Pickard named MIAC Assistant Executive Director

Pickard named MIAC Assistant Executive Director

Bloomington, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced the hiring of BJ Pickard as its new Assistant Executive Director. Pickard brings a wealth of communications and branding experience to the position. He will officially start duties on June 12, 2017.

Pickard earned a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2010 and a Master's in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington in 2011. As part of his graduate program, he completed an internship focused on public relations with the Philadelphia 76ers. During his undergrad he worked in the athletic department with sports information.

Pickard replaces Matt Higgins, who resigned in March to accept a Senior Communications Coordinator position with the City of Minnetonka. Pickard is the MIAC's fourth full-time Assistant Executive Director. He is responsible for the conference's sports information, website, scheduling, awards, official's payroll and various office management duties.

"The MIAC is excited to bring BJ on board," stated Dan McKane, MIAC Executive Director. "He brings a solid background in media relations and strategic branding to the position. I am looking forward to developing many new initiatives with BJ to promote the great things we do in the MIAC."

Pickard most recently served as a content coordinator and brand strategist for Capture Marketing in Chanhassen, Minnesota where he worked extensively in the areas of project management, brand building, and partner relations, developing campaigns for such brands as General Mills, Professional Bull Riding, and Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors. His responsibilities included copywriting, proofing, developing design-driven ad creative, and managing social media platforms for clients. His work successfully leveraged connections with local and national organizations to build heightened brand awareness, increase visibility and funding, and facilitate communication channels.

Prior to his time at Capture, Pickard was the Director of Communications for the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2011 to 2015. During his tenure with the AFL, he oversaw all media and public relations efforts, including press releases to local and national media outlets, providing daily written, visual, and audio web content, planning large- and small-scale events with city and arena officials, and serving as a primary media liaison for the League. He was also part of a team that secured national television contracts and worked extensively in corporate partner relations.

"I am thrilled and honored to be joining one of the nation's premier D3 conferences," said Pickard. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work being done in the MIAC and look forward to supporting membership with my experience and skill set to further enhance the student-athlete experience."

An Eau Claire, Wis., native, Pickard currently resides in River Falls, Wis. with his wife, Holly, and nine-month-old daughter, Isla.

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Founded in 1920, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) is home to 13 private institutions, all housed within the state of Minnesota's borders. The MIAC sponsors championships in 22 sports, and is committed to its four core values of Quality Athletics, Academics, Student-Athlete Well-Being and Integrity.