BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Monday Quarterback Club has named Bills president Russ Brandon as the recipient of the 29th annual Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award for the 2014 season.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award was established by the Monday Quarterback Club in 1986 to honor former players for long and meritorious service to the Bills. In a special tribute to Mr. Wilson this year, Monday Quarterback Club president Jim Sabo (pictured) and the club decided to honor a current staff member who worked closely with the late team owner who passed away in March.
Brandon is just the third administrator to be honored in the history of the award, joining Vice President of Community Relations Gretchen Geitter in 2008 and former public relations executive Denny Lynch in 2007.
An alumnus of St. John Fisher College, Brandon joined the Bills as Executive Director of Business Development in 1997, having previously worked in the front office of MLB’s Florida Marlins and the Rochester Red Wings (Triple A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles). He has held several other front office positions since then and was named Chief Operating Officer/General Manager in 2008 and later President/CEO by late owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.
As CEO, Brandon increased his influence on the team and handled most of its day-to-day operations while owner Ralph Wilson’s health began to decline. This culminated in Wilson officially naming Brandon as President on January 1, 2013, giving him full control over the franchise. Brandon is only the third person to serve as President of the Bills, after Wilson and Tom Donahoe.
Among other things, Brandon is credited with expanding the Buffalo Bills fan base throughout the Western New York/Southern Ontario region, and spearheaded the Bills Training Camp move to St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y. in 1999. Since then the Bills have continually ranked among the NFL’s best in training camp attendance.
A native of East Syracuse, N.Y., Brandon assumed the title of President when new owners Terry and Kim Pegula bought the team. An influential NFL executive, Brandon also serves on several league business and marketing committees.
Date - Pos. - Name
1986 - DE Ben Williams
1987 - G Joe DeLamielleure
1988 - S Steve Freeman
1989 - WR Jerry Butler
1990 - G Tim Vogler
1991 - QB Joe Ferguson
1992 - OT Ken Jones
1993 - CB Booker Edgerson
1994 - CB Butch Byrd
1995 - CB Tony Greene
1996 - WR Frank Lewis, RB Roland Hooks
1997 - TE Charles Ferguson
1997 - G Jim Ritcher
1998 - OT Stew Barber
1998 - QB/WR Ed Rutkowski
1999 - G Reggie McKenzie, NT Fred Smerlas
2000 - LB Darryl Talley, E Ernie Warlick
2001 - C Kent Hull, WR/KR Steve Tasker
2002 - WR Don Beebe
2003 - RB Thurman Thomas
2004 - LB/P Paul Maguire
2005 - QB Frank Reich
2006 - DE Phil Hansen
2007 - WR Lou Piccone, Denny Lynch
2008 - S Mark Kelso, VP Gretchen Geitter
2009 - WR Andre Reed
2010 - OL Ruben Brown
2011 - K Scott Norwood
2012 - P Chris Mohr
2013 - C Al Bemiller
2014 - Pres. Russ Brandon