We have personnel news to report from the Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League) and the Fort Myers Miracle (High A; Florida State League).
In Frisco, the RoughRiders have named Art Garcia as their director of communications, and promoted of Ryan Rouillard to radio broadcaster and communications assistant.
Garcia’s primary responsibilities include developing and growing strong relationships with media outlets, social media influencers and key stakeholders in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. Garcia joins the RoughRiders with more than 20 years experience in media and communications, largely in Dallas/Fort Worth. A 1992 graduate of Texas A&M and longtime Arlington resident, Garcia served as University of Texas at Arlington assistant athletic director for communications (2012-17) and Dallas Mavericks Interactive Content Manager (2007-08). Garcia also had sports writing stints at NBA.com (2008-2011), the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1999-2007) and the San Antonio Express-News (1995-1999).
Rouillard returns to the Riders for a second season after serving as a broadcasting and communications assistant with the club in 2016. He came to Frisco after spending the previous three seasons broadcasting in the West Coast League. The 22-year-old University of Oregon graduate hails from Mercer Island, Washington.
In addition to Garcia and Rouillard, the RoughRiders have made additional hires and promotions. Amanda Nishikubo and Jerry Hazleton were hired as corporate sales executives, Juan Gonzalez and Enrique Saldana as ticket sales coordinators, and Alejandro Luna and Armando Ramirez as group sales executives. David Dwyer was promoted to group sales director; Ross Lanford to ticket sales senior director; Josh Bray, Tyler Ellis and Jonathan Fletcher to senior corporate sales executives; and Adam Smith and Tommy Burrell to group sales executive.
On February 8, the Miracle announced the departure of Brice Zimmerman. Zimmerman, formerly the director of broadcasting and media relations, has accepted a position in the Institute Communications department at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga.
“While the Miracle are sad to lose ‘our voice,’ we are excited for what the future holds for Brice and his family,” said Miracle Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Hemmen. “For the last six years, Brice had been a huge part of our organization. From creating all of our media content to public address for Spring Training and calling every Miracle game on the radio including our only Florida State League Championship in 2014, he will truly be missed.”
Zimmerman, 33, arrived in Fort Myers in 2011 as the Broadcasting and Multimedia Assistant. In 2012, Brice was promoted to the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations while assuming lead play-by-play duties for the full 140-game Miracle schedule. Zimmerman was behind the microphone when the Miracle defeated the Daytona Cubs in a five-game seres in 2014 to clinch the FSL championship and he called over 750 games in the Florida State League.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” said Zimmerman. “I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Miracle, the Minnesota Twins, the city of Fort Myers and the entirety of Southwest Florida. There are so many people that have helped me and guided my career since I’ve been here that I don’t have time to thank them all. This is a truly beautiful place and I’m really going to miss calling the ballpark ‘my office’ everyday.”
In 2016, Brice was named the FSL Broadcaster of the Year as voted on by general managers and broadcasters in the league. Prior to providing the play-by-play of the 2016 FSL All-Star Game, Zimmerman hosted the 55th FSL All-Star Game Dinner festivities on June 17 and conducted an interview with Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame play-by-play broadcaster John Gordon.
“I really am honored by and thankful to each and every fan that listened to the broadcasts over these past six seasons,” said Zimmerman. “It was a labor of love and I cherished each day in the booth. I have many wonderful stories to share… one day.”
This fall, Gulfshore Business magazine tabbed Zimmerman as one of Southwest Florida’s 40-under-40. In 2015, Brice was named one of 12 Under-40 Achievers in Southwest Florida by the News-Press.
In addition to his roles as the broadcaster and in media relations, Brice also served as the public address announcer for Spring Training, the primary graphic designer for the Miracle and maintained the team’s social media accounts.
A native of the Atlanta area, Zimmerman will be closer to home.
“With our family expanding, my wife and I felt it was time to start looking for the next step and a goal was to get back towards that region,” said Zimmerman. “Georgia Tech is well known as an innovative, cutting edge institution with tons of fascinating stories. I’m looking forward to telling those stories through traditional and non-traditional means on social media. It’s a really cool opportunity.”
At Georgia Tech, Brice will be a part of a growing digital and social media team that focuses on all aspects of the institution.
The Miracle are currently undergoing a search to find a new voice for the 2017 season.