s soccer coaches liaison. Prior to joining the Big Ten, the Lillington, N.C., native worked in compliance at the Mid-Continent Conference following stints at North Carolina State University and the Ivy Group. A 1998 graduate of Appalachian State University, where he was a member of the soccer program, Hawley graduated with his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola University School of Law in May 2006.
Siitari comes to the Big Ten Conference as its new Director of Accounting, where he will be responsible for all accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll functions. Prior to joining the conference, he interned with the University of Minnesota athletic compliance office during the 2009-10 academic year, helping ensure the institution’s athletic programs stayed compliant with NCAA legislation. Siitari earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota in August of 2005, then returned to obtain his master’s in sports management in July of 2006. Following his graduation, Siitari, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, worked as a financial statement auditor in the Boston and Minneapolis offices of KPMG LLP from August 2006 to March 2009.
After being named Assistant Director of Championships in August of 2009, Kirby earned the title of Associate Director and will continue to serve as the liaison for various conference sports and also assist with the management of the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments. Prior to joining the Big Ten, Kirby served as Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at Michigan State. She also spent one year at the NCAA as the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball intern in 2005-06, where she assisted in championship administration. Kirby graduated from Nebraska-Omaha in December of 2004 with a degree in biology. A three-year captain on the women’s soccer team, Kirby was named first team All-America and served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Palermo rises to the title of Assistant Director of Championships after having served as the C.D. Henry Championships Intern since July of 2009. She will help orchestrate Big Ten Championships and Tournaments and will serve as the conference liaison for select coaches groups. A native of Madison, Wis., Palermo graduated from Edgewood College in 2008, then completed her master’s of sports management at Georgetown in 2009. She served as a Student-Athlete Leadership and Performance graduate assistant during the 2008-09 academic year, where she worked with Student-Athlete Advisory Committee events and meetings and student-athlete life development programs.
Todryk Krebs was promoted to Associate Director of Communications after having served as Assistant Director since 2007. The Wisconsin native will be the primary media contact for men’s basketball and baseball and serve as the secondary contact for football. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in May of 2006 after serving as a student assistant in the Athletic Communications Department her last three years on campus. She served as an intern with the Akron Racers Pro Fastpitch Team and Foundation in the summer of 2004 before interning with the Milwaukee Brewers in the summer of 2005. Upon graduation, Todryk Krebs was named the media relations assistant for the Savannah (Ga.) Sand Gnats minor league baseball team before joining the Big Ten as the Robert Hammel Communications Intern in 2006.
Mihalik was named Assistant Director of Communications after having served as a Robert Hammel Communications Intern since August of 2009. The 2008 Purdue University graduate will be the primary contact for women’s basketball, softball and volleyball and act as the media coordinator for the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. His college athletics career began as an intern with the Purdue athletic development office, the John Purdue Club, during the summer of 2007. He spent the 2007-08 year as a student assistant in the Purdue Sports Information Department. Following graduation, Mihalik, a native of Highland, Ind., served as a Sports Communications Assistant at the University of Georgia during the 2008-09 academic year.