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Cook joins revamped Barons front office

Birmingham BaronsBig changes in the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) front office this offseason, as John Cook leaves Minor League Baseball to join the staff as Director of Sales.

Cook previouslt was Senior Vice President of Business Ops at St. Pete; previously he was general manager of the Clearwater Threshers (High Class A; Florida State League).

“We are very excited to bring these new faces into the Barons front office, and we believe their presence and efforts in the coming months will lead to an even greater fan experience for everyone that attends a Barons game in 2011,” Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson said.

The 39-year-old Cook earned a degree in advertising from the University of Alabama in 1996.

“John has been instrumental in the development of Minor League Baseball. Through John’s leadership and guidance, our staff has performed at an extremely high level to advance the Minor League Baseball brand and our many initiatives,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “I appreciate John’s loyalty and dedication for Minor League Baseball and my administration. We will miss his influence in St. Petersburg, but know he will bring a wealth of experience to the Barons’ operation.”

The Barons made numerous other changes, including the addition of Demetrius Hubbard, who joins the Barons in the sales department as a marketing assistant for 2011 season. The 37-year-old Hubbard previously worked as an account manager with Landstar for the past year. A product of Mississippi Valley State University, this will mark his first venture into Minor League Baseball.

Craig Spillman joins the Barons as the director of concessions after spending two seasons as an intern with the club. Spillman, a native of Newburgh, IN, previously spent the 2007 season as a catering intern before returning to the organization as a concessions intern in 2010. A 2010 graduate of Indiana University, he holds a degree in sports marketing an management.

Brandon Harms remains with the Barons as the new tickets manager after spending the 2010 season a marketing intern. The Boston native also spent the 2008 season working with the North Shore Spirit (independent; Can-Am Association). The 25-year-old is a 2008 graduate of UMass where he earned a degree in sports management.

Charlie Santiago remains with the organization as a corporate event planner in the group sales department, his fifth year overall with the club. Santiago spent the previous two seasons as the director of ticket operations and also served in the group sales department in 2008. The 28-year old is a graduate of Troy University where he studied sports fitness.

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