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Front Office Bios

Christopher Ilitch - President and CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. - Chairman and CEO, Detroit Tigers

  • A lifelong Michigander, Chris serves as Chairman and CEO of the Detroit Tigers. Under Ilitch ownership for nearly three decades, the team is considered one of the most iconic franchises in professional sports and prides itself on a rich history and storied tradition dating back to 1901.
  • Since being purchased by the Ilitch family in 1992, the team has made two World Series appearances, established record-setting attendance, and played host to the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In the heart of downtown, Comerica Park remains one of the most renowned and fan-friendly ballparks in the game.
  • Chris has been a strong advocate of the organization’s ongoing commitment to cutting-edge analytics and advanced technologies, while aggressively supporting the team’s core pillars of sustainable success: superior scouting, drafting, and development of young talent.
  • A respected and active voice in the game, Chris regularly attends Major League Baseball owner meetings, and has served on a variety of pivotal MLB committees, including: Executive, Competition, Long-Term Strategic, Audit, Ownership, and Legislative Affairs.
  • A noted advocate for the city and its love of sports, Chris has been engaged in prominent large-scale national sporting events in Detroit, including the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four Hockey Championship (co-chair), the 2009 NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball Tournament, Super Bowl XL and the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (chair).
  • Off the diamond, Chris serves as President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. With deep Michigan roots, the Detroit-based, family-owned company has grown into a world-class food, sports & entertainment and real estate development organization. Born of a single pizza shop opened by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959, it is now comprised of 11 companies that employ over 24,000 people worldwide with an annual revenue of $3.9 billion.
  • Under his leadership, Olympia Development of Michigan is leading the most ambitious development effort in the Ilitch organization's history. The District Detroit is a dynamic sports, business and entertainment district in the heart of the city.
  • As Chairman of Ilitch Charities, and in the tradition of his parents, Chris has long been a champion for Detroit. The non-profit supports a multitude of charitable causes annually with thousands of grants, scholarships and in-kind donations, totaling over $207 million since 2000. From youth development to community revitalization, Ilitch Charities continues to make a hands-on and enduring impact on the city.
  • Chris is an active business leader across the state of Michigan and in the city of Detroit. He serves on the board, executive committee and nominating committee for Business Leaders for Michigan and the board and executive committee for the Downtown Detroit Partnership. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Detroit Economic Club.
  • Passionate about baseball his entire life, Chris was a captain of his high school baseball team at Cranbrook and coached his sons' youth baseball teams.
  • A proud father of three, Chris resides with his wife, Kelle, in metro Detroit.

Chris Granger - Group President of Sports and Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

  • Enters his third full baseball season as Group President of Sports and Entertainment, at Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
  • An experienced sports and entertainment executive, Granger joined the organization in 2017 and is responsible for optimizing the fan and partner experience at all Ilitch-related venues; growing, recruiting and retaining executive talent in the business verticals of the company’s sports and entertainment organizations; collaborating with partners to ensure highly active, attractive and community-focused venues; and more.
  • Granger oversaw the opening of Little Caesars Arena, which received the prestigious Sports Facility of the Year award at the 2018 Sports Business Awards ceremony. The award was established by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily to celebrate and recognize the leaders, visionaries and day-to-day practitioners who personify excellence in the business of sports.
  • In 2019, Little Caesars Arena ranked second in attendance among arenas in the nation, the DTE Energy Music Theatre was No. 1 among all amphitheaters worldwide and the iconic Fox Theatre ranked sixth in the country among theatres, per Pollstar.
  • Granger and his family are active in a range of charitable organizations in the Detroit community, including City Year Detroit and Make-a-Wish Michigan.
  • Chris previously served as President of the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Basketball Holdings, LLC. During his tenure, the Kings enjoyed unprecedented revenue growth and were widely recognized as a highly innovative and community-minded franchise. Granger's influence also extended to the development of Sacramento’s new, award-winning Golden 1 Center, and its 1.5 million square-foot downtown mixed-use development project, Downtown Commons.
  • Prior to joining the Kings, Chris worked in various capacities for the NBA for 14 years. He most recently served as the Executive Vice President of the NBA’s renowned Team Marketing and Business Operations function, where he advised NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams on all aspects of business operations.
  • Received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his Master of Business Administration from Yale. He was named Sacramento Business Person of the Year in 2017 and was a 2010 Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 award winner.
  • He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters, Zoe and Megan, and reside in metro Detroit.

