Chuck Greenberg moves to the chairman’s spot, while Todd Parney is the new president, Rick Janac the new executive vice president and Jason Dambach the new GM.The State College Spikes (short season; NY-Penn League)announced a restructuring of the club’s management team for the 2009 season and beyond. The announcements were made by Chuck Greenberg, Spikes’ President for the club’s first three seasons, who will now hold the title of Chairman & Managing Partner.
As part of the changes to the Spikes’ management, Todd Parnell has been named team President, Rick Janac has been promoted from General Manager to Executive Vice President, Jason Dambach has been named the club’s new General Manager, and Director of Ticket Sales Chris Phillips has been elevated to Assistant General Manager.
"With our ownership group’s recent sale of the Altoona Curve, the past few months have given us a great opportunity to come up with the most effective plan for the structure of the Spikes management team," said Greenberg. "Our plan has resulted in the formation of one of the most talented, experienced and creative management groups in Minor League Baseball. With all of our best athletes, so to speak, under the same roof at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the end result will be an even better overall operation, including a dramatically-expanded imprint in the community and a further enhanced fan experience at the ballpark."
Parnell is embarking on his landmark 20th season in Minor League Baseball in 2009. "Parney" spent the past seven seasons (2002-08) as the General Manager of the Altoona Curve, a position he relinquished this past December after the sale of the franchise from Curve Baseball LP to the family of Robert F. Lozinak. During his time as Curve GM, he led the franchise to gain national stature as one of the most creative and innovative teams in professional sports. The Curve won the prestigious Larry MacPhail Promotional Award in 2004, the 2006 Baseball America Freitas Award as the top Double-A franchise, and added the highest honor bestowed annually upon a Minor League Baseball club, the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy, in 2006.
Parnell’s career began in 1990, when he joined the Eastern League’s Reading Phillies. He later became the R-Phils’ Assistant General Manager before returning to his home state of North Carolina in 1996 to take over as the Vice President & General Manager of the South Atlantic League’s Piedmont Boll Weevils (later re-named the Kannapolis Intimidators).
"Today’s announcements are important and exciting ones for the State College Spikes franchise and the great fans who have made the club’s first three seasons a success," said Parnell. "We are all committed to taking this franchise to an even higher level starting in 2009 and with all of our best resources based in State College our fans should expect an unrivaled family entertainment experience at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park and an even more active presence in the community."
Janac, the Spikes’ General Manager since the inception of the franchise, will become the club’s Executive Vice President. In his new role, Janac will continue to be involved in all major club decisions and will also remain the club’s primary liason with Penn State University. He will take on an additional role in the franchise’s strategic planning, while also continuing to lead the Spikes’ business development and corporate sales efforts.
The 37-year old Janac has overseen a Spikes’ franchise which has increased single-game and season attendance totals in each of its first three seasons and successfully landed the 2009 New York-Penn League All-Star Game, which the club will host this August.
Rick has been involved in professional baseball since 1997, when he started as a ticket account executive with the Triple-A Phoenix Firebirds. From 1998-2001, he worked for the Class-A High Desert Mavericks of the California League, spending his final two seasons there as Vice President and General Manager. Janac moved to Central Pennsylvania in 2002 to accept the position of Assistant General Manager with the Altoona Curve, a role he held until he was named the Spikes’ first general manager in May 2005.
"I have enjoyed my role as General Manager since well before the first pitch in team history was ever thrown, I’m proud of what we worked hard to grow at the ballpark and in the community, and I am very much looking forward to being a big part of the bright future of the Spikes," said Janac. "The management team we have brought together under one roof gives the Spikes a tremendously successful and talented group of individuals who are committed to taking this franchise to yet another level."
Dambach becomes just the second General Manager in Spikes’ history after spending the past 10 seasons working in broadcasting and public relations with the Altoona Curve. He will be responsible for the Spikes’ day-to-day business and baseball operations, overseeing the club’s front office staff and taking a leading role in the planning for the 2009 New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The 32-year old most recently served as Altoona’s radio play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Communications. In addition to his primary role with the Curve, Dambach has also worked closely with the Spikes since the inception of the franchise, overseeing the team’s broadcasting, media relations, publications and on-line efforts.
A native of Punxsutawney, PA, Dambach joined Altoona as a broadcasting intern during the team’s inaugural 1999 season shortly after graduating from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He was added to the team’s full-time roster in 2000 and was the only front office staff member to be with the Curve during each of their first 10 seasons.
"I’m very grateful to Chuck Greenberg, Todd Parnell and Rick Janac for the opportunity to lead the Spikes into this exciting next chapter in franchise history," said Dambach. "I can’t think of a better situation for a General Manager to be in when you look at the already strong bond between the Spikes and the State College community, the first LEED Certified ballpark in the country and a state-of-the-art facility on the campus of one of the nation’s leading universities, the years of experience and amount of expertise among our management team, and the dedication and hard-working nature of our existing front office staff."
Phillips, who has been promoted from Director of Ticket Sales to Assistant General Manager, will continue his role in overseeing the Spikes’ ticket and group sales department, while adding additional responsibilities in managing other areas of the operation. The State College native is entering his fourth season as a member of the Spikes front office staff, having served as Director of Ticket Sales since October 2006. Overall, Phillips enters his seventh season in professional baseball, having originally broken into the business as a Ticket Account Executive with the Altoona Curve from 2003-05.