We have plenty of front-office announcements from the Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League), including the promotion of General Manager of Operations Zach Prehn to Vice President/General Manager of the team.
The moves, as announced by Chairman & CEO Art Silber, follows the departure of former Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Olerud for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League).
The Nationals have also named Director of Food & Beverage Aaron Johnson the team’s Assistant General Manager while Director of Media Relations/Corporate Sales Executive/Play-by-play Broadcaster Bryan Holland has been promoted to Director of Corporate Sales, Media Relations & Broadcasting.
The P-Nats’ trio of front office promotions are effective immediately.
“We are very grateful for the outstanding five years that Josh Olerud gave us and we look forward to following his future success as he continues to grow his career. As an organization, we have always tried to promote from within, and fortunately we have a great individual who has done an extraordinary job for us over the last four years. Zach Prehn will now be Vice President and General Manager of the Potomac Nationals,” said Silber regarding Prehn’s appointment.
“In recognition of the great performance they’ve demonstrated, as well, Aaron Johnson and Bryan Holland will assume the titles of Assistant General Manager, and Director of Corporate Sales, Media Relations and Broadcasting, respectively,” said Silber following the promotions of Johnson and Holland.
In his new role as organizational leader of the franchise, Prehn, a Minor League Baseball veteran, will oversee quality control of P-Nats’ new business development, strategic corporate partnerships, ticketing, marketing, promotions, community relations, public relations, concessions, stadium operations, and the overall fan experience at Pfitzner Stadium while facilitating further progress on the Potomac Nationals’ new stadium project.
Prehn will now serve as the main liaison to Potomac’s Major League affiliate, the Washington Nationals, in the interest of maintaining the longstanding relationship between the Minor League club and Washington.
“I am very excited to have the honor of leading this organization and front office staff into the upcoming 2016 season and beyond,” Prehn said. “In conjunction with the collaborative effort of the stellar staff we have in place, I plan on continuing the tradition of delivering top-notch promotions, excellent customer service, and fun, affordable, family entertainment that the Potomac Nationals have offered the Northern Virginia area for decades.”
Prehn served as Potomac’s Assistant GM since February of 2012 before he was promoted to the role of General Manager of Operations in March of 2015, 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 operations tasks.
Prehn assisted in overseeing a 2014 Potomac Nationals campaign that shattered the club’s single-season attendance record at Pfitzner Stadium (243,559 fans). Meanwhile, the P-Nats’ front office team was awarded for their creativity with a Minor League Baseball June Promotion of the Month Award for the team’s comprehensive promotional efforts on “Beard-A-Palooza Weekend” which featured a Jayson Werth “BobbleBeard” giveaway and a multi-faceted “Beard Olympics” events schedule.
During the touchstone 2014 season, the P-Nate claimed their fifth Mills Cup Championship in club history after defeating the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the best-of-five title series.
Under the leadership of Prehn in 2015, the P-Nats’ maintained the club’s commitment to donate over $100,000 to worthy community recipients across all of the club’s fundraising branches while the team reached new pinnacles in season ticket and mini plan sales, and achieved a record-level of partnership support from local, regional, and national businesses.
Prehn, a product of Central Missouri State University (Warrensburg, MO), started working in professional baseball at the age of 15. His first job was as a soda vendor for his hometown professional team, the River City Rascals (Independent, Frontier League). The versatile O’Fallon, MO native has worked in all aspects of Minor League Baseball including front office management, box office ticket operations, corporate sales, food and beverage, gameday operations, and groundskeeping.
Johnson got his start with the P-Nats during the 2012 campaign, working as Operations Manager. In the role, Johnson oversaw all logistics of operating Pfitzner Stadium on gamedays and during events held at the Home of the P-Nats. He previously served as Director of Stadium Operations in 2013 before switching roles to Director of Food and Beverage in 2014.
Johnson’s impact on the food and beverage operations at The Pfitz over the last two seasons has been monumental as a variety of new and delicious F & B options have been added to the stadium menus including foot-long hot dogs and boneless buffalo wings plus a slew of fan-favorite craft beers while the advent of in-game food specials, outside food vendors, food truck nights, and digital points of sale have greatly overhauled and improved the concessions experience.
