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Personnel news: Québec, Omaha, Washington, Charleston, Biloxi

Quebec CapitalesWe have personnel news today from the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League), Québec Capitales (Frontier League), Washington Wild Things (Frontier League), Charleston Dirty Birds (Atlantic League) and Biloxi Shuckers (Double-A; Southern League).

The Québec Capitales have promoted Charles Demers to Vice-President, while retaining an essential part of his responsibilities in terms of sales, marketing, analysis and especially customer experience. He also continues to support Patrick Scalabrini with baseball operations.

Mike Petillion is the new General Manager of the Capitales. The newcomer will focus on optimizing all operational aspects of the organization, with more than 13 years of experience as a manager at La Cage and two years as director of operations at Château Laurier.

“We are delighted with this evolution in our management structure. These changes reinforce our commitment to providing an exceptional experience for our fans and maintaining our leadership position in independent baseball,” said Michel Laplante, team president, via press release. “Mike joins the core of our organization and we look forward to seeing the fruits of collaboration within this renewed team.”

The Omaha Storm Chasers announced several promotions and additions to the front office staff ahead of the 2024 season. 

“I couldn’t be more excited for the talented staff we have promoted internally and the new faces that have joined our family over last few months, said Storm Chasers President Martie Cordaro via press release. “We’re all looking forward to building off a successful 2023 season at Werner Park and I’m looking forward to the new ideas our team can bring to the table and provide our fans with the best possible experience in 2024.” 


Laurie Schlender has been named the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of the Storm Chasers, after serving as the fifth General Manager in team history since October 2019. She began working with the organization in 2000 and has since worked as a contractor for the team, the full-time Controller and Assistant General Manager. Laurie will now oversee the ticketing merchandise and human resources for the Storm Chasers. 

Marcus Sabata has been named Vice President, Sales & Service after previously serving as the Assistant General Manager of Sales since November 2022. He joined the organization in January 2022 as Director of Sales after serving as General Manager of the Jackson Generals in Jackson, TN. Marcus will now oversee advertising, group sales, ticket packages and client services for the Storm Chasers. 

Zach Ziler has been named Vice President, Baseball & Facility Operations after previously serving as the Assistant General Manager, Tickets and Operations since October 2022. He first started with the organization in September 2018 as Group Sales Manager and was named the Senior Director of Tickets in February 2022. Previously, he has worked for the Casper Rockies, River City Rascals, Normal CornBelters, Arkansas Razorbacks and Florence Freedom. Zach will now oversee baseball operations, facility operations and special events for the Storm Chasers. 

Landon Caldwell is now a Groups & Hospitality Executive for the Storm Chasers, after joining the team in October 2022 as a Group Ticket Sales Executive, a role where he initiated the new Corporate Chasers Club that allows businesses to reward employees with discounted tickets. Prior to his time with the Chasers, Landon was an Account Executive for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League and served as a Sales Intern for the Omaha Beef indoor football team. 

Skyler Clough has been named Manager of Client Activations for the Storm Chasers, having served as the team’s Client Services Manager since October 2022. She joined the team in April 2021 as a Seasonal Associate before transitioning to the Box Office Coordinator ahead of the 2022 season. Skyler previously interned with the Lincoln Saltdogs in the American Association and competed on the swim team while attending the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota.  

Jacob Garnas is now a Groups & Hospitality Executive for the Storm Chasers, after joining the team in February 2023 as a Group Ticket Sales Executive. Prior to joining the Chasers, Jacob worked as the Cornerbacks Coach for the Nebraska Wesleyan University football team, where he was a 5-year letter winner and member of the Prairie Wolves before joining the coaching staff. 

Anthony Goetz has been promoted to Special Events Manager for the Storm Chasers, after joining the team in July 2022 as the Events Coordinator, where he added a charitable component to Baseballoween that collected 666 pounds of food for families in the region. Prior to joining the Chasers, Anthony spent two and half years at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as Championship Sport Manager and previously worked in events at the Omaha Sports Commission. 

