In Omaha, the Storm Group Chasers’ Sales Department features the two new team members, Alex Jerden and Lauren Teer, working with newly promoted Group Sales Manager Alex Beck. Jerden hails from Ann Arbor, Mich., and has previous experience in Minor League Baseball working with the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in 2014. Teer is a North Carolina native and spent last season interning with the Charlotte Knights.
After rejoining the Storm Chasers as a Sponsorship Sales Executive, Danny Dunbar has been promoted to Corporate Sales Manager for the team moving forward. Dunbar worked with the Chasers in the Group Sales Department during the 2009-2012 seasons. Brett Myers, who worked as Ballpark Operations Manager for four seasons, has been promoted to Director of Ballpark Operations.
Four interns who worked with the Storm Chasers earlier this year have been hired on to full-time positions, including new Community Relations Manager Danielle Jelensperger. Shawn Fitzpatrick, who worked as the Special Events and Game Operations Intern in 2014, is now the Special Events Coordinator. Madison Rozell will focus on the 2015 All-Star Game and Special Projects, while 2014 Fun Bunch Program member Taylor Edmonds has been hired on as the Community Relations Assistant.
The Bridgeport Bluefish received two postseason awards from the Atlantic League. The Executive of the Year has been awarded to Ken Shepard, the late general manager of the Bluefish, and the inaugural Ken Shepard Award for Promotional Excellence has been given to the staff of the Bridgeport Bluefish. The recipients were voted on by a committee comprised of general managers from Atlantic League ball clubs.
Shepard was the general manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish from 2012 until September 2014, when he passed away at age 49 after a courageous battle with cancer. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native was involved in professional baseball for over 20 years, including time spent with teams in Geneva, N.Y.; Prince William, Va.; Savannah, Ga.; Wilmington, Del.; and the Atlantic City Surf, one of six Atlantic League charter member teams.
In 1988, Shepard spent 12 consecutive nights in the Geneva Cubs’ press box until the club snapped their 18-game losing streak with a win. The feat made national news and helped increase the Class A club’s attendance 36% over the previous season, earning Shepard his first of two Larry MacPhail Promotional Awards, given each season in Minor League Baseball to the club that demonstrates top promotional efforts.
“Ken was a promotional genius and was respected throughout baseball for his innovative tactics,” said Rick White, Atlantic League President. “He is missed by all who knew him, and the League will continue to honor and remember him by presenting the Ken Shepard Award at the end of each season.”
The Ken Shepard Award is now an Atlantic League award recognizing extraordinary promotional impact, whether a single promotion, or a series of noteworthy efforts during the course of the season. The inaugural Ken Shepard Award for Promotional Excellence has been awarded to the Administrative Staff of the Bridgeport Bluefish, in honor of Shepard and the team’s 2014 achievements, such as welcoming Pete Rose as team manager for a game, the Battle of the Sexes game against local amateur softball team, the Stratford Brakettes, and a Big Brothers Big Sisters night in which fans who donated clothing received a special Bluefish jersey.
The Hickory Crawdads added three new members to their front office, with Director of Ticket Operations Gian D’Amico, Director of Creative Services Crystal Lin and Group Sales Executive Kyle May joining a ‘Dads organization that won the South Atlantic League’s Club Merit Award in 2014.
Gian worked for the Crawdads as the Ticket & Merchandise Assistant in 2014. Prior to joining the ‘Dads, he was an administrative intern for the Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics while also working as a manager at Foot Locker. Gian graduated from Kennesaw St. University in December with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management.
Crystal served as the Media Relations Assistant with the Crawdads during the 2014 season. Before coming to Hickory, she worked as a Team Shop Sales Associate and a game day Baseball Information Assistant with the Cleveland Indians. Crystal graduated in 2012 from Ohio St. University with a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication.
Kyle rejoins the Crawdads after spending the 2014 season as the ‘Dads Food & Beverage Assistant. He previously worked as an Entertainment Intern with the Carolina Panthers in 2013. Kyle graduated in December from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management & German Language.
The front office additions are accompanied by a promotion for longtime Crawdads employee Douglas Locascio, who is now the Director of Corporate Sales after spending five seasons as the Director of Ticket & Merchandise.