The Portland Trail Blazers announced the promotion of Jim Taylor to Vice President Of Basketball Communications on Thursday in a restructuring of the organization's communications department.
The Portland Trail Blazers have restructured their communications department in an effort to better serve the various needs of the media. This restructure has resulted in the creation of a Basketball Communications department and a Corporate Communications and Public Engagement department. The Basketball Communications department will be led by Jim Taylor. The Corporate Communications and Public Engagement department will be led by Michael Lewellen.
Taylor's previous title was Senior Director of Communications. A team spokesperson called the promotion "well-deserved."
As part of the restructuring, Michael Lewellen, who was hired in September 2012 as Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement, is now the Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Engagement.
Lewellen was shifted to focus exclusively on the organization's business and civic communications as well as issues related to the Moda Center. The change in responsibility was prompted, in part, by the Blazers' decision in April to part ways with AEG and self-operate the Moda Center.
Here's Taylor's biography from last year's media guide.
Jim Taylor begins his 15th overall season with the Trail Blazers after being promoted to senior director of communications in 2010. Taylor is one of the primary media contacts for the organization and basketball personnel. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day and game night media operations, Taylor helps facilitate interviews, appearances, media events and the dissemination of Trail Blazers news and information. Taylor works across other departments assisting in the development and execution of the Trail Blazers' integrated marketing plans and communications initiatives. Taylor previously worked for the team as director of corporate communications from 1991-98, and website content manager from 2005-07. Between his tenures with the organization, Taylor served as the venue director for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup before becoming the general manager of the Portland Timbers soccer team, a position he held for five years. A native of Vancouver, Wash., Taylor graduated from Hudson's Bay High School, Mt. Hood Community College and Oregon State University. Jim and his wife, Kippie, are the parents of two teenage daughters, Ali and Zoe, and reside in Vancouver, Wash.
Here's Lewellen's biography from last year's media guide.
Named Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement in 2012, Michael Lewellen, APR, directs the Trail Blazers' communications and public engagement strategies. He leads a team of communications executives in the areas of media relations, community relations and team relations. Lewellen's award-winning career over the past 30 years includes senior positions with Nike, Turner Sports, Fox Sports Net, Black Entertainment Television, NBC Universal, United Way and other iconic brands in media
strategies, reputation management, sports and entertainment publicity, crisis response and brand communications. A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Lewellen holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Arkansas State University; and is an accredited public relations practitioner through the Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators. In 2009, the 58th Annual Southern Regional Press Institute at Savannah State University bestowed upon Lewellen the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications. The National Black Public Relations Society honored Lewellen in 2005 with its highest honor - the Founders Award - for his achievements in the public relations profession. Lewellen is the father of three of children - Brandi, Elliott (deceased) and Ethan.
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