Josh Kalin is now a Groups & Hospitality Executive for the Storm Chasers, after joining the team in January 2023 as a Group Ticket Sales Executive. Prior to his time with the Chasers, Josh interned with Sandhills Global in Lincoln and previously worked at Platteview Golf Club. 

Blake Paris has been promoted to Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Storm Chasers, after most recently serving as the organization’s Manager of Lead Development.  He first started with the team in 2021 as a Corporate Sales Executive, after working as an Account Executive with the Reno Aces and interning with the Lincoln Saltdogs. 

Dru Sauer has been promoted to Director of Group Sales for the Storm Chasers, after working as the team’s Group Sales Manager since 2022, where he oversaw a significant increase in group sales revenue. Dru originally joined the organization in April 2021 as a Group Ticket Sales Executive, after internships with the Cincinnati Reds and the Bismarck Larks. 

Katie Scott is now the Game Operations Coordinator for the Storm Chasers, after spending the 2023 season as the team’s Promotions & Community Relations Associate. Katie joined the organization in February 2023, after working seasons with the Kansas City Royals and Burlington Bees. 

Josh Sindelar is now the Ticket Sales Manager for the Storm Chasers, after most recently spending four years at the Chasers sister club, Union Omaha. He joined the organization in January 2020 as the Ticket Services & Hospitality Rep for Union Omaha, then spent a year as the Client & Season Ticket Services Manager, before joining the baseball staff as well. 

Aniya Tate is now the Employee & Community Relations Manager for the Storm Chasers, having served as the Manager of Human Resources and Community Affairs since November 2022. She joined the team in January 2021 as the Human Resources Manager, after working with the Lincoln Saltdogs and Kansas City Chiefs. 

Jordan Yerem is now the Senior Client Activations Coordinator for the Storm Chasers, after most recently serving as the Group Sales Manager for the Chasers’ sister club, Union Omaha. Jordan joined the Chasers in April 2021 as a Group Sales Operations Associate, before being promoted to Group Client Services Coordinator in October 2021, then moving to the soccer side of the ballpark in November 2022. 


Casey Werkheiser joined the Storm Chasers in July 2023 as the team’s Grounds Manager, after most recently working at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the spring training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Casey previously served on the grounds crews for the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles AAA) and Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates AAA).  

Sarah Marlowe joined the Storm Chasers in September 2023 as a Front Office Assistant, after starting a small youth baseball organization with her father. A 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sarah spent several years in the hospitality industry before leaving the workforce in 2013 to be a stay-at-home mom. 

Harry Zornes rejoined the Storm Chasers in September 2023 as a Corporate Sales Executive, after previously working for the team during the 2019 season in Group Sales. Between stints with the Chasers, Harry spent time in sales with All Copy Products and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, with experience in sales for the Kansas City T-Bones and Lincoln Stars. 

Houston Korenoski joined the Storm Chasers in October 2023 as the Director of Promotions & Game Operations, after a stint as the Assistant Director of Marketing in the Creighton University Athletics Department. Prior to his time at Creighton, Houston was the Assistant Director of Fan Experience & Promotions at Liberty University and served in both the athletics communications and marketing departments while earning his bachelor’s degree in Sport Management at Wichita State University. 

Jody Sellers joined the Storm Chasers in October 2023 as the Senior Corporate Sales Executive, after most recently working for PlayFly Aspire serving as the Senior Director of Sales at Miami (OH), Drake, and Louisiana Tech University. Jody has nearly 20 years of experience in Minor League Baseball, working for affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Guardians, and Colorado Rockies. 

Kari Collins rejoined the Storm Chasers in December 2023 as the Senior Operations & Special Events Facilitator, after previously serving as a Ballpark Operation Intern during the inaugural season at Werner Park 2011. Prior to rejoining the Chasers, she worked 11 years with the Frederick Keys in stadium operations, clubhouse operations and merchandise, where she helped launch the Atlantic League’s Spire City Ghost Hounds brand and their mid-season merchandise release. Kari has also completed internships with the Albuquerque Isotopes, Frederick Keys and Charlotte Knights. 

