Occupation / Formal Title: President, Lynchburg Hillcats
Hometown: Houston, TX
Tell us a little bit about your career history before ending up in Lynchburg.
I served as the General Manager for the Sugar Land Skeeters from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, I worked for the Advanced-A Lake Elsinore Storm for 12 years, including eight as the General Manager. I also spent time in roles with the Dallas Cowboys, High Desert Mavericks and Staples Center.
What made you say “yes” to the offer to be the president of the Hillcats?
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the Elmore Sports Group, which is the ownership group that extended the offer to me. It was a chance to come in and be a part of a historic franchise in the Carolina League. Plus, when my wife and family visited the area, they absolutely loved it!
You started out with a bang by asking for new team name suggestions on social media. Were you surprised at how that ended?
No, we were not surprised at all by the passion and loyalty of our Lynchburg baseball fans. We had a strong feeling all along that the Hillcats name would prevail. However, this was an opportunity to see how much the Hillcats name resonated with the fans, look at other options, and leave it up to our dedicated supporters to decide the identity of the team moving forward.
What about the team logo—why did you want to lead a change there as well?
The Hillcats have used the same logo for 21 years.
After consulting with a nationally-respected marketing company, we thought there was an opportunity to freshen up our image. We now have three different logos and a number of different color and uniform combinations that were not available with the previous image.
Describe your vision for the Hillcats in the coming years.
Our goal is to strengthen our connections and partners in the community. We are striving to expand our fan base and reach a larger audience. We want to provide an entertaining and safe environment for families and their children, and I think we made great strides toward that in our first year.
What do you think will be your biggest challenges or obstacles?
For this offseason, we are making substantial upgrades to City Stadium. These include a new playing surface, which is already complete, plans to improve the parking lot, and much more. I think the biggest challenge we are focused on is making sure everything is in place by Opening Day to ensure the best possible fan experience when we begin the season.
How does a team like the Hillcats strengthen an area like Lynchburg?
The Hillcats provide an affordable and family-friendly environment throughout the summer. They also give fans a unique connection to players who may one day play in the Major Leagues.
How would you define your leadership style?
I think I am a very pragmatic leader. I believe that if you take care of your employees that they, in return, will take care of our fans.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
In my career I have had a few mentors who I have learned a lot from.
When working with the Dallas Cowboys my boss, Amy Phillips, once sent me home for showing up late and after a few of my employees. She told me to go home and think about what is important to me. I learned to never be complacent and comfortable. Always strive to be better.
What one piece of advice would you share with others?
Work hard, and you aren’t entitled to anything.
How do you deal with conflict?
Head on and talk it out. Try to understand both sides of the conflict and work through it.
What types of things do you do to stay organized?
I keep a schedule of events on my phone and computer, which notifies me of upcoming events but also carry around spiral notebooks to keep up with things as they happen.
I carry a small pocket notebook on game day to take notes on possible improvements or incidents.
What’s life like outside of work?
It’s very busy. I have two kids who are active in sports and clubs. So even when we are not in season, there is always something going on with the family.
What do you enjoy the most about this region?
It’s a family-oriented atmosphere with many things to be involved with. It’s easy to stay active and entertained whether it be visiting downtown, enjoying the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and James River, or seeing some historic sites throughout the area. Everyone has been very welcoming.