FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2021
TONI WILL NAMED TO ECHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS’ EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Kalamazoo Wings General Manager makes history as the first female to join the league’s highest leadership group.
KALAMAZOO, MI – Toni Will, the General Manager of the Kalamazoo Wings, has been named to the ECHL Board of Governors’ Executive Committee, the team announced Thursday.
Will, who joined the K-Wings in 2015 as the Director of Sales, was promoted to Director of Business Operations in 2017 and General Manager this summer. She becomes the first female elected to the ECHL’s highest leadership committee in the league’s 33-year history.
“I am honored and humbled to be asked to join the ECHL Board of Governors’ Executive Committee,” said Will. “This is an important day for women in leadership, especially women in sports leadership.”
Since 2016, Will has represented the K-Wings on the league’s Board of Governors. She has served on the Hockey is for Everyone Committee and COVID Committee, and provides her leadership as Chair of the Team Services Committee.
Kalamazoo Wings Owners Bill Johnston and Ronda Stryker offered the following statement:“Toni’s recognition by her fellow Governors is a strong indication of her impact on the league through her leadership roles in the K-Wings organization. Toni’s input and ideas are often sought by other leaders within the ECHL who witness the fabulous growth in the fan experience at Wings Event Center. We are proud of Toni’s accomplishment and the recognition she has received by being asked to serve in this new leadership role.”
Kalamazoo has increased its average attendance each year for five consecutive seasons under Will’s guidance. In November 2019, the team set a Guinness World Record for largest lightsaber battle during its annual Star Wars Night at Wings Event Center. 3,889 fans participated in the record attempt.
The K-Wings have been nominated for 21 ECHL awards during the six years Will has led the front office efforts, including three award wins. She has also been nominated as a finalist three different times for the league’s Executive of the Year award.
“It's important to me to pave the way for the generations to come to know that their goals can be accomplished in any industry, regardless of their gender,” said Will. “I am passionate about the continued growth and future of the Kalamazoo Wings and the ECHL.”
Additionally, Greenleaf Hospitality Group has recognized Will internally as Manager of the Year twice (2018 and 2020) and Southwest Michigan First highlighted her in its Emerging Leaders Issue of 269 Magazine in August 2018.