Ethan Tarantino joined the Storm Chasers in January 2024 as a Groups & Hospitality Executive, after most recently working for PlayFly Aspire as a Sales and Service Consultant at the University of Texas at El Paso. Ethan previously interned with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League and graduated with a Marketing degree from Iowa State University in May 2023. 

The Charleston Dirty Birds announced the hiring of six new employees, including four whom fans might have met during the Salango Law Dirty Birds Light the Night, presented by GoMart, and one who will be the first woman play-by-play broadcaster in Charleston baseball history.

“We continue to empower women in several key leadership and supervisory roles within our organization, and adding a woman as the new and very experienced voice of our home team sends that message well beyond our ballpark and even our city,” Dirty Birds owner and CEO Andy Shea said via press release. “I met Jill Gearin about four years ago and it’s been absolutely awesome following her career nationally, locally, and industry wide. Jill’s experiences and professionalism will undoubtedly continue growing our organization and community impact. We’ve put together a great team in our front office to prepare for what we hope will be a winning season on the field, throughout the ballpark and within our community.”

Jill Gearin will become the voice of the Dirty Birds’ live-streamed home games in 2024 as the first woman to be the main play-by-play announcer in the history of professional baseball in Charleston. She will also serve as the primary media contact for the team as the Manager of Media Relations, Community Engagement and Broadcasting. A softball team captain and summa cum laude graduate of Emerson College, most recently she led broadcasts and media relations for five years for the Visalia Rawhide in the California League. She’s also been the voice behind the mic for Major League Baseball’s RBI program, Arizona Fall League, Big West Conference Basketball Tournament and NFHS, which covers high school sports throughout the nation.

She joins recent hires Ana Hirschhorn, the team’s new Food & Beverage Manager, and A’ndrea Robertson, the new Office Manager.

Hirschhorn developed extensive experience in catering, event management, food & beverage preparation and presentation, hospitality, and personnel management in Florida over the past seven years. Most recently she directed the Catering & Events division of Delectables Fine Catering, a major special event catering company in the Tampa Bay area, following her management of banquets and supervision of food & beverage staff at Fenway Hotel, a destination hotel in Dunedin.  She also worked for two golf resorts after graduating from Johnson and Wales University.

Robertson is also making her first foray into professional baseball after extensive experience in human resources management, business finance and customer relations. Since 2021, she’s been a supervisor, host and customer relations leader at the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes. She’s currently studying for two Master’s degrees:  in Clinical Psychology at Marshall University and in Human Resource Management through Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her Bachelor’s Degree in forensic psychology.

“As we head for home in our most recent expansion of new roles and sales executives for the 2024 season, we’re thankful to have Ana, Andi, Jill, and Lexi, joining Mackenzie in various leadership roles with our team as well as Hunter and Evan joining the sales “bullpen” to service our customers and partners at a higher level,” Dirty Birds General Manager Ben Blum said via press release. “Each bringing their own professional and educational skill sets to best complement our existing team of accomplished industry leaders.”

With experience in rowing and professional soccer, Lexi Luke is also starting her first job in pro baseball today as the Assistant, Box Office and Merchandising.  She’s been a rowing coach for the South Orlando Rowing Association and in brand development and corporate sponsorship activation for the Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando Pride women’s soccer team. She graduated with a sports business degree from Stetson University.

The team also has hired two new group sales executives, who are both starting their sport business careers and whom Dirty Birds fans might also have met during Light the Night. Evan McGraw grew up in Coopers Creek in northern Kanawha County and recently received his degree in Sport Management from Marshall University, where he also served as a manager for the softball team. Last May, Hunter Thomas earned a dual degree in both Marketing and Sport Management from Western Carolina University, where he also was president and captain of the university’s rugby team and served as a manager of the basketball team. 

The Washington Wild Things have promoted Assistant General Manager of Baseball Operations Kyle Dawson to Vice President of Baseball Operations. He will also continue to serve as the voice of the Wild Things.