Johnson’s new Assistant GM title will bring with it expanded responsibilities in the day-to-day operation of the Potomac Nationals franchise as Prehn’s managing complement will take on supplementary duties in the realm of corporate client relations, commercial business strategy, budgeting, marketing, promotions, gameday execution, concessions product management, stadium procedures, and fan relations.
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on my new management role assisting Zach Prehn in running the number one overall family-friendly attraction in the region. I look forward to reaching new heights as an organization in the seasons to come,” said Johnson following the announcement of his promotion.
Johnson will continue to run the gameday food and beverage operations for all Pfitzner Stadium concessions’ stands and the ballpark’s bullpen picnic area in addition to non-gameday special events.
Johnson attended George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) where he worked in the GMU Athletics Department assisting in communications and media before he joined the Potomac Nationals’ front office. As a Northern Virginia native, Johnson has spent the majority of his life growing up in the area which the Potomac Nationals serve.
Holland, the Voice of the P-Nats, joined the Potomac Nationals’ front office in January of 2012 after four previous seasons in Minor League Baseball.
After a 2012 season as a Group Ticket/Corporate Sales Executive for the P-Nats, Holland was named the Potomac Nationals’ Play-by-play Broadcaster on the “Potomac Nationals Baseball Network” for the 2013 campaign and has been providing play-by-play for P-Nats Baseball for the past three seasons.
Holland called the final out of the Potomac Nationals’ fifth-ever Carolina League Championship clinch in 2014.
In his duel role with the P-Nats, Holland also serves as the club’s Media Relations Director and has been a Corporate Sales Executive with the club for the past four seasons while supervising and voicing the club’s gameday broadcasting efforts.
In his new position as Director of Corporate Sales, Holland will oversee and spearhead all aspects of the Potomac Nationals corporate partnership sales operation including monetizing creative marketing inventory at Pfitzner Stadium, sponsorship negotiations and contract execution, partnership fulfillment, corporate partner hospitality, forging team marketing paradigms, and establishing top-tier club promotional initiatives.
Holland will continue to serve as the main point of contact for all club media inquiries, maintain quality control of all the team’s public relations efforts, and solely direct the P-Nats’ media relations department and gameday home and road online broadcasting network (PNBN) for all 140 games during the 2016 season as the Director of Media Relations & Broadcasting. Holland will also remain as the lead play-by-play broadcaster for all 70 Potomac Nationals home games while contributing to select road games amid the 70-game road schedule. Holland’s 2016 broadcast partner is to-be-determined.
“I am so appreciative of the Silber family for their faith in Zach, Aaron, and I moving forward. This opportunity creates the perfect synergy for me; taking our corporate partnership fleet to new heights while serving the Potomac Nationals’ Media Relations and Broadcasting departments passionately and with attention to our terrific fan base. Together our excellent front office staff will continue to deliver a top-notch product,” said Holland upon finalization of his promotion.
A native of Elkridge, MD, and a graduate of Elon University (Elon, NC), Holland served as a Radio Play-by-play Broadcaster and Media Relations Assistant with the Frederick Keys (High A; Carolina League) for their championship season in 2007. Holland was a Group Sales and Radio Broadcasting Intern for Ripken Baseball’s Aberdeen IronBirds (Short-Season A, Baltimore Orioles) during their 2008 campaign. Holland held the position of Corporate Sales Executive and Radio Voice of the Outer Banks Daredevils (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) for the 2010 season before he was privileged to work for the Hagerstown Suns (Low A; Sally League) for the remainder of 2010 and into the 2011 slate as Director of Media Relations and Play-by-play Broadcasting while selling corporate sponsorships, group hospitality opportunities, and season tickets.
During his stay with the Suns, Holland broadcasted and coordinated the media for two former MLB number one overall draft picks, OF Bryce Harper (2010) and RHP Stephen Strasburg (2009). Amid the 2015 season, Holland notably handled press requests for one of the top prospects in MLB, RHP Lucas Giolito.
In 2016, Bryan will enter his ninth year working in Minor League Baseball.
“The Potomac Nationals just completed what may have been our best overall season in terms of fan participation, stadium ambience, and sponsorship support in collaboration with the great business community that surrounds us. Team President/COO, Lani Silber Weiss and Club Treasurer, Seth Silber join me in congratulating Zach, Aaron, and Bryan as their growth continues to stimulate success for our ballclub,” Silber added.
Collectively Prehn, Johnson, and Holland have over 25 years of professional baseball experience.