We have personnel news today from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRIders (Triple-A East), Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (Northwoods League) and the Clinton LumberKings (Prospect League).
In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the RailRiders announced 13 new employees to the front-office roster.
“We are excited to grow our staff in several key areas and in ways that positively impact our operation,” said John Adams, Team President of the RailRiders, via press release. “We have had a strong core in place and are excited to add new energy to the front office. These new hires are spread across several departments like ticket sales, corporate partnerships and marketing, and should allow everyone on staff to reach their fullest potential.”
Matt Hamilton is the RailRiders new Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. He graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2010 and spent seven years as a news reporter and anchor before a transition to media sales. He joined the Amarillo Sod Poodles (Class AA; Texas League) in 2018. In three seasons, Hamilton advanced from serving as a corporate partnerships executive to heading up the department. Under his leadership, the Sod Poodles corporate partnerships grew revenue by over 25 percent while also retaining 99 percent of their partners despite the global pandemic.
Chris Hutson joined the RailRiders front office in October as the VP of Ticket Sales, Service and Operations. A native New Yorker, he has a wealth of sales and marketing experience at the team, league office, event and venue levels. He was the principal and co-founder of Turnstyles USA, the first-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional sales support agency that served clients across all major sports. Hutson has also worked for the NFL in a variety of roles as well as Spectacor Management Group, the Philadelphia 76ers and Madison Square Garden, where he directed sales for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.
Holly Gumble is the new senior staff accountant. She is a graduate of Dallas High School and a 2010 graduate of West Chester University, where she earned her degree in Accounting.
Jordan Calvey is the RailRiders new Director of Marketing. She attended Abington Heights High School and is a 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She built her marketing and sports industry experience through working several Olympic Games with NBC Sports, and at marketing agencies, Inspira and Match Marketing. Calvey most recently spent two years with the U.S. Figure Skating Association in Colorado Springs as the Marketing Manager, where she led ticket sales growth and marketing for their tent pole events, managed organizational campaigns and drove brand awareness locally and nationally.
Katherine Arata has joined the staff as the Marketing Manager. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2019 and interned with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers and at the Astros/Nationals Spring Training Complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, after graduation. Arata spent the 2021 season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies as the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the New York Mets Double-A affiliate.
Taylor Moy is the new Video Production Manager. A Queens, NYC native, she graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2019 with degrees in media and psychology. Before the start of her career in minor league baseball, she studied abroad in Spain and completed the Disney College Program. Moy spent 2021 with the Rumble Ponies as their video production assistant before becoming a production intern for the New York Giants.
Kirsten Peters is the RailRiders Social Media and Special Events Manager. She is a 2021 graduate of Wilkes University with degrees in communication studies, sports management and creative writing. While at Wilkes, Peters was the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The Beacon. She was also the program director of Wilkes’ student-run television show, Wilkes Now! She served as the baseball team’s intern for four seasons, keeping the scorebook, recording stats and acting as the team photographer. She added baseball social media director to her list of responsibilities in 2018.
Joshua Klein is a new Corporate Partnerships Manager for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A native of Montville, NJ, he attended Susquehanna University, where he majored in broadcasting and was a member of the River Hawks Crew Club. After graduating in 2019, Klein worked for the Reading Fightin Phils as their Media Relations Intern/Social Media Coordinator. Following his time with Reading, he moved to Nevada and was the Communications Coordinator for the Reno Aces before the cancelation of the 2020 season.
Kate Mummert joins the front office as a Corporate Services Manager. She is a native of Dover, PA, and attended York College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. Mummert spent the last three years in the Atlantic League working for the York Revolution in retail, ticketing and client services.
Anthony D’Andrea and Chris Kunzmann have joined the front office as group sales executives.
D’Andrea is a 2021 graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. The Norwalk, CT native completed social media and marketing internships with Adapting Social and Crowdpac, and served as an Athletics Marketing and Promotions intern for Monmouth University in 2021.
Kunzmann is a New Jersey native and a 2021 graduate of Penn State. He has previously worked for the Penn State basketball team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs as a Game Day Intern and the Philadelphia Eagles as a Ticket and Fan Services Intern.
Brandon Brzenski is the club’s new Stadium Operations Manager after spending three seasons with the club as an intern. Brzenski attended Kutztown University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management in 2020. He also attended East Stroudsburg University and graduated in 2021 with a master’s degree in Sport Management.
In addition to the recent hires, Kyle Davis joined the RailRiders last summer as Account Executive Season Ticket Sales. A NEPA native, Davis was previously a Marketing/Services Intern with the team in 2018. He also interned with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as the Game Day operations Intern and the Washington Wild Things (Frontier League) as the Event/Operations Intern. Davis attended Temple University and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management.
In Wisconsin Rapids, Chloe de Vries is the fourth general manager in Rafters history. De Vries rejoins the Rafters after spending three seasons with the organization.
De Vries, 23, started her career with the Rafters in 2018 as a marketing intern and on-field emcee under current Green Bay Rockers Vice President and General Manager John Fanta’s leadership. She fills the position that was vacated by former General Manager Andy Francis, current Assistant General Manager with the South Bend Cubs (High-A Midwest).
“We are thrilled to have Chloe returning to the Rafters as our new general manger,” Rafters Owner Vince Fonti said via press release. “The passion and love that she has for the Rafters and the City of Wisconsin Rapids is infectious. Chloe has proven herself over the past two years with her professionalism and hard work and is ready to make this jump. I am so proud of her development and excited to see her lead the Rafters for many years.”
“I could not be more eager and honored to assume the role of general manager and follow in the footsteps of some incredible mentors,” de Vries stated. “During my time in Rapids, the community has been so welcoming and their enthusiasm towards the team is what makes this position so rewarding. The success of this organization is based on this community, and I can’t wait to continue to put our best product on the field in 2022.”
De Vries graduated from Chapman University in the spring of 2020 with a degree in Communication Studies and minor in Broadcast Journalism. During her time at Chapman, she interned with the Los Angeles Clippers for two seasons in the Public Relations department. De Vries served as the Seasonal Marketing Manager for the 2020 Rafters season before assuming the role of the Marketing and Public Relations Manager heading into 2021. She joined Francis and Hannah Jurgens becoming the first female dominated front office in Northwoods League history. After the season, she left to return to her alma mater as the Assistant Sports Information Director before accepting the general manager position.
In Clinton, Jake Fratzke is now in charge of the game-day operations staff, specifically overseeing the food and beverage areas. The Wilton, Iowa native is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa’s Sports and Recreation Management program.
“I am very excited to get to work preparing for the upcoming season,” Fratzke said via press release. “It has always been a goal of mine to work in sports and now to be able to put all of my hard work into helping the ball club have another great season is truly a blessing.”