The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League) announced four staff promotions from all areas of the organization, including grounds, merchandise, community relations, and clubhouse management.
Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer said that the promotions came after each staff member demonstrated leadership, a commitment to excellence, and a desire to grow and improve professionally.
“What we found when we held our very first job fairs last year, and again this year, is that there is no shortage of talent in our community when it comes to the type of customer service work we do with the Blue Wahoos,” said Studer. “When we survey our fans and find that they are consistently happy with the service we’re offering them, we know we’re doing something right, and it’s just good business to make sure those employees are rewarded and recognized, compensated fairly, and given the chance to advance.”
The announcement of the promotions, which went into effect at the beginning of the baseball season, follows the Blue Wahoos announcement of a “Wahoos Wage” of a minimum of $9 per hour for seasonal and hourly employees, which was greeted by cheers and applause at the Blue Wahoos employee training before Opening Day in April.
Studer noted that in addition to promoting employees within the Blue Wahoos organization, dozens of the 350+ seasonal employees were also able to find full-time employment within the Pensacola area, after a Blue Wahoos-sponsored job placement effort was implemented at the end of 2012.
“Rishy and I firmly believe that if we’re able to help people find work, give them skills to grow, and treat them professionally, that our entire community benefits,” said Studer. “If we are helping employees outgrow their jobs, or find full-time work elsewhere because of the skills they learn with the Blue Wahoos, we count it as a victory. We’ve helped that employee, their employer, and we’ve just opened up a spot for another new job for someone else, so we all win.”
Willie Lawrence, promoted to Assistant Head Groundskeeper. Lawrence was part of the seasonal staff last year, and this year came on board full-time, where he coordinates the care of the outfield and infield grass as well as the infield clay. Lawrence is also pursuing a degree in Sports Management at the University of Florida. (Willie also serves as volunteer choreographer for the grounds crew performances during Blue Wahoos games.)
Denise Richardson, promoted to Merchandise Manager. During the 2012 season, Denise served as Merchandise and Community Relations Assistant. Denise now manages the Bait and Tackle Shop, the team’s souvenir shop, at the Bayfront Stadium, and handles inventory and product marketing for the entire Blue Wahoos merchandising efforts.
Donna Kirby, promoted to Director of Promotions and Community Relations. Donna came on board with the Blue Wahoos during the 2012 season as Merchandise Manager. She can usually found up and down the stadium concourse during games coordinating nightly promotions. In addition, Kirby works to ensure that the Blue Wahoos are represented at community events, gatherings and school outreach programs.
Mike Crenshaw, promoted to Visiting Clubhouse Manager. Crenshaw joined the Wahoos during the 2012 season as a member of the facilities crew, and was promoted at the beginning of the 2013 season. Currently, he manages the visiting clubhouse, ensuring that visiting teams have the facilities, equipment, and other necessarily amenities to ensure that the Blue Wahoos are upholding Minor League standards, as well as being good hosts for visiting teams.
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