Al Avila - Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager

  • Enters his 29th season in professional baseball, 19th season with the organization and fifth full season as the Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, after being named to the position on August 4, 2015.
  • Oversees the day-to-day baseball operations of the organization and the Major League club.
  • Under Avila’s leadership, the Tigers have acquired a young core of talent through trades, the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and international free agency, while implementing a long-term strategy that has a focus on developing and retaining young, controllable talent across all levels of the organization. As a result of this focus, the Tigers player development system, which was ranked near the bottom of its peers just a few years ago, entered 2020 ranked No. 6 in Major League Baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.
  • Avila has made significant staffing additions to the club’s international, professional and amateur scouting departments, while also continuing to expand the club’s analytics department.
  • Has spearheaded infrastructure improvements throughout all areas of the Tigers player development system, including a state-of-the-art facility at TigerTown in Lakeland and upgrades to the organization’s academy in the Dominican Republic.
  • Served as the interim General Manager for the Florida Marlins during the 2001 offseason.
  • Named Florida’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager in July 2001.
  • Under Avila’s guidance, the Marlins drafted 2003 World Series Most Valuable Player Josh Beckett in the first round of the June 1999 draft, while in the first round of the June 2000 draft, the Marlins drafted one of the youngest players to play in the MLB Futures Game and five-time MLB All-Star first baseman Adrián González.
  • On the international front, Avila, while at the Marlins, led the way to the 1999 signing of then-shortstop Miguel Cabrera, who won the American League Triple Crown in 2012 and was named the American League Most Valuable Player...Cabrera made it to the Major Leagues in 2003 at the age of 20 and clubbed four home runs during the postseason for the 2003 World Champion Marlins...also was instrumental in the signing and development of second baseman Luis Castillo, shortstop Álex González and shortstop Edgar Rentería, all who were named All-Stars during their MLB career.
  • Named Director of Scouting for the Marlins in July, 1998...was responsible for all of the Marlins scouting efforts on both the national and international levels and he oversaw the development of those players in the baseball academies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
  • Under Avila’s guidance, the Marlins signed 1997 NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player Liván Hernández.
  • Before being named the Director of Latin American Operations in 1994, Avila was originally hired by the Marlins as the Assistant Director of Latin American Operations in June 1992.
  • Prior to joining the Marlins, Avila served as the Director of Athletics and head baseball coach at St. Thomas (FL) University from 1989-92...he led the team to a number three ranking in the 1992 NAIA poll and won the Florida Sun Conference Championship in 1991 and 1992...Avila was named the 1991 Florida Sun Conference Coach of the Year…Avila was inducted into the St. Thomas University Athletics Hall of Fame in November, 2016.
  • Served as General Manager of the Daytona Beach Admirals of the Florida State League in 1987 and worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 1986.
  • A graduate of Hialeah High School, Avila earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in 1986.
  • A former catcher, Avila was signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Is the first Cuban-born general manager in Major League Baseball history.
  • Inducted into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • He and his wife, Yamile, have three children: sons, Alexander and Alan, and daughter, Annelisa Marie, and three grandchildren, Asher, Avery and Zoey.
  • Is the son of Ralph Avila, former Vice President of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now Senior Scouting Advisor, Dominican Republic. He was named 2006 International Scout of the Year by Major League Baseball.

David Chadd - Vice President, Assistant General Manager

  • Enters his 16th season with the Tigers and the fifth full season in his current role after being named to the position on August 7, 2015...joined the organization on November 4, 2004 as Vice President, Amateur Scouting.
  • Is responsible for assisting Al Avila with the day-to-day baseball operations of the organization and the Major League club.
  • Guided the club in its selections of Alex Avila, Nicholas Castellanos, Chad Green, Corey Knebel, James McCann, Andrew Miller, Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly and Devon Travis during his tenure as Vice President, Amateur Scouting.
  • Recognized by Baseball America as the top scouting director of the 2000s.
  • Prior to joining the Tigers, Chadd spent three seasons as the Director of Amateur Scouting for the Boston Red Sox, signing Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and 2008 American League Most Valuable Player Dustin Pedroia.
  • Spent eight seasons (1994-2001) in the Florida Marlins scouting department, last serving as the Director of Scouting during the 2001 season...joined the Marlins as an area scout covering the Midwest in 1994, before being promoted to Midwest crosschecker in 1998.
  • Chadd spent four years as an assistant coach with Kansas State University (1992-93) and Wichita State University (1990-91).
  • Played outfield for Kansas State University and was named an All-American in 1988.
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in athletic administration from Wichita State University.
  • Inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame on January 30, 2010.
  • He and his wife, Janet, reside in Detroit and have four children, Drew, Nate, Haley and Hannah.

