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  Name:   Steve Mills
Month: March 2003
Schools: Princeton '81 BA in Sociology with a minor in Economics
Organization: Madison Square Garden
Title: President, Sports Team Operations

Steve Mills was named president, sports team operations for Madison Square Garden on June 7, 2001, after spending two years overseeing business operations for the New York Knickerbockers as executive vice president, franchise operations.

In his expanded role at "The World's Most Famous Arena," the native New Yorker is responsible for the New York Liberty and for all business matters and team operational issues for the NBA Knicks and the NHL Rangers, two of the most powerful brands in sports history.

Steve's tenure at Madison Square Garden has been marked by a significant revitalization of the sports teams' front office operations, apparent to observers both inside and outside the organization. From instituting a "fan-friendly" mandate that impacts all aspects of game operations, to placing a renewed priority on community relations, resulting in the Knicks assuming a leadership position in the National Basketball Association, Mill's expectation of excellence has elevated all areas of the business. In his role as co-chairman of the Madison Square Garden Cheering for Children Foundation, which works closely with the three sports teams, MSG Networks and Radio City Entertainment, Steve has directed the expansion of the Foundation's after-school support to now include more than 30,000 children and 120 after-school programs throughout New York City.

Prior to his move to the Garden, the 42-year old played an integral role in the National Basketball Association's development for over 16 years, most recently as senior vice president, basketball and player development. His duties included managing the league's relationships with all domestic and international basketball organizations, including the NCAA and USA Basketball, as well as overseeing the NBA's developmental programs and player initiatives during one of the most critical periods in league history. Mills also played a key role in the creation of the Women's National Basketball Association and served on the team responsible for the negotiation of the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Steve began his impressive ascent up the NBA ladder in 1983 when he joined the NBA as an account executive in the corporate sponsorship department of NBA Properties. He was promoted to national programs manager for NBA Properties in August, 1986 and then spent three years in the NBA's special events department (1987-89), prior to being named vice president, special events in May, 1989.

From there, the New Jersey resident joined the NBA Commissioner's Office as vice president, corporate development in October 1993, before his appointment as senior vice president, basketball and player development in 1995.

Mills has been honored by a host of organizations and institutions for his work, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as part of her 2nd Annual African American Heritage Celebration, which fetes some of the New York area's top executives from every area of business. His other honors include being named the Rainbow Coalition's 1999 Sports Executive of the Year.

An accomplished basketball player, Mills started three seasons at guard for Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril at Princeton University, where he helped lead the Tigers to two Ivy League first place finishes, including the League title and an NCAA berth in 1981. He also played professionally for one season in South America in 1981.

Steve earned a degree in sociology with a minor in economics from Princeton in 1981 and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors for USA Basketball. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army of Greater New York.

He and his wife Beverly have two daughters, Kristen and Danielle, and reside in South Orange, NJ.

 

 

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