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Personnel News: Visalia, San Rafael, Walla Walla

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We have some personnel news to report from the Visalia Rawhide (High A; California League), San Rafael Pacifics (independent; Pacific Association), and the Walla Walla Sweets (summer collegiate; West Coast League). 

In Visalia, the Rawhide have announced two additions to their staff.

Micolette Pena will join the Rawhide as the manager of community relations and will oversee the club’s community appearances and fundraisers. Caitlin Carter will also join the staff as the new event coordinator, serving as point person for ballpark events outside of baseball, as well as the continuation of the Play Ball Program.

Peña grew up in Tulare and graduated from Tulare Western in 2011. She went on to attend Fresno State where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration. After spending several years in the sports and entertainment community of Fresno, working for organizations such as the San Francisco 49ers, Fresno Grizzlies, Fresno Monsters hockey team, she’s come back home to the Visalia area.

A native of Exeter, Carter joins the Rawhide staff full-time after having spent the past six months as an intern for the club. She has also spent time studying at California State University, Fresno, where she is pursuing a degree in Communication Studies. Along with her duties at the Rawhide, Carter serves as an Assistant Coach for the College of the Sequoias softball team.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity here in Visalia,” said Peña. “I’m excited to continue my career in sports as a part of the Rawhide family.”

“I’m so excited to receive this opportunity to join the Rawhide Front Office Staff and be a part of the Rawhide family this season,” said Carter. “I look forward to growing and learning from the best.”

 “I’m proud to say that the Rawhide staff continues to get stronger & stronger each year,” said general manager Jennifer Pendergraft. “We’re very fortunate to have a great base of returning staff each season in the front office. But fresh blood helps us all stay creative, and at the top of our game. Both Micolette and Caitlin are joining our experienced staff with a vast knowledge of their own, and I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas and getting them involved in our great community!”

In San Rafael, the Pacifics have announced several appointments within their front office.

Pacifics president and general manager Mike Shapiro announced the appointment of Megan Castellucci as the team’s new assistant general manager and San Rafael native, Greg Mroz, as the director of broadcasting and media Relations.

Additionally, former Pacifics staffer Kim Lofrano is rejoining the Pacifics as the director of host family relations.

Castellucci, now the first woman to serve as an assistant general manager in the Pacific Association, is not a newcomer to the Pacifics staff having previously served as a media relations and special events intern during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Megan spent last season as the community relations intern for the Oakland Athletics where she assisted with the activation and implementation of community outreach initiatives and also contributed to the planning and execution of various A’s Community Fund projects and events.

“Megan comes to us with a great deal of operational experience from her years at the collegiate level, as an intern with the Pacifics and with the A’s,” said Shapiro.  “I have every confidence that she’ll be outstanding working to enhance the Pacifics community outreach, sales and marketing efforts.”

Greg Mroz comes to the Pacifics from the Clinton LumberKings where he spent the past two seasons in their broadcast and media relations department. For the 2016 season, he was the LumberKings’ director of broadcasting and media relations, handling all game broadcasts as well as all public communications for the team. Additionally, Greg served as the team’s community relations liaison, working with the LumberKings parent club (Seattle Mariners) to help create a close relationship between the LumberKings and the Eastern Iowa community.

A 2015 graduate of Northwestern University, Greg also broadcast games for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League during the summers of 2013 and 2014. Greg was born and raised in San Rafael.

Mroz will manage the Pacifics media relations, web site and social media as well as serving as the club’s radio play by play announcer.

“I’m looking forward to having Greg manage our media and public relations after having done such a great job at the affiliated level in Clinton.  I’m also excited as well for him to serve as our radio announcer replacing Vinnie Longo, who all Pacifics fans came to love and respect,” said Shapiro. “I’m sure Greg will fit right in with our fans who catch our games over radio.”

A veteran of the Pacifics front office staff, Kim Lofrano will be tasked with the role of finding host families for players, in addition to acting as a liaison between the players and the assistant general manager with respect to housing issues.

“The Pacifics depend on local families to house our players during the summer,” said Lofrano.  “I hope the community will continue to support this critically important cause by opening up their homes and hearts for our young players spending their summer in Marin County far from their own homes and families.”

In Walla Walla, the Sweets have announced that Ben Farber will serve as their play-by-play broadcaster and media relations coordinator in 2017.

 Farber will call the action for all 59 Sweets games on the club’s flagship radio station, 99.7 FM/ 1490 AM ESPN Walla Walla.

Farber, a native of New York City, joins the Sweets after working the last two summers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Most recently, he was the solo play-by-play voice for the New Bedford Bay Sox during the 2016 season.

A 2016 graduate of Macalester College, Farber used his college years to gain valuable experience both on and off the playing field. A right-handed pitcher for the Macalester Scots varsity baseball team, Farber is familiar with the daily rigors of college baseball. He also broadcast softball games as well as both men’s and women’s basketball during his time at Macalester. Farber currently writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, covering high school sports in and around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Sweets for the 2017 season,” Farber said. “I can’t wait to get behind the mic every night and do what I love to do, and that’s bringing the action on the field right into your car, your living room, or wherever our fans are listening to the game.

“Plus, I’m excited to come out west and experience a new part of the country.”

“Ben’s ability to not only accurately call the action, but to paint the picture on the air was what drew me to him as our choice,” said team president Zachary Fraser. “He is also a strong writer, and so much of our communication with fans and the media is via the written word.

“I am excited that our community will be able to welcome such a talented young communicator into our Sweets Country family.”

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