We have personnel news today from the Kokomo Jackrabbits (summer collegiate; Northwoods League), Great Lakes Loons (High-A; Midwest League) and Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A; International League).
In Kokomo Jackrabbits, Nathan Martin has been promoted to General Manager, while Tanner McBride a new Ticket Sales Representative for the 2022 season.
Martin graduated from Kokomo High School in 2007 and went on to continue his education at Indiana State University, earning his Bachelors in Sport Management and Marketing. In 2016, he began his sports career working for the Lafayette Aviators (Prospect League). Shortly after, Nathan joined the Jackrabbits as the Director of Corporate Partnership. Nathan currently resides right here in Kokomo with his wife, Ashley, and two daughters, Henley (6) and Blakely (3) and their dog, Winston.
Also joining the Jackrabbits front office for the 2022 season is Tanner McBride. A recent IUK graduate, McBride spent his 2021 summer as an Operations Intern with the Jackrabbits where he worked in all aspects of the front office operations.
At the Dow Diamond, the Great Lakes Loons announced the hiring of Kevin Schunk as Assistant General Manager of Ticket Sales, along with the hiring of eight other individuals to the front-office staff.
A native of Marysville, Michigan, Schunk is a 2008 graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Sports Management. His baseball career started in 2008 as an intern with the Evansville Otters, before joining the Great Lakes Loons for the first time as a Ticket Account Executive in 2009. Schunk remained with the Loons in various ticket sales and corporate partnership roles through the 2016 season. In 2017, Schunk was named the General Manager of Oakland Sports Properties, overseeing the corporate partnerships department for Oakland University. He briefly transitioned out of the sports industry, becoming a loan officer in 2020. In his new role with the Loons, Schunk will oversee all aspects of the Loons’ ticket office, including the full-time and seasonal staff, sales effort, and strategic planning of the department over consecutive seasons.
“We’re thrilled to have Kevin return to the Loons family,” stated Chris Mundhenk, President and General Manager. “I’ve known Kevin for years and not only does he have a proven track record of financial results in the roles he’s held, but his customer service, solutions-based approach, skills as a mentor, and team-based outlook make him a great addition to our front office. Our ticket staff and ticket holders alike will enjoy working with Kevin immensely.”
Rickey Rissman, another former Loons front office member, is also rejoining the team as the Box Office Manager. A native of Warren, Michigan, and a Northwood University graduate, Rissman will be entering his sixth season in Minor League Baseball. His career began with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, before joining the Great Lakes Loons for the first time in 2018 as a Group Sales Coordinator. Following the resumption of sports from the COVID-19 pandemic, Rissman joined the Traverse City Pit Spitters as a Ticket and Sponsorship Sales Consultant in 2021. In his new role with the Loons, Rissman will oversee the office operations of the Loons box office, as well as manage the seasonal ticket staff. “We’re excited to have Rickey return to the Loons this season,” said Tyler Kring, Assistant General Manager of Business Development. “His analytical mind will be a key asset in the daily operations of the box office and its various systems. Additionally, Rickey is one of the best mentors to young people that I’ve met. He will do a phenomenal job in molding our college interns every year as they begin their careers in the sports industry.”
Scott Bejcek also rejoins the Loons as a Ticket Account Executive. A Midland native, Bejcek was previously with the Loons in 2013 when he served as Clubhouse Manager. In his new ticket department role, he is responsible for booking group outings and fundraising programs at Loons games. Bejcek holds a BBA and MSA in Sports Management and has two children. When he’s not at the ballpark, he enjoys golfing and attending concerts. “We’re excited to have Scott return to the Loons this season,” Kring said. “He will be a valuable resource to our fans looking to book group outings at the ballpark this summer and his unique background as a clubhouse manager will surely translate to unique experiences for his clients.”
Luke Gunsell joins the Loons as a Ticket Account Executive. In his role, Gunsell spearheads the sales effort around ticket memberships and mini-plans. A native of Midland and Northwood graduate, Gunsell is proud to join the Loons and help contribute towards family fun entertainment for the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Austin Johnson joins the Loons as a Ticket Sales Associate for the 2022 Season. In his role, Austin works on selling season ticket memberships and mini-plans, as well as servicing existing season ticket holders to meet their needs. A native of Frankenmuth, Johnson is a 2022 graduate of Northwood University with a BBA in Sports Management.
Eric Vandefifier joins the front office as the Entertainment Coordinator but will be no stranger to Loons fans. This season marks his fourth season with the team, previously serving as a seasonal gameday assistant in 2018 and a member of the Fun Flock since 2019. Vandefifer most notably has been the Loons’ on-field host during games since 2021. In his current role, Vandefifer oversees the Fun Flock and coordinates and schedules the entertainment that takes place during Loons games. A native of Montrose, Vandefifer is graduating from Central Michigan University in December with a degree in broadcasting. “Eric’s energy and enthusiasm will be felt by fans this entire season,” stated Kring. “He has a passion for creating the most entertaining product the Great Lakes Bay Region has ever seen and works tirelessly both on and off the field to make sure our fans have the best experience possible.”
Cameron Koch joins the Loons’ front office as the Concessions Manager. A native of Auburn, Koch has been a member of the Loons’ food and beverage team as a gameday employee since 2018, first as a cashier, then as a warehouse courier. He’s set to graduate this spring with a degree in Kinesiology from Saginaw Valley State University. When not at the ballpark, Koch enjoys hunting, fishing, and visiting his brother in Las Vegas. “No one deserves an addition to the front office more than Cameron,” stated Andrea Noonan, Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage Operations. “He’s an extremely hard and loyal worker and gave it his all to help us pull off the 2021 season in the most challenging of circumstances. We look forward to seeing him grow and shine in this new role this season.”
Noah Wolf has been named the #2 broadcaster for the Loons and ESPN 100.9 FM, joining Lead Broadcaster Brad Tunney for all 132 Loons games this season. A 2020 graduate of Ohio University, Wolf spent the last two seasons as the voice of the Iowa State women’s basketball team and the last three seasons as the voice of the Bend Elks (West Coast League). I
Previously in a seasonal role, Carlos Valles has been named Executive Chef for the Loons’ food and beverage operation. He’ll manage the day-to-day operations of the Dow Diamond kitchen and be responsible for developing the menus and flavor profiles of all concession and catering items offered at Dow Diamond.
In Memphis, Jack Keffer enters his first season as Communications and Public Relations Manager and lead broadcaster for the Redbirds. Hailing from Philadelphia, Keffer worked as the Assistant Brand Manager for Sportsradio 94.1 WIP where he helped direct programming and digital content, created sales solutions and executed partnerships with flagship teams.
Prior to WIP, Keffer called games and handled media and community relations with the Frederick Keys and Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Alex Coil enters his first season as Communications and Public Relations Assistant and broadcaster for the Redbirds. The Valparaiso, Indiana native attended Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and spent the 2021 season with the Florence Y’alls (Frontier League).
In addition to his experience with Florence, Coil has been behind the mic with Pac-12 Network live streams of Arizona State athletics. With a deep writing background, Coil has bylines for Team USA, Pac-12 Network and Arizona PBS.