The Detroit Lions honor National Girls and Women in Sports Day by taking a look back at the women behind the organization highlighted by the Women in Football series.
Liz Laux — Player Personnel and Football Administration Assistant
A Frankenmuth, MI native, Liz has a front row seat to the draft process in Detroit within her role of football administration and while assisting the scouting department. She gets the first look at potential new Lions as they head into the facility for tryouts and physicals. As a woman working in sports, Liz utilizes her empathy on a daily basis to handle adverse situations as they arise.
Emily Griffin — Vice President of Marketing
Emily quickly advanced the career ladder to a VP role within the Lions Organization with help from her fascination of the relationship fans have with their teams. She curates her marketing strategies based off of two big questions: 1. Does this help the football team win? 2. Does this bring the fans closer to the team? Emily believes no role if off limits to women working in the NFL.
Amy Lemon — Senior Director of Human Resources
Amy plays a pivotal role within the Detroit Lions by implementing initiatives that affect the employees' experience with the organization. She made the switch from the hospitality space to the National Football League and understands that every person is different and unique, and that empathy is one of the best characteristics to have in her field.
Ellen Trudell — Corporate Communications Manager
An Allen Park native, Ellen's family has had season tickets longer than she's been alive and has not missed a Thanksgiving game since she was three years old. Ellen began her tenure as an intern with the Lions and made a major career switch from politics to sports when the hometown team called. She emphasizes that authenticity and professionalism are the keys to success.
Rebecca Smoker — Director of Detroit Lions Cheerleaders and Entertainment
Rebecca brought the Detroit Lions Cheerleaders back to the Motor City after spending a decade with the Lions' neighbors, the Detroit Pistons. She knew from a young age what she wanted to as a proud Michigan native, and that was to see DLC on the sidelines in Ford Field. Rebecca says to find your allies and be an ally as a woman working in sports.
Shelby Hawk — Video Assistant
A native of Milan, Michigan and Eastern Michigan graduate, Shelby started climbing the football ladder dating back to her time working with her high school football team and interned with the Detroit Lions before coming on full-time upon graduation. Shelby preaches todo the extra assignments and hold yourself to a high standard with everything you do.
Katherine Hopkins — Director of Performance Nutrition
Katherine is tasked with making sure the Lions are fed and helping them achieve the best results off the field so they can compete at the highest level. She is a certified strength coach after having played college field hockey. Her various stops along the way help her pick out menus that draws inspiration from regions all over the country. Katherine makes sure to be herself regardless of the industry she's and lets her work speak for itself.
Jessica Gray — Co-Director of Player Engagement
Jessica began her career supporting athletes as a student manager for men's basketball at Temple University while balancing journalism and her love for storytelling, with her passion for theater. She utilizes her background to break players down and peel back the layers to each Lion to assist them better in their development off the field.
Jill Costanza — Director of Sports Science
Jill's upbringing in upstate New York that included her high school football coach father, inspired her to enter the coaching ranks. Her background in the Air Force helped her utilize technology that is used daily with the Lions.
Ashley Strauss — Creative Director
The former division one softball athlete stumbled upon graphic design when she was an undergrad. After coaching DI softball, Ashley worked her way through the public relations ranks en route to designing the campaigns Detroit utilizes every day to market the franchise.
Allison Maki — Senior Vice President of Administration, CFO
Allison was an auditor in the city of Detroit before getting the call to come on board for the Lions and has been apart of the franchise for almost two decades. She preaches to work hard on your craft and always keep your networking channels open.
Natalie DiMaggio — Director of Partnership Marketing and Activation
Natalie has had a passion for marketing brands and event planning ever since she graduated college. She never thought she would work in sports, but gets the best of both her passions and loves how rapidly her daily role changes.
Kristen Dale — Director of Operations
Kristen has spent the last 19 seasons with the Detroit Lions and joined the franchise right out of college. She oversees the operations behind major events held at Ford Field such as the Super Bowl and emphasizes to work as hard as you can whenever you can.
Lindsay Verstegen — Senior Vice President, Chief People and Diversity Officer
Lindsay uses her background in theater on a daily basis as she implements practices to improve the diversity and culture within the organization. She prides herself on doing work that is full of purpose.
Kelly Kozole -- Senior Vice President of Business Development
Kelly Kozole grew professionally with the Detroit Lions, having began her career with the organization 20 years ago. The Sterling Heights native progressed through the ranks from Manager of Events to a V.P. role. Kelly is also fiercely passionate about her family and balances her career with being a rare disease advocate for her daughter Morgan who has BPAN.