Friday, November 30, 2012

Travs finally comment on front office changes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

After avoiding questions from the Arkansas Times and other media and seeing a Facebook protest group called Take Me Out of the Ballpark swell to nearly 2,000 members, the Arkansas Travelers finally issued a media release commenting on the dismissal of general manager Pete Laven and assistant general manager David Kay on Nov. 12.

You'll notice the release doesn't mention Laven or Kay by name.

"The Executive Committee of the Travelers conducted an extensive review of the club's operations and felt that a change in front office leadership was necessary to ensure the success of the ballclub in the long term," said Team President Russ Meeks, who also serves on the club's six-member Executive Committee. "We want our fans, sponsors and partners to know that the Travelers are in the process of conducting a nationwide search to find the right person to lead the Travelers into the future. There's been great interest so far in the general manager position and I expect there will be greater interest at the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville. In the meantime we have the utmost faith in Paul Allen and his staff as they prepare for the 2013 season."

The release (seen in full on the jump) notes that, as previously reported, Paul Allen is serving as interim general manager. It also announces a number of new hires: Leslie Baker as Director of Community Relations and Jeff Daley, Ben Harrington and Eric Schrader as Account Executives.

The Arkansas Travelers announce the restructuring of the organization's front office with several recent changes. Former assistant GM Paul Allen has assumed the title of Interim General Manager while the Travelers' Executive Committee searches for the club's next General Manager. Four new full-time front office members have been hired including Leslie Baker as Director of Community Relations and Jeff Daley, Ben Harrington and Eric Schrader as Account Executives.

"The Executive Committee of the Travelers conducted an extensive review of the club's operations and felt that a change in front office leadership was necessary to ensure the success of the ballclub in the long term," said Team President Russ Meeks, who also serves on the club's six-member Executive Committee. "We want our fans, sponsors and partners to know that the Travelers are in the process of conducting a nationwide search to find the right person to lead the Travelers into the future. There's been great interest so far in the general manager position and I expect there will be greater interest at the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville. In the meantime we have the utmost faith in Paul Allen and his staff as they prepare for the 2013 season."

Allen assumes the Interim GM title after his sixth year as a full-time staff member for the Travelers. He began his career in baseball with the Travelers as a stadium operations intern during the 2005 season at Ray Winder Field in Little Rock. After one season with the Birmingham Barons as an event planner, Allen returned to the Travelers for the inaugural season of Dickey-Stephens Park in 2007 as the club's Director of Group Sales. Allen became Assistant General Manager before the 2010 season and has been involved in corporate sales, team travel planning and special events at Dickey-Stephens Park.

Baker becomes a full-time staff member with the Travelers after spending the previous 7 months as an intern. She will be responsible for all public appearances made by Travelers players and mascots as the club's community liaison. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Photography. Her grandfather served as Concessions Manager for the Travelers during the 1950s and 1960s.

Harrington joins the Travs full time as an Account Executive responsible for selling corporate sponsorships and ticket packages. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a degree in Mass Communications then joined the University of Arkansas-owned Garvan Woodland Gardens as Educational Coordinator. Harrington was a stadium operations intern during the 2012 Travs season.

Schrader becomes a Travs Account Executive after spending the 2012 season in the club's stadium operations internship. He graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Mass Communication.

Daley coordinated and managed the Travs stadium operation interns during the 2012 season. He will resume his role at Director of Stadium Operations in February, but in the meantime he also adds the title of Account Executive during the offseason. Jeff has experience in Operations and Media Relations with the Palm Springs POWER of the Southern California Collegiate Baseball Association and a degree in Communications from California State University - Fullerton.

"This is an energetic and creative group of people inside our office right now, "said Allen. "Right now we are working hard to develop an exciting 2013 season for our fans."

The Travelers open the 2013 season at home against the Frisco RoughRiders on April 4.

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