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Front office strengthened by promotions, new hire

by John Hahn / Detroit Red Wings
A native Detroiter, Violetta returns home with 22 years of professional sports industry experience.
DETROIT – Red Wings owner Michael Ilitch today announced two executive promotions and the addition of a new position.

The promotions are: Ken Holland to executive vice president and general manager from vice president and general manager, and Jim Nill to vice president and assistant general manager from assistant general manager.

In addition, Steve Violetta joins the Red Wings' management team as senior vice president of business affairs.

The promotions and Violetta’s position are effective December 10.

“I believe these personnel moves will greatly enhance our ability to meet the ever-growing needs and challenges of operating a professional sports team in a highly competitive market,” Ilitch said. “Ken and Jim have been instrumental in our success over the years. The promotions are well-deserved and, combined with the addition of Steve’s position, will enable us to put the best product forward both on and off the ice and will lead to an even more successful franchise.”

Violetta will report to Ilitch and work closely with Holland, Nill and the rest of the Red Wings' front office staff.

“We’re excited to have Steve and his vast experience as part of the team,” Ilitch said. “This new organizational structure is similar to what we’ve done with the Detroit Tigers and we certainly expect to see similar, successful results as Violetta focuses on making the fans’ hockey experience all it can be.”

Previously, Violetta was the executive vice president of business affairs for the Nashville Predators since July 2005. Under his leadership, season ticket base and overall ticket revenue grew more than 50 percent, corporate sponsorships increased nearly 40 percent and the team’s television ratings on FSN South were up over 100 percent for the last two seasons.

A Detroit native, Violetta has more than 22 years of professional sports industry experience including, executive vice president of business affairs for the San Diego Padres, six years with the Ottawa Senators and three years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also spent time at several minor league clubs in San Diego, New Haven, Conn., and Flint, Mich.

Violetta received a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. He is active in many charities and has served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee and the United Cerebral Palsy Association of San Diego County.

The Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League, are owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. Other Ilitch-owned companies include: Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Champion Foods, Olympia Development, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Little Caesar Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Uptown Entertainment.
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