Scott Bream - Vice President, Player Personnel

  • Entering his 31st season in professional baseball, his 20th with the Tigers and fourth in his role as Vice President, Player Personnel...served in a variety of roles over 12 seasons (1999-2010) during his first stint with the Tigers.
  • Is active in scouting at the Major League level for the Tigers, and is directly involved in special assignments for the organization.
  • Served as the Tigers Director of Pro Scouting from 2013-15.
  • Spent two seasons (2011-12) with the San Diego Padres as a Major League Scout/Special Assistant to the General Manager.
  • Worked nine seasons as a Major League scout with the Tigers (2002-10).
  • Joined the Tigers scouting team as an advance scout, spending three seasons in the role (1999-2001) before being named assistant general manager prior to the 2002 season.
  • Played 10 seasons at the Minor League level with the Padres (1989-95), Chicago Cubs (1995) and Tigers (1996-98)...he saw action with Double A Jacksonville and Triple A Toledo in his three seasons as a player in the Tigers organization.
  • Bream and his wife, Shelly, have two daughters, Brooke and Mackenzie.

Dave Littlefield - Vice President, Player Development

  • Enters his fifth season in his current role and sixth season with the organization after joining the Tigers as a Major League scout on October 20, 2014.
  • Oversees all aspects regarding player development in the Tigers Minor League system, including the club's academy in the Dominican Republic. Under his leadership, the system has risen in the MLB Pipeline rankings from near the bottom of baseball to No. 6 entering 2020.
  • Joined the Tigers after a seven-season stint as a Special Assistant to the General Manager and Major League scout for the Chicago Cubs.
  • Prior to joining the Cubs in 2007, he spent seven seasons as the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. During those seven seasons he oversaw the drafting and signing of Andrew McCutchen, Tony Watson, Neil Walker and Starling Marte. He also traded for the Pirates only Rookie of the Year in outfielder Jason Bay and 2006 NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez. For his efforts and those of his staff, the Pirates were named the 2002 Organization of the Year by Topps.
  • Before joining the Pirates, he was the Assistant General Manager with the Florida Marlins, where he assisted the GM in all aspects of baseball operations, was in charge of the club’s scouting efforts in the Far East and supervised the construction of the Marlins baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.
  • Joined the Montreal Expos as an amateur scout in 1991 as a National Crosschecker and East Coast Supervisor. Within the Expos system, Littlefield advanced to Director of Player Development, a position he held for his final three seasons with Montreal.
  • Began his MLB career with three seasons in the Tigers organization as an area scout and East Coast Scouting Supervisor.
  • Prior to his front office career in the Majors, Littlefield served as an assistant baseball coach for three seasons at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts, followed by three seasons in the same capacity at Clemson University.
  • Signed out of high school by the Phillies as a Minor League free agent and caught for three years in the Phillies and Yankees farm systems...played football and earned a masters in sport management at UMass.
  • Inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in July, 2017 and was selected to the Mid Atlantic Scouts Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • He and his wife, Joanna, have a daughter, Andrea, and a son, Derrick.

Ron Colangelo - Vice President, Communications

  • Ron Colangelo enters his 29th year in professional sports and 11th season with the Tigers after joining the ballclub on June 16, 2008.
  • Oversees strategic communications for the club’s business and baseball operations departments.
  • Works directly with ownership and corporate communications team, Group President of Sports and Entertainment, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, Executive Vice President of Business Operations and management team on messaging and positioning for the organization.
  • Responsible for day-to-day media and public relations and marketing communications driving business value for the club’s marketing, digital, community and sales initiatives, and building brand equity beyond traditional media outlets.
  • Developed framework and executed plan to bring first-ever global soccer match to Comerica Park and The District Detroit, AS Roma vs. Paris Saint-Germain as part of International Champions Cup.
  • Is primary spokesperson on business and public affairs and crisis communications issues.
  • Identifies storylines and creates original content that drive the club’s narrative across broadcast and social platforms.
  • Served as the Vice President of Public Relations for the NFL’s New York Jets from 2002-07 where he was the club’s spokesperson and responsible for communicating the team’s image in the marketplace, collaborating with social media, marketing partnerships, ticket operations, broadcasting, and community and alumni relations.
  • Spent six seasons with the Florida Marlins, serving as Vice President of Communications after his promotion from Director of Baseball Information and Publicity...directed media operations for the 1997 World Series Champions.
  • Worked three seasons with the NHL’s Florida Panthers...joined the club prior to their inaugural 1993 season as a media relations associate and developed programs and intitiatives to introduce hockey to Southeast Florida.
  • Began his career in Minor League baseball with the West Palm Beach Expos where he served as radio play-by-play announcer, while also overseeing media relations and sales from 1990-93.
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from William Paterson University...also attended Arizona State University.
  • Has run eight marathons, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and San Diego.
  • He and wife, Sandra, have a daughter, Catalina, a son, Nicolas, and he has a son, Ryan. They have two rescue dogs, Gigi and Pablo.