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Webb makes MiLB history: first female league president

Southern LeagueLori Webb is the new president of the Class AA Southern League — the first woman to be chosen for a league presidency in the history of Minor League Baseball.

Her appointment is effective Aug. 1.

Webb becomes the sixth president in the Southern League’s modern era.  She joins Sam C. Smith (1964-71), Billy Hitchcock (1971-80), Jimmy Bragan (1981-94), Arnold D. Fielkow (1994-2000) and Don Mincher (2000-11).

“I am excited and honored to be entrusted with the Southern League presidency,” Webb said. “I eagerly await the challenges ahead and look forward to providing the continuity and stability our league has enjoyed for so many years. My predecessors all contributed to the success of the Southern League and I will strive to honor their efforts while leading the league forward in the coming years.”

“Lori Webb has earned the trust and confidence of Southern League members over the years and, particularly by her professionalism and performance since Don Mincher’s retirement last October,” said Doug Kirchhofer, Tennessee Smokies President and Southern League Advisory Committee Chair. “The Directors look forward to continuing a great working relationship with Lori as she assumes her new leadership role.”

“Lori Webb’s selection as Southern League President is significant in many ways,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner. “First, it is worthy recognition of Lori’s talents and years of dedicated service to the Southern League. Secondly, it is groundbreaking that the Southern League named a female to lead the league into the 21st century. Finally, it is impressive that the league had the high level of interest in the position and drew such a quality pool of candidates from which to name its next president. We congratulate Lori for her accomplishment and the league for successfully working through the process to name its next leader.”

A member of the Southern League office since 1994, Webb began in the role of Executive Assistant to the President and was later promoted to Vice President of Operations. Upon Mincher’s election in 2000, Webb was also appointed as Corporate Secretary and Treasurer. 

The election of Webb represents the second consecutive time the Board of Directors has filled the league’s presidential vacancy from within.  Mincher was elected Southern League President in 2000 after serving in that capacity on an interim basis for several months and spending the better part of the previous decade as owner of the Huntsville Stars.  Following Mincher’s retirement in October of 2011, Southern League Vice President and Mississippi Braves General Manager Steve DeSalvo served as Interim President.

While serving as Vice President of Operations, Webb was recognized numerous times both by the Southern League and Minor League Baseball.  Webb was selected by MiLB as a co-recipient of the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award in 2001.  In 2004, Webb was chosen as the inaugural winner of the Southern League Woman of Excellence Award. Six years later, league general managers again selected Webb for that honor.

In 2011, President Pat O’Conner of Minor League Baseball presented Webb with a Presidential Citation for excellence and leadership in the Southern League.  As evidenced by her presidential appointment in 2012, that praise has been echoed by the Southern League Board of Directors.

A native of Seneca Falls, NY, Webb graduated from Central City Business Institute in Syracuse, NY.  Before joining the Southern League, Webb held administrative positions in the medical, publishing and franchising fields.  She and her husband Jim reside in Marietta, GA and have three grown children and one grandchild.   


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