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Personnel news: Round Rock, Reno, San Jose

Round Rock Express 2019Reid Ryan returns to Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment as Chief Executive Officer, Doug Raftery is the new Chief Operating Officer of the Reno Aces and Greater Nevada Field, and Mark Wilson of the San Jose Giants announces his retirement.

Ryan returns to Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment and the Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) after a seven-year tenure as the President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros. Former Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment CEO Reese Ryan is transitioning into another leadership role for the Ryan family’s other business ventures.

“I want to thank Reese for his outstanding leadership of Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment over the last eight years. Under his guidance, this organization has grown from our roots here in Round Rock to have a presence in multiple communities across the State of Texas and around the country,” Reid Ryan said via press release. “I would never have been able to join the Houston Astros as President if Reese hadn’t stepped up to lead Ryan Sanders.”

Back at the helm of the organization that he founded, Reid will oversee not only the Round Rock Express, but also RS3 Strategic Hospitality and RS3 Turf.

Reid served as the founder and original CEO of Ryan Sanders Baseball, which has since grown into Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment, leading the charge in acquiring the Jackson Generals franchise and relocating the club to Round Rock to become the Express in 2000. During his first tenure as the team’s CEO, Reid’s top priority was the fan experience, and he quickly became a fan favorite for his ability to connect with people, speak with fans on a personal level and use their feedback to improve the organization.

After five prosperous years leading the E-Train as the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, Reid played an integral role in founding the Corpus Christi Hooks, which became the Astros new Double-A affiliate as the Express moved to the ranks of Triple-A in 2005.

Reid was named the President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros in May 2013, becoming one of the youngest team presidents in baseball. His time in Houston included the best stretch of on-field success in franchise history as the Astros captured the 2017 World Series title as well as the American League pennant in 2019.

During Reid’s tenure in Houston, he successfully oversaw the Hooks’ transition to becoming an owned and operated affiliate of the Astros. He also played a significant role in opening Houston’s Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida as well as securing the Astros’ Class A affiliate in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His impact on the Astros is felt from the Minute Maid Park remodel and the hiring of the Astros broadcast team to the creation of the Astros Hall of Fame.

No stranger to the game, Reid served as a bat boy for the Astros while his father and Hall of Famer Nolan pitched in the Astrodome in the 1980s. He later pitched collegiately at the University of Texas and Texas Christian University, winning a pair of Southwest Conference titles along the way. He pitched two seasons in the Texas Rangers organization after being drafted in the 17th round of the 1994 MLB Draft. He became the sixth member, and first executive, to be inducted into the Round Rock Express Hall of Fame on August 16, 2019.

“We’re happy to welcome Reid back to the organization that he built from the ground up,” Reese Ryan said. “What he accomplished during his time in Houston is unparalleled and I know his return will only strengthen the Ryan Sanders organization. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished over the last eight years and I look forward to having a front row seat to see where Reid takes the businesses in the future.”

Reese played an integral role in founding both RS3 Strategic Hospitality and RS3 Turf in 2013. Since then, both organizations have grown into nationally acclaimed service providers. RS3 Strategic Hospitality currently operates in 10 venues throughout Texas, including Circuit of the Americas, H-E-B Center and Dell Diamond, as well as Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Florida.

In Reno, Doug Raftery moves into the position of Chief Operating Officer of both the Aces and its home, Greater Nevada Field. Prior to the move he was General Manager of Reno 1868 FC, the USL Championship team sharing Greater Nevada Field with the Aces.

Mark Wilson is retiring after concluding his 38th year with the San Jose Giants, including 30 as the team’s General Manager.

During his tenure, Wilson stacked up both personal and organizational accolades and retires as a two-time California League Executive of the Year (1995 & 2009), and the 2014 recipient of the Bowie Kuhn Award, presented annually to an individual who demonstrates the highest level of support of the baseball chapel program.

“For 38 years Mark has been an anchor of the Cal League. He has served on numerous committees and has the respect of all the team owners and GMs who have known him,” said Charlie Blaney, California League President. “The Cal League is much improved because of Mark Wilson, and we wish him well in his new endeavors.”

“After 38 years in San Jose, filled with countless baseball games, special events like the Bryan Adams & Def Leppard outfield concert and even a live in-game horse race, I am retiring with endless memories and good times to look back on,” said Mark Wilson. “It’s been a great ride since Harry Stavrenos hired me as an intern for the San Jose Bees, and I could not have done it without the tremendous support of our sponsors, staff and fans. I’d like to specifically thank Bill Schlough and the San Francisco Giants as well as Dick Beahrs, who I still tell is the best owner in all of Minor League Baseball.”

In a nice move, the team is returning #38 in his honor.

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