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Personnel News: Reading, Western Nebraska

Reading Fightin Phils

We have personnel news to report from the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League) and the Western Nebraska Pioneers (summer collegiate; Expedition League). 

The Fightin Phils have announced two new staffing appointments, making the hires from within their internship program.

Nicole Fetchko, a member of the 2018 internship class, will now take the role as Extra Events Manager.  Fetchko is a 2010 graduate from Parkland High School.  After graduating high school, she started her college career at West Virginia University.  With a change of major, she transferred to the University of Pittsburgh to study dentistry.   Changing majors one last time, she graduated closer to home, from Kutztown University in 2018.  She graduated with a degree in Sports Management & Leisure Studies with a minor in fitness, earning her personal trainers certification as well.

Prior to becoming a full-time employee with the R-Phils, she was a full-time promotions intern with the organization in the 2018 season.  Fetchko grew up in the Lehigh Valley and now resides in Reading.

Nick Mayer, also a member of the 2018 internship class, has been hired as a Group Outings Manager.   Mayer, a native of Hamburg, graduated from Hamburg Area High School in 2012.  He went to college at Lock Haven University and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science.  Mayer played offensive tackle for Lock Haven and played for Hamburg in high school.  He’s also a member of the coaching staff for Hamburg Area High School.

17 of the 22 front office members were initially interns for the organization before being hired full-time.

In Western Nebraska, the Pioneers have announced the appointment of Steven Juarez as their second Assistant General Manager. He completes the Pioneers’ full-time staff, joining Assistant General Manager Austin Lentfer and owners Chuck and Mayra Heeman.

Juarez, a 2014 graduate of Gering High School, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports, Event and Entertainment Management from Johnson & Wales University in May 2018. During his time at Johnson & Wales he was afforded several opportunities, working with ESPN, Kronke Sports and Entertainment Group in Denver, the Denver Broncos and North American Sports Group. Most recently, Steven was a business operations assistant with the Indianapolis Indians (Class AAA; International League).

“We’re extremely happy to have Steven join us with the Pioneers,” team owner Chuck Heeman said. “One of the great challenges in our business is to find experienced sports management professionals, and we are very fortunate to have someone with Steven’s experience and education right here in our back yard. In our discussions with Steven it became clear that he understands what the Pioneers are trying to achieve, a mission well beyond what happens on the baseball field. We’ve been looking for someone like Steven to help Austin, Mayra and I take the Pioneers to the next level and we are thrilled that Steven is aboard to help make it happen. We hope to be a great stop in what promises to be a long and successful career for Steven.”

During his college athletic career, Juarez was Johnson & Wales’ cross-country Male Athlete of the Year twice and an NAIA National Meet qualifier twice. He also competed for Minatare and Gering High Schools in track and field. In addition, Juarez volunteers a considerable amount of time to his community, earning the 2013 Spotlight Youth Award from Voices for Children in Nebraska for his work with Special Olympics.

With the Pioneers, Juarez’s duties include corporate partnerships, ticket sales and marketing of the team, community outreach of staff and players, assisting in baseball, concessions, merchandise operations, and overseeing staffing, payroll and other business functions of the team. He will also assist in overseeing the summer intern staff in designing and executing the nightly game show.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the Pioneers’ front office,” Juarez said. “I look forward to expanding the impact the team has on our community. Words cannot explain how happy I am to return to my home community and to be a part of this team. I am very excited to get the Pioneers brand out to the people of Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming.”

Juarez starts part-time duty immediately and will join the Pioneers full-time in early December.

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