We have personnel news to report from the Peoria Chiefs (Low A; Midwest League), the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A; Carolina League), and the Duluth Huskies (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
In Peoria, the Chiefs have announced changes to their front office staff plus one addition.
Five current staff members will see their titles and responsibilities change heading into the 2019 season while Stephen Brown joins the full-time staff as Director of Marketing and Game Presentation. Brown, a graduate of Indiana University, spent the 2018 season as one of the Chiefs promotions interns and is familiar to fans after serving as the on-field emcee for all home games. A native of Zionsville, IN, Brown has previous sports experience with the Indiana Pacers, Cincinnati Bengals and IU Athletics Department. Brown will be in charge of all Dozer Park entertainment, promotions, game presentation and marketing.
On the sales side of the organization, Kate Voss is now Director of Ticket Sales as she finishes her fourth season with the Chiefs. The 2017 Midwest League Woman Executive of the Year was the Ticket Sales Manager this past season while also running the Inside Sales Department. A native of Henry, IL, Voss worked for the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and MWL’s Clinton LumberKings before joining the Chiefs in October, 2014.
Taking Voss’s place in charge of the Inside Sales Department will be John Phelps, promoted from Account Executive to Inside Sales Manager. Phelps started with the Chiefs in January 2017 as an Inside Sales Rep and was promoted to a full-time employee in June of that season. Phelps, a native of Rapid City, SD, will continue to sell season and group tickets while also running the ISR’s for the 2019 season.
The third change in the sales department is Kevin Kurowski becoming the Corporate Sales Manager. While Kevin will continue selling season and group tickets, he will also work alongside General Manager Jason Mott to cultivate and service corporate relationships in Central Illinois. A native of Spring Grove, IL, Kurowski joined the Chiefs as an ISR in 2016 and became a full-time Account Executive in September 2016.
Patrick Walker will transition to Director of Stadium Operations and Merchandise for the 2019 season. A native of Vandalia, MO, Walker joined the Chiefs from Bowling Green in 2015 as Director of Merchandise before switching in 2017 to Director of Entertainment & Community Relations. The Stadium Operations position is a new one for the Chiefs organization and Walker will oversee ballpark improvements/renovations, stadium maintenance and daily work to get Dozer Park ready for Chiefs games and other events.
Nathan Baliva will add the position of community relations to his media responsibilities and now be the Director of Media, Baseball Operations & Community Engagement. The Chatham, IL native just finished his 16th season as the Voice of the Chiefs and will now be responsible for getting the Chiefs name and brand out in the Central Illinois community while working with non-profits and community events including staff, player and Homer appearances.
“We are thrilled to welcome Stephen on board full time after watching how hard he worked all summer, he will be a great addition to our staff,” said Chiefs GM Jason Mott. “The other changes reflect our organization’s needs moving forward and puts everyone in the best position to succeed and improve as we head into 2019, knowing our best is in front of us.”
In Wilmington, the Blue Rocks have announced that Cory Nidoh will replace longtime radio broadcaster Matt Janus as the team’s lead play-by-play voice in 2019. Nidoh, who has served as the Blue Rocks Broadcasting & Media Relations Assistant since 2017, becomes the Blue Rocks Director of Broadcasting & Video.
Nidoh is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University (PA) with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. He began his career in the New England College Baseball League as the radio announcer for the Sanford Mainers in 2015. He then spent his first season in professional baseball broadcasting for the Daytona Tortugas (High A; Florida State League) in 2016. Nidoh arrived in Wilmington last year and spent the last two seasons broadcasting all home games and select road contests alongside Janus.
“We are incredibly excited to continue what we feel are some of the best broadcasts in Minor League Baseball,” said Blue Rocks General Manager Andrew Layman. “Cory has done outstanding work for us the last two seasons, and with Matt stepping away from the travel, it was an easy decision to make him the new voice of the Blue Rocks.”
On top of his work with the Rocks, Nidoh serves as the sideline reporter for University of Delaware football radio broadcasts on 94.7 WDSD and provides play-by-play for select University of Delaware men’s and women’s basketball games on Fox Sports 1290.
“I’m very excited and honored to be following in Matt Janus’ footsteps and to be part of this first-class organization,” Nidoh said. “Matt, who is a tremendous broadcaster, mentor and friend, has been a staple with the Blue Rocks for over a decade and someone I have great respect for in this business. Matt is one of many people I would like to thank for helping me reach this point in my career. The Blue Rocks also have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of Minor League Baseball. I look forward to bringing Blue Rocks baseball to them throughout the season in addition to maintaining the high quality of broadcasts the Blue Rocks have had over the years.”
Janus, who just celebrated the birth of his first daughter in August, will remain with the organization as the team’s Director of Media Relations. The two-time Delaware Sportscaster of the Year first joined the Blue Rocks as a 15-year-old game day employee and has been on the club’s radio crew for the last decade. He has broadcast more Blue Rocks games than anyone in the franchise’s 26-year history.
“Broadcasting Blue Rocks baseball has been a huge part of my life and I have loved every minute of it,” said Janus. “However, between the difficult travel schedule, my television work starting to overlap with baseball season and the desire to spend more time with my wife and new daughter, I just felt the time was right to step away. Having Cory in position to take over made this decision much easier, and I am grateful the organization has found a way to keep me in the fold as the Media Relations Director.”
In Duluth, the Huskies have announced a three-year contract extension for General Manager Greg Culver.
Culver is a native of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, and started his Huskies career in Corporate & Group Sales; Stadium Operations during the 2015 season and was named General Manager after the season ended. Ever since then, he has been working hard to keep the organization successful by staying focused on its mission of achieving excellence in athletics, education, and entertainment.
Culver explained that he is extremely excited to be back for another three years and said “I am confident in our coaching staff. And we’re looking forward to getting after it. Our goal and will always be a Northwoods League Championship.” He went on to say “I’m deeply committed to the Huskies organization, community, sponsors and fan base. They deserve a championship caliber team and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep us at the forefront.”
After a great season both on and off the field, Huskies’ team owner, Michael Rosenzweig said, “Greg has proven himself to be an invaluable part of our organization and we look forward to the years to come with that same strong commitment”.