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Wilson's niece earns promotion with Bills

The Buffalo Bills promoted Mary Owen to executive vice president for strategic planning Monday.

The promotion moves Owen behind only owner and team president Ralph C. Wilson, Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon and treasurer Jeff Littmann on the business side of the team's organizational chart.

Chief football official Buddy Nix also has the title of executive vice president to go along with that of general manager.

Owen, who is Wilson's niece, started her career with the Bills as an intern in 1997 and joined the front office full time in 2000. Her previous positions included coordinator of marketing communications, manager of marketing communications, director of business systems and, since 2006, vice president of strategic planning.

"Mary is one of this league's bright young business executives, and she has demonstrated that she is ready for the responsibility that goes with this promotion," Wilson said in a team statement. "She is a great asset to me and the Bills and we are fortunate to have her in our organization."

"My vision for Mary since she first joined our organization in 1997 was for her to earn her way into a senior management position, and this promotion is an evolution of her hard work, knowledge gained and continued experience," Wilson added. "She plays an integral role in our organization and her promotion is based on her performance."

Owen will continue to focus on the organization's business operations, working with Bills senior management on long-term planning and regionalization efforts.

She has played a key role in the Bills Toronto Series since its inception and serves as the team's managing director for the partnership with Rogers Communication.

She currently serves on numerous NFL committees, including the Advisory Committee on NFL Giving, the NFL's International Committee and the NFL's Super Bowl Committee. She also is a member of the Board of Trustees for NFL Charities.

"We have the most passionate fans in the National Football League, and my focus is to continue to strengthen this franchise for Buffalo and the Western New York Region," Owen said.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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