The Charlotte Checkers are pleased to announce that they have named Mary Grams as their IOA/American Specialty Person of the Year for the 2021-22 season. The American Hockey League program recognizes a winner from each team who has played a significant role in supporting their team and community.
Grams, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Checkers, played a key role in restoring the team’s business operations after an 18-month absence while leading many of the team’s community elements and leading its own charitable efforts.
Despite the withdrawal of the 2020-21 season, the Checkers’ corporate sales department, run by Grams, was able to retain 95% of its partnerships ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. This, combined with the addition of new key partners, saw the team equal its total sponsor value from the pre-pandemic season as it emerged from a Calder Cup championship. The Checkers continued that momentum throughout the season, hitting their annual sponsorship goal in February with months to spare.
Grams also organized numerous sponsor-driven team charity elements throughout the season. For the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by Novant Health, Grams oversaw the delivery of a record 4,000 stuffed animals to several local nonprofit organizations. She also hosted a March of Dimes Night and diaper drive on behalf of Piedmont Natural Gas, a food drive on behalf of Farm Bureau Insurance, and managed thousands of dollars in donations to the Independence Fund and Save our Allies through the through various auctions.
In his day, Grams, who lost his mother to ALS, raised $22,500 for the ALS Association during the season, bringing his personal fundraising total to over $200,000 over the course of the season. of his years working with the organization. She also volunteers with a local hospice.