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Lions announce changes to executive team

DETROIT — The Detroit Lions announced today that they have hired Bill Hawker as vice president of partnerships and promoted Elliot Kessler to vice president of finance.

Hawker comes to Detroit after spending the past ten seasons with the Green Bay Packers as manager of corporate sales. He will lead the Lions' partnerships team and focus on acquisition and retention of corporate sponsors, advertisers and business partners, while generating new and sustaining existing revenue streams to support team business objectives.

In Green Bay, Hawker helped his partnerships team secure lucrative deals with several companies including Bellin Health and Associated Bank, as well as a new gate-naming rights partnership with American Family Insurance.

While managing the Packers' corporate sales team, Hawker was responsible for revenue projections, establishing inventory and developing rates to maximize revenue. His NFL career started in 1999 with the Chicago Bears as manager of special events and promotions before transitioning a year later to corporate sales manager.

A native of Bourbonnais, Ill., Hawker is a 1995 graduate of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. He and his wife Sara have two children, Hannah and Nicholas.

After leading the Lions' audit engagements at PwC, Kessler joined the Lions organization primarily on the Club side as the Director of Finance in 2013. In his new role, Kessler will manage the financial operations for both the Lions and Ford Field. He will was also be responsible for the organization's accounting systems, reporting and budgeting.  In addition, Kessler will manage the treasury functions and all internal and external audits while working closely with the NFL finance staff.

Before joining the Lions, Kessler was with the Detroit branch of PwC in Detroit as a senior associate. He attended Michigan State University as an undergrad, completed his MBA at Wayne State University in 2007 and is a native of West Bloomfield, Mich.

Kessler and his wife Jess, have a two daughters, Lilly and Maya.

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