Lots of personnel news for the Everett AquaSox (short season A; Northwest League), Bowling Green Hot Rods and Great Lakes Loons (Low Class A; Midwest League), Corpus Christi Hooks (Class AA; Texas League), Battle Creek Bombers and Waterloo Bucks (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
In Everett, Katie Crawford Woods has been named Assistant General Manager of the AquaSox, while Erica Fensterbush has been promoted to Group Sales and Merchandise Manager. The AquaSox, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, will celebrate their 30th year in Everett in 2014.
Crawford Woods, who was named Northwest League Female Executive of the Year for 2013, joined the AquaSox in 2009 as the Community Relations Manager before being promoted to Director of Community Relations in 2011. She oversees the AquaSox community outreach efforts, including the growth of the AquaSox Community Fund and the Hit a Home Run in Reading program, which has grown to include over 25,000 local students. She also oversees the team’s media relations, on field entertainment and the team’s host family program, and in her new role will manage more of the day-to-day operations of the office.
“Through her hard work and dedication to the team, Katie has played a large part in the success of the AquaSox over the last five seasons and is well deserving of this promotion,” said AquaSox Executive Vice-President Tom Backemeyer.
Fensterbush first joined the AquaSox front office staff in 2011 where she has served as an Account Executive for the past two seasons. In addition to working directly with season ticket holders and helping increase ticket sales for the team, she also oversees all merchandise sales for the Frogs. In her new role, she will lead all aspects of group sales and help coordinate corporate events at the ballpark, while continuing to oversee merchandise for the team.
“Erica has been a huge asset to our organization over the last two seasons,” said Backemeyer. “We think that in this new role, she will be able to showcase her energy and enthusiasm as well as her passion for putting together great events for our fans.”
Adam Nuse was named General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, filling the position that was opened when former General Manager Ryan Gates left to pursue other opportunities following the 2013 season.
Nuse joins the Hot Rods after serving as the Vice President of Sales for the Corpus Christi Hooks. Adam was a member of the Hooks’ inaugural staff in 2004 as an account executive and quickly worked his way up the ranks, serving as the team’s Director of Group Sales, before being promoted to his last position as Vice President of Sales in 2009.
“I am excited to join the Katzoff family in their vision for the future of Hot Rods baseball,” said Nuse. “I have long admired their Reno (Nevada) operation as they have helped revolutionize the way Minor League Baseball is operated.”
A Texas native, Nuse began his career in baseball as an intern for the Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in 2001. After receiving his BBA in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma in 2003, he pursued his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Wichita State University, where he also worked in the Shockers’ athletic department as a marketing associate and group sales director.
“Adam is a perfect fit for the city of Bowling Green and Hot Rods baseball,” said Stuart Katzoff, owner of the Hot Rods. “He has a history of being very engaged in the community and will be a great asset to the city.”
In addition to the hiring of Adam Nuse, the Hot Rods also announce the following front office promotions and hires.
Ken Clary, former Assistant General Manager of Operations, has been elevated to Senior Vice President of Operations. Clary, a member of the Hot Rods inaugural front office staff, enters his sixth season with the team after previously serving as the General Manager of the Columbus Catfish (Low Class A; Sally League)
Promotions Manager Jennifer Johnson has been appointed as the new Director of Marketing and Promotions. Johnson enters her sixth season with the Hot Rods after previously serving as an intern during the team’s inaugural season and as the team’s office manager.
Matt Ingram has earned a promotion to Box Office/Season Ticket Manager after joining the Hot Rods front office staff as an account executive during the 2013 season.
Eric Leach joins the Hot Rods as the Director of Sales. Leach brings a wealth of knowledge to the team after previous stops with the Fort Wayne Wizards (Low Class A; Midwest League), Lexington Legends (Low Class A; Sally League) and Omaha Royals (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
Don DiBastiani and Connor King have also been added to the Hot Rods staff as Group Sales Manager and Account Executive, respectively.
Andy Steavens, formerly director of group sales, is the new director of sales and marketing for the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Southern Illinois graduate enters his seventh season in 2014. Steavens worked for two other MiLB teams, the Burlington Bees (Low Class A; Midwest League) and the Albuquerque Isotopes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast Leagie) before joining the Hooks.
Steavens succeeds departing VP of sales and marketing Adam Nuse (covered above).
Succeeding Steavens is Amanda Pruett, Hooks community outreach coordinator since 2012. She also serves as team photographer. A Texas A&M – Corpus Christi graduate, she’s been involved in group sales and booking special events at Whataburger Field.
Director of Communications Matt Rogers and Director of Sponsor Services Elisa Fogle have been elevated to senior director positions. Rogers joined the club in December, 2005, after eight seasons with the Houston Astros. The 25-year media and public relations veteran spent 17 years as a publicist in college athletics at alma mater Houston, Baylor, Sam Houston State and Georgia Southern. He schedules and administers Whataburger Field high school and college games.
Fogle was one of four original staff members 10 years ago. She monitors account activity for all clients, handles team travel and player housing and serves as a liaison between the Hooks and numerous businesses and organizations. The St. Edward’s University graduate has also managed Hooks Community Relations.
