GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced that the Detroit Red Wings have hired John Bernal (buhr-NAHL) as the Griffins’ new athletic trainer. In addition, the Griffins announced the hiring of four new members of their front office staff: public relations manager Kyle Kujawa (koo-JAH-wah), ticket operations manager Amanda Gillard (GIHL-uhrd), and group sales account executives Ashley Binning and Zack Krywyj (CRY-way).
A native of Pinckney, Mich., Bernal spent the past three seasons as the assistant athletic trainer for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, following a four-year stint as head athletic trainer for the club’s AHL affiliates in San Antonio (2005-08) and Utah (2004-05).
Bernal, who earned a sports medicine degree from Central Michigan University in 1999 and a master’s from Arizona State University in 2001, was also the athletic trainer for the ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters (2003-04) and Lake Superior State University’s Division I hockey team (2001-03).
Kujawa joins the Griffins’ full-time staff after serving as a public relations intern for the team in 2010-11. Originally from Plymouth, Mich., he graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in communications this past April. Kujawa will primarily be responsible for coordinating player and staff interviews with the media, writing news releases and features, and overseeing the day-to-day management of griffinshockey.com.
Gillard moves to the Griffins after completing an internship with Comcast-Spectacor in Philadelphia, where she was involved in community and fundraising events, as well as social media and game operations with the NHL’s Flyers and the NBA’s 76ers. The Ada, Mich., native returns to West Michigan after graduating from Grand Valley with a degree in advertising in 2010. In her new position, she will oversee group ticket servicing and box office operations.
Binning, a recent graduate of Saginaw Valley State University, joins the Griffins after spending a season as a promotions coordinator and media relations specialist with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit and, more recently, serving as a sales representative for GVSU’s University Directories. Originally from Chesterfield, Mich., Binning will assist the organization’s group ticket sales efforts.
Krywyj returns to Michigan after graduating from Northwood University in 2010 with a business administration degree. Last year, Krywyj worked as an inside sales account executive with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, selling season ticket plans and group and executive suite packages for the Cavs, as well as ticket packages for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.