Northwest and Arizona League President Bob Richmond and Rochester Red Wings Controller Darlene Giardina, respectively, are this year’s winners of the Warren Giles and the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Awards.
Richmond and Giardina will be honored during the Baseball Winter Meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., from December 3-6.
Warren Giles Award–Bob Richmond, President, Northwest & Arizona Leagues
The Warren Giles Award annually honors outstanding service as a league president. Bob Richmond has led the Northwest League for 30 years during his two stints as president. He also helped found the Arizona League in 1988 and has served as its president since its inception.
“From stabilizing the league in the 1970s when the existence of some of its clubs was in doubt, to spearheading its growth and development into one of our most successful circuits, Bob’s leadership, foresight and experience as a consultant have been invaluable to the Northwest League,” Pat O’Conner, President of Minor League Baseball, said. “His three decades of service to the Northwest League, in addition to his duties as Arizona League President, validate his selection as a two-time winner of the Warren Giles Award.”
“It’s quite a thrill to again be honored as the recipient of the Warren Giles Award,” Richmond said. “This award is a testament to the directors, GMs and staffs of the NWL who all do such a great job making our league what it is today. To them I say ‘thank you for making this award possible’.”
Richmond was serving as the attorney for the Northwest League in 1974 when he was asked if he’d assume the president’s role temporarily, while a suitable replacement was found. Bob enjoyed the role so much that he held the post for eight years, before leaving to concentrate on his consulting firm, Baseball Opportunities, Inc., that represents buyers and sellers of Minor League Baseball clubs.
Ten years after leaving the Northwest League, its members came calling again. Richmond began his second tenure as NWL president in 1991. Since then, three of the leagues eight clubs have had new ballparks built. The Hillsboro Hops, who recently relocated from Yakima, Wash., to a Portland, Ore., suburb for the 2013 season, just broke ground on their new ballpark.
Richmond is retiring from his position as Northwest League president at the end of this year, in order to spend more time with his family and friends and to free up some time for other things. He will remain an advisor to the league in 2013.
Bob will continue to be the president of the Arizona League. He is also a co-owner of the Midland RockHounds (Class AA; Texas League).
Richmond, who also won the honor in 1999, will receive his award at the Banquet on Thursday, Dec. 6. He is the fifth man to win the Giles Award twice, since it was first presented in 1984. International League President Randy Mobley (1994, 2002), Midwest League President George Spelius (1997, 2010), Florida State League President Chuck Murphy (1991, 2011) and former South Atlantic League President John Moss (1993, 2007) are the others who have received the Giles Award on multiple occasions.
Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award–Darlene Giardina, Rochester Red Wings
Darlene Giardina has been Controller for the Rochester Red Wings since 1990. In addition to her daily financial duties, Darlene oversees the accounting department of Rochester’s self-operated concessions business at Frontier Field. She has also successfully kept track of the intricacies involving Rochester’s lease with Monroe County.
For the past several years, Giardina has likewise been responsible for the finances of the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League, under a management agreement in which the Red Wings entered into in 2007.
The 2012 season brought even more duties for Darlene, as Rochester played host to 40 “home games” of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, whose stadium is undergoing a major renovation. As a result, Darlene had to keep the finances for three different organizations this year.
But Giardina has proven more than capable of multi-tasking. Beginning in 1997, the International League Red Wings shared Frontier Field with a professional soccer team for 10 years. The facility was home to a professional lacrosse team for two of those years, as well.
Through her knowledge, hard work, organization, integrity and leadership, Darlene has successfully handled all of the responsibilities placed upon her and her department. She has been one of the driving forces behind Rochester’s growth as a small business, when she arrived, to a multi-million dollar operation today.
“The tremendous growth of the Rochester Red Wings operation the last two decades wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication and of Darlene,” O’Conner said. “Her willingness to take on additional financial responsibilities and Darlene’s ability to complete all of them in the same thorough manner as her other duties makes her a very deserving recipient of the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award.”
“Given that there are so many deserving candidates throughout Minor League Baseball, I’m extremely humbled and honored to be receiving the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award,” said Giardina. “When I started with the Red Wings in 1990, I never dreamed that I would become so ingrained in this great industry. I am privileged to work every day with the great people of Rochester Community Baseball and want to give a very special recognition to my mentor, Naomi Silver, who won this same award in 1994.”
“Darlene has been an extremely vital cog in our operation for over 20 years and it’s great to see her tireless efforts and her meticulous attention to detail being recognized by this prestigious award,” said Red Wings GM Dan Mason. “Everyone at the Red Wings is very proud of her and we couldn’t be happier for her.”
Giardina will receive the 36th Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year honor at the Awards Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 3.
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