Schrom added two former Islander interns and part-time staff members have been promoted to full-time status. Courtney Merritt, who has assisted in community relations, game presentation and ticket operations, takes over coordination of community outreach. Brad Crabtree will continue to play a role in ticket sales/operations while coordinating Hooks game day staff.
“I am excited about the 2014 season and pleased to reward hard-working staff members who’ve proven themselves and will continue to grow the organization,” Hooks President Ken Schrom said. “Adam has done a remarkable job for us and we wish him all the best. Matty has moved the communications team and our message forward and been key in developing our relationship with the high schools, Islanders and (Texas A&M – Kingsville) Javelinas.
“Elisa has provided outstanding service to our sponsors, field staff and players. She’s also been a significant part of our special events. Andy and Amanda are dedicated and creative people who always keep the fan experience utmost in their minds. That’s their highest priority, so they’ve been great fits, right from the start.”
Schrom noted that Danielle Norris, former customer service manager, is now serving in a ticket operations management capacity.
Tim Jacques is the new Business Development Manager for the Great Lakes Loons. In this role, Jacques is responsible for sales and management of tickets, events and group outings with Loons business clients, as well as building and maintaining relationships in the business community within all of the Great Lakes Bay Region Chambers of Commerce.
A Saginaw native, Jacques is a graduate of Central Michigan University and the Pat Ryan School of Automotive Finance in Chicago. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Saginaw Township Soccer Association as the Director of Sales and Marketing.
Amber Ferris has been hired as Promotions Manager after having served last season as an intern on the promotions staff. Ferris will oversee on-field promotions, work closely with the team’s summer internship program, while also collaborating on community-driven events and other creative efforts put on by the team. A Saginaw native, Amber is a graduate of Central Michigan University.
The Loons have promoted Nicholas Knieling and James Cahilellis into the role of Group Sales Coordinator. Knieling and Cahilellis will be responsible for booking group outings with schools, churches and other youth or community organizations.
Knieling has previously served in a variety of roles with the team, starting out as an intern with ESPN 100.9-FM and then as a producer for the station’s CrunchTime program. Cahilellis also worked as an intern with ESPN 100.9-FM and served two seasons as the Loons’ official scorer.
Bruce Gunther is the Loons new Director of Communications. Gunther will help manage the Loons’ internal and external communications, including overseeing all aspects of media communications. A Central Michigan University graduate, Gunther is the former sports editor of The Bay City Times and the Flint Journal.
Andrew Booms has been hired as Concessions Manager and will oversee all aspects of concessions operations at Dow Diamond. The Freeland native previously served as an assistant on the Concessions staff and also worked as a warehouse supervisor.
Melissa Kehoe is the team’s new Administrative Support Assistant. Kehoe will be involved in day-to-day operations by assisting the Loons staff with their administrative needs, while also serving guests and clients at Dow Diamond.
Kali Ackerman, Austin Babich and Emily Rosencrants have all joined the Battle Creek Bombers staff for the 2014 season. Ackerman and Babich will share the title of Coordinator of Ticket Operations, while Rosencrants has been named the Bombers new Partnership Activation and Marketing Manager.
All three staffers will be brand new to the Bombers organization, yet each boast a variety of experiences within the sports industry. Babich and Rosecrants both majored in Sports Management at Central Michigan University. Rosencrants has previously completed an internship with the minor league baseball franchise Altoona Curve, while Babich has worked with a variety of different organized baseball programs in the past, including a promotional project with the Lansing Lugnuts (Low Class A; Midwest League) Ackerman has relocated from the Boston area, and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she majored in Sports Management. Ackerman has previous experience with summer collegiate baseball, being a former employee of the North Shore Navigators (summer collegiate; Futures League) while serving as the team’s Coordinator of Community Relations.
Ackerman and Babich will assist fans in obtaining season tickets, mini-plans, and single-game tickets. They’ll also be actively involved in recruiting new corporate and group outings to the stadium in 2014.
Rosencrants will be in charge of all partnership activation strategies, while also overseeing the team’s marketing efforts.
The Waterloo Bucks announced the hiring of Clayton Grandquist as the team’s new Assistant General Manager/Director of Stadium Operations. Grandquist will join General Manager Dan Corbin in the front office for the 20th season of Bucks Baseball.
Grandquist, a former Bucks intern, is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing in December. While at Iowa, Grandquist was the Vice President of the Hawkeye Sports Business Organization.
The summer of 2013 saw Grandquist as a Customer Relations intern with the Bucks. In that role, Grandquist assisted with coordinating sponsorship fulfillment and partner appreciation events, game operations, and organized game day partner appearances. Grandquist takes over for former Assistant General Manager Kendall Hughson, who recently accepted the position of General Manager of the Alexandria Blue Anchors (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
“After the great experience I had as an intern with the organization last summer, I am excited to continue working with the Bucks, the fans, and the entire Cedar Valley community,” said Grandquist. “The community support is unbelievable and is what truly makes the Waterloo Bucks a first-class organization.”
“Clayton is an outstanding addition to our staff,” said Corbin. “He has great knowledge with our team and in the sports management world, and will certainly help take this organization to the next level.”
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