His role has cultivated over the years since he joined the organization. Dawson started with the team as a part-time official scorer and scoreboard operator in 2015 before joining the club’s on-field entertainment staff as the on-field emcee in 2016. In 2017, Dawson was brought on full-time as the Social Media and Community Relations Manager. He started in the broadcast booth in 2018 and has twice been named the Robert Ford Award winner for the Frontier League’s Broadcaster of the Year (2019 and 2021). He’s also served as a media relations manager and a ticket account executive with the organization. The upcoming 2024 season will be his 10th season with the club. 

“Kyle has a genuine passion for sports and in particular, baseball. He brings that passion to work with him every day and continues to be a huge asset to our organization,” said team owner Stu Williams via press release. “We know Kyle will continue to be an integral part of our organization, not only in the front office and clubhouse, but also for our fans.”

Dawson played baseball at Plum Senior High School before matriculating to Waynesburg University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Sports Broadcasting/Information and a minor in Journalism. He served in several roles in the Department of Communication at Waynesburg including Producer of the Waynesburg University Sports Network. GM of the campus radio station, Assistant Sports Editor of the campus newspaper and sports director of the campus TV station. He also works with the TribLIVE High School Sports Network as a broadcaster (formerly the MSA Sports Network).

“Kyle has shown continued diversity and flexibility in our front office. As we continue our development as an MLB Partner League team, his experience will be heavily relied on,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “We look forward to seeing his growth further in management and the lasting impression he can make in our community.”

The Wild Things also promoted Stephanie Keller to Vice President of Entertainment and Community Relations.

Keller joined the Wild Things’ staff following her internship with the street team during the 2021 season. Before this promotion, Stephanie was serving as Community Relations and Promotions Manager. Keller’s new role will include an increased hand in the media relations and social media ends of the organization, as well as her continued effort in managing the in-game entertainment inside Wild Things Park, the street team and mascot. She also paces the Wild Things’ presence in the community at local events, outings and more.

“Stephanie has increased our presence in the community ten-fold and made it a point to almost always have us represented at local community events,” Williams said. “Her energy in stadium is infectious and helps to boost the entertainment our guests receive when they are here.”

The Galena, Ohio native (outside of Columbus), graduated from Big Walnut High School, where she cheered for the Eagles. She went on to attend Syracuse University, where she earned a B.S. in Communications and Rhetorical Studies and a minor in Information Management and Technology. She cheered for the Orange as well. After she began her career as a Brand Ambassador for Audacy, Incorporated, a group of three different radio stations in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2020, she accepted the traffic and continuity sales assistant position covering all three radio stations.

“Our organization continues to show investment in the people who look to advance the Wild Things’ brand,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli via press release. “Stephanie has dedicated time and effort into the entertainment we provide and the image that we keep. This new role will allow her to be even more influential in the fan experience at the ballpark.”

The Biloxi Shuckers have announced front office promotions for four current employees and three new additions, including the return of Barry Lyons as Team Ambassador, as the team prepares for the start of the 2024 season.

Promotions include Mason Fitzpatrick to Senior Account Executive, Pam Hendrickson to Director of Accounting and Human Resources, Chris Pharis to Corporate Partnerships Manager and Makenzie Crampton to Director of Marketing and Social Media. Kenny Flores has been added as the Promotions and Special Events Manager, and Sydney Vadney has joined the front office as the Ticket Operations Manager.

Lyons returns to the front office after spending the 2023 season as the manager of the Lexington Counter Clocks in the Atlantic League. He previously served as the team ambassador from 2017 until 2022. Lyons, a former seven-year MLB veteran with the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Chicago White Sox and New York Mets, will serve as a team ambassador throughout the community and assist in community relations efforts.

Flores joins the Shuckers after four seasons across Minor League Baseball. His previous stops include the Gwinnett Stripers, Richmond Flying Squirrels, and the Montgomery Biscuits. Originally from Northeast Georgia, Flores received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management with a Minor in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Vadney joins the Shuckers as the new Ticket Operations Manager for the 2024 season. Prior to joining the Shuckers, Vadney spent time with the Columbus Rivers Dragons of the Federal Prospects Hockey League and Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots of the Sunbelt Baseball League as the Ticket Manager. Before working in tickets, she played two years as a professional soccer player in the National Indoor Soccer League with the Columbus Rapids after a year collegiately at Columbus State University.

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