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Personnel news from Richmond, Potomac

Richmond Flying SquirrelsBill Papierniak is stepping down as GM of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League), while the Potomac Nationals (High Class A; Carolina League) announce several staff promotions.

Papierniak has been GM of the Flying Squirrels since the team moved from Norwich, Ct. He will be staying in Richmond as he transitions into a local business owner, having purchased the Cartridge World franchise in Innsbrook. Papierniak spent a total of 17 seasons in Minor League Baseball. Current COO & VP Todd “Parney” Parnell will take on the title of General Manager going forward.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me,” said Papierniak. “This is an opportunity for me spend more time with my family while building towards our future. There is no question I will miss heading to the park every day. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish and will look forward to seeing what FUNN times are ahead.”

“Bill has been a driving force behind this franchise since day one,” said Flying Squirrels COO &VP/GM Todd “Parney” Parnell. “As we transition into a new era, he will be missed and we wish him and his family all the best in their new endeavor. We thank him for his years of hard work and dedication and his mark will always be on this franchise.”

“While we will certainly miss Bill and his dedication to the team, our entire staff is looking forward to carrying out another successful season in 2015 and beyond,” said Squirrels Chief Executive Chuck Domino. “This is one of the most talented teams of industry professionals and I am confident of what we will be able to accomplish moving forward.”


In Potomac, Josh Olerud has been promoted from Vice President/General Manager to Executive Vice President/General Manager of the club, while Assistant General Manager Zach Prehn has been elevated to General Manager of Operations. The duel promotions will take effect immediately, according to team President/COO Lani Silber Weiss. Olerud will administer all negotiations with prospective new ballpark naming rights partners for the future home of the Potomac Nationals and supervise discussions with additional new ballpark founding partnership clients while continuing to oversee quality control of P-Nats’ corporate sales endeavors, new business development, strategic partnerships, ticketing, marketing, promotions, community relations, public relations, concessions, stadium operations, and the overall fan ambience at Pfitzner Stadium.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this promotion and I can’t thank the Silber family enough for the confidence they have put in me and our invaluable staff,” said Olerud.

“Zach’s promotion is so well deserved for his professionalism, dedication, and creative efforts over the past three years. We see him as an integral piece of our organizational success and future growth.”

Olerud will continue to serve as a liaison to Potomac’s Major League affiliate, the Washington Nationals, in an effort to maintain the outstanding relationship between the Minor League affiliate and Washington.

Olerud, was appointed to Vice President status in July of 2012 after joining the Potomac Nationals as General Manager in 2011, and last year completed his 13th season in professional baseball. Originally hailing from Bloomington, MN, he graduated with a degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in Marketing at Minnesota State University at Mankato.

Olerud claimed the 2013 Calvin Falwell Executive of the Year Award for his accomplishments in leading the charge to break Potomac Baseball’s single-season franchise attendance record while presenting a star-studded promotional lineup that season which included a record number of fireworks shows. He also oversaw a 2014 Potomac Nationals season that witnessed the team once again shatter the single-season attendance record at Pfitzner Stadium (243,559 fans).

Olerud led a front office team that was awarded for their creativity with a Minor League Baseball June Promotion of the Month Award for their comprehensive promotional efforts on “Beard-A-Palooza Weekend” which featured a Jayson Werth “BobbleBeard” Giveaway and a multi-faceted “Beard Olympics” events schedule.

Under the direction of Olerud, the Potomac Nationals drew a record total of partnership support and ticket revenue for the franchise in 2014 while maintaining the P-Nats’ tradition of donating over $100,000 to worthy community recipients across all of the club’s fundraising branches.

“We’ve been fortunate to have Josh Olerud and his ability to motivate those around him to levels of success that are truly extraordinary,” said P-Nats Chairman/CEO Art Silber. The last few years with Josh at the helm have been the best in our 25 years of ownership of the ballclub.”

Zach Prehn has served as Potomac’s Assistant GM since February of 2012, and his responsibilities have included managing ticket operations, coordinating corporate sales initiatives, instituting promotional platforms, directing press box operations, organizing and executing the P-Nats’ gameday presentation, and serving as point person for various logistical baseball operational tasks.

The new title for Prehn will bring with it expanded responsibilities in the day-to-day operation of the Potomac Nationals franchise as Olerud’s managing complement will take on supplementary duties in the realm of corporate client relations, commercial business strategy, budgeting, marketing, promotions, gameday execution, concession management, stadium procedure, and fan relations.

“I am thrilled and honored the Silber family has offered me this promotion. This is a quality organization that has been growing for the past five years, and I look forward to keeping that trend upward in unison with the contributions of Josh Olerud and our terrific front office,” said Prehn.

“I’m looking forward to my expanded role with the Potomac Nationals and relish in the opportunity to work closely with our staff in delivering the number one family-friendly atmosphere in Northern Virginia.”

The Potomac Nationals have also made official the hiring of Ricky Goykin to serve as the team’s Community Relations Director after his post as an Executive Front Office Assistant with the P-Nats during the 2014 season.

Goykin, a Smithtown, NY native, has eight years of tenure in professional baseball.

Goykin’s primary role with the P-Nats is to foster new community relationships while managing existing partnerships in the Northern Virginia region and beyond.

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