Let’s begin the week with lots of good news, as we have personnel additions for the Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League), Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) and Frederick Keys (High Class A; Carolina League).
All in all, the Thunder welcomed 14 members of their front office to new positions for the upcoming season.
A lifelong resident of Hamilton Square and proud graduate of Trenton State College in 1991, Lydia Rios joins the Thunder as Director, Marketing and Sponsorships. Rios served the last 14 years in sales at WPST Radio, most recently serving as General Sales Manager for the station. Prior to her time at WPST, Rios spent seven years in sales with The Trentonian.
“I came to work here because of the small, family oriented business that exists with the Thunder,” said Rios. “Knowing the Joe’s and Will Smith for so long from our business dealings over the years, this felt like such a great fit and the front office really feels like a family.”
In her role as Director, Marketing and Sponsorships, Rios will oversee corporate partnerships, service existing accounts and provide leadership in the team’s sales department.
“Lydia’s professionalism and management experience are exactly what we need. When Lydia worked for PST, we created a business partnership from opposite sides of the table. She is the best salesperson I encountered. We are thrilled to add Lydia to our staff,” said General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Will Smith. “Lydia’s familiarity with the marketplace in Bucks, Burlington and Mercer counties will greatly benefit the Thunder and enhance our impression in the community.”
Joining Rios in the corporate sales department is Nick Beers. Beers spent the 2014 season as the Stadium Operations Assistant and was recently promoted to Corporate Sales Executive. Prior to his arrival with the Thunder, Beers served as an intern in Publications with the New York Yankees after graduating from St. John’s University in 2013 with a degree in Sport Management. In addition to his experience in baseball, Beers is a certified high school basketball official in New Jersey through IAABO Board 193.
In the group sales department, Jack Rymal, Jon Bodnar, Nick Luongo, Dean Fritz, and Chuck Keller have been hired as Group Sales Account Representatives and Michael Heyer has been hired as Group Sales Coordinator for the 2015 season.
Fritz joined the Thunder front office in July of 2014 as a Group Sales Account Representative after his graduation from Temple University’s Sport and Recreation Management program in May of 2014. Prior to joining the Thunder, Fritz served as a Football Operations Intern for the Philadelphia Eagles and has interned in Sales and Marketing with Brunswick Zone, located in Feasterville, PA, and in Management with SMG Sportsplex in Warminster, Penn.
Rymal, originally from Somerton, Penn, graduated from Temple University with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management in August of 2013. He served as an intern in tournament operations for Ripken Baseball in Myrtle Beach, SC and interned for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012 as the Game Day Presentation Intern. Rymal, who most recently served as the Group Sales Coordinator for the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League) during the 2014 season, is an avid golfer and has completed one hole-in-one in his life.
Bodnar, a native of Sewell, N.J., graduated from James Madison University with a degree in marketing in May of 2013. Bodnar spent two seasons with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Class AAA; International League), the first in 2011; as Game Day Intern, and the second in 2013; as a full-time Ticket Associate. Bodnar played in the marching band at Washington Township High School and at James Madison and has performed in three NFL stadiums.
Luongo graduated from SUNY Albany in May of 2011 and hails from Windsor, N.Y. Luongo spent two seasons as an intern with the Hudson Valley Renegades (short season A; NY-Penn League) in 2010, as Food and Beverage Intern and 2011, as Ticket Office Intern. Luongo is a lifelong Yankees fan and witnessed Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit and both Jeter and Mariano Rivera’s final home games in person.
Keller joins the Thunder after three seasons of experience in minor league baseball. Keller was a member of the Game Day staff for the Asheville Tourists (Low Class A; Sally League) in 2009 and served as Ticket Sales Intern with the Lakewood Blueclaws (Low Class A; Sally League) after his graduation from Western Carolina in 2010. Most recently, Keller spent the 2014 campaign with the Camden Riversharks as a Ticket Sales Representative and hails from Maple Shade, NJ where he cared for his pet Piranha, Daisy, in high school.
Heyer graduated from Monmouth University in May of 2014 with a degree in Communications. The South Brunswick, NJ native served as an intern for Clear Channel Radio and Monmouth University’s Athletic Department prior to his arrival with the Thunder. Heyer is also an experienced seaman after spending an entire summer aboard a parasail boat off the coast of Long Beach Island in 2014.
In the ticket sales department, Sol Prensky and Sean O’Brien join the front office as Ticket Sales Account Executives and Steve Carpenter as Ticket Assistant.
A native of Washington D.C., Prensky is a 2013 graduate of American International College in Springfield, MA. Sol returns to the Eastern League after serving as a Front Office Intern for the Bowie Baysox in 2009. After graduation from AIC, where he played three sports (Baseball, Rugby and Club Soccer), Prensky served as a full-time Sales Associate for the Sacramento Kings for the 2013-14 season.
O’Brien, a native of Cinnaminson, N.J., comes to the Thunder after serving as an Inside Sales Representative with the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in the 2014 season. O’Brien graduated from Marshall University in 2011 and has visited or driven through 35 of the 48 mainland states.
Carpenter graduated from Loyola University in Chicago in May of 2014 with a degree in Finance and Sport Management. Carpenter, originally from Hopewell Township, N.J., served as a Customer Service and Sales Representative for Vivid Seats; an independently owned and operated online secondary ticket resale marketplace prior to joining the Thunder. Carpenter lived briefly in the state of Ohio which led to his rabid fandom of the Ohio State Buckeyes and attended the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
Rob Faulstick and Christina Jennings have been hired as Promotions Assistants for the 2014 campaign and Amanda Rossetti joins the Thunder as the Administrative and Community Relations Assistant.
Faulstick is no stranger to Arm & Hammer Park after serving as a fill-in emcee and working in the promotions department for the previous two seasons. Faulstick is currently a senior Radio and TV Communications student at Rider University and spent his first two years in Lawrenceville as a member of Rider’s swim team.
Jennings, a native of Wall, N.J., is a senior marketing major at Delaware Valley College. Prior to joining the Thunder, Jennings wore many hats for Fun Fieldz; a company that brings baseball and fun events to local communities, most recently as the Promotion and Marketing Assistant. Jennings has been involved in sports for her entire life as a competitive horseback rider.
Rossetti graduated from High Point University in May of 2014 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Sport Management. In her position, Rossetti will coordinate donation requests and assist Boomer and Strike as they travel throughout region during the 2014 campaign. Always punctual, Rossetti did not miss a day of school from kindergarten through her senior year of high school while growing up in Hamilton, N.J. and attending Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville.
The Mobile BayBears added six new staff members for 2015.
Included among the new hires is Director of Concessions, Justin Gunsaulus, who brings a wealth of experience from a highly-successful minor league baseball organization as well as a major grocery chain that serves as an industry leader in providing a high level of customer service. Gunsaulus spent two seasons with the Lakewood BlueClaws (Low Class A; Sally League). Prior to his stint in Lakewood, Gunsaulus spent nearly 10 years as a Customer Service Team Leader with Publix Supermarkets and was awarded multiple customer service awards during his time with the company.
Joining Gunsaulus in the front office is Account Executive Matt Baranofsky, who comes to the BayBears from the Worcester Sharks professional hockey team in Worcester, Mass. Prior to his time in Worcester, Baranofsky spent a season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High Class A; Carolina League).
In addition to Gunsaulus and Baranofsky, the BayBears added Jordan Dravis and Melanie Newman as PR/Promotions Assistants as well as Chris Ganoe and David Neubauer as Stadium Operations Assistants.
“We are thrilled to be adding these six new staff members to our team, each of whom is dedicated to working tirelessly to provide a first-class experience for our fans and partners in 2015,” said BayBears General Manager Chris Morgan. “We expect that everyone who attends games at Hank Aaron Stadium this season will notice a positive difference at all levels that starts and ends with our front office team.”
The Frederick Keys welcomed Catie Graf, Matthew Baker, Chris Williams, Corey Lewis and Bryan Embrey to the team’s Marketing, Ticketing and Operations Departments.
Graf joins the Keys as the club’s Marketing Assistant. A 2014 graduate of St. John’s Fisher College, the Syracuse, N.Y. native spent last season as the Promotions Intern for the Great Falls Voyagers (rookie; Pioneer League). In this role, she coordinated all on-field promotions, worked with sponsors and sold individual and group tickets.
Baker and Williams take over as the Keys Box Office Assistants. Originally from Easton, Penn., Baker comes to Frederick after working in the Parks and Recreation Department for Forks (PA) Township. Additionally, he was a part-time employee for the Lafayette College Athletics Department. Baker is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management.
Like Baker, 2015 will be Williams’ first season in professional baseball. After spending his college days as a pitcher for Lewis University, Williams spent the last four-and-a-half years as the Assistant Warehouse Manager for Humboldt Manufacturing. Located in Elgin, Ill., the Chicago native was in charge of the receiving and shipping departments.
Originally from Johnson City, N.Y., Lewis graduated from Keystone (PA) College this past fall with a degree in Sport Recreation Management. During his time in school, he worked as a Facility Management Intern for Binghamton University. An avid outdoorsmen, Lewis was a three-year member of the Keystone golf team.
His department mate, Embrey, is no stranger to Harry Grove Stadium. From 2008-10 he worked as a Fun Zone employee, while he hails from nearby Monrovia, Md. No stranger to hard work, Embrey played college rugby at East Carolina University and recently graduated with a degree in Sports Studies.