June 2012

Keys Staff Feature – Felicia Adamus

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

I started working in sports the summer after I graduated high school with the Detriot Tigers Double-A affiliate, the Erie Seawolves.  I sold programs for 3 seasons and then moved into the Box Office where I sold game tickets and assisted customers at the Will Call.  While working for the Seawolves, I graduated from Mercyhurst College (now University) with a degree in Sport Business Management and started work on my Master of Sport Administration at Canisius College.  In order to earn my Master’s degree, I accepted a position with the Lakewood BlueClaws in Lakewood, New Jersey where I spent nine months in the role of Ticket Sales Assistant.  After completing my degree and the assistantship program, I applied for the Box Office Manager position with the Keys.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

My current position with the Keys is Director of Ticket Operations.  I oversee the ticket sales and operation aspects of the Keys organization.  On a normal office day, I process ticket orders from phone, window and group sales including payments and printing of the tickets.  I am also responsible for keeping a number of reports up-to-date that assists our Sales staff and Financial Manager.  In addition to all of the accounting and orders, I do scheduling for the Box Office game day staff and ticket takers. 

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

Game days start off pretty much like every other day.  The morning consists of processing orders and assisting customers at the window.  In the afternoon, I switch over to game mode.  I get all the ticket scanners loaded with the current game’s ticketing information, set up the windