Four staff members have been hired by the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC), which is collaborating with the NCAA to host the 2017 Phoenix Final Four.

“We’ve put together a strong team with experience executing major sporting events in Arizona,” PLOC Executive Director and CEO Dawn Rogers said. “There is much work to be done as we prepare for the Final Four and this group will work with our community partners to set a new standard for hosting this iconic event.”

The new hires include:

Stephanie Jarvis, vice president/chief operating officer

Jarvis will serve on the PLOC’s executive team and oversee all operations related to the Final Four and ancillary events. Jarvis served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Arizona Organizing Committee, which worked with the College Football Playoff to execute the 2016 CFP National Championship in Glendale. The former general counsel and chief compliance officer at Fiesta Bowl, Jarvis also worked for Indianapolis-based Horizon League, where she served as associate commissioner and general counsel. She ran the Horizon League’s compliance program to help member institutions understand and comply with NCAA regulations, and she oversaw numerous conference championships.

Alena Hicks, director of marketing and community engagement

Hicks will lead the Marketing Department and will oversee all committees involved in marketing, PLOC events and community engagement.  Hicks spent the past five years as the director of events and communication at the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. Her role included executing and marketing events such as the Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism, AZ Wine & Dine, Arizona Tourism Unity Dinner and other industry events. She also served as the association’s Board liaison and managed the association’s social media accounts.

Kyle Hedstrom, director of external relations

Hedstrom is part of the external relations team and will help to cultivate supporters for the PLOC. Hedstrom served on the host committees of the last two major sporting events in the Valley – the 2015 Super Bowl and the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. Hedstrom worked with the partnerships and activation teams of both committees, which were responsible for raising the funds to execute the events.

Nikki Balich, volunteer coordinator 

Balich will run the Phoenix Final Four volunteer program, helping to recruit, train and manage communications with the thousands of volunteers required to execute the event. A native Arizonan with vast sports experience, Balich serves as vice president of special projects/marketing for the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission and is the Associate Executive Director of the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Fiesta Bowl and is a past Board Member of the National Football Foundation.

The new hires join Dawn Rogers, Executive Director and CEO and Brooke Todare, Vice President, External Relations of the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee.

Read more about Arizona’s mega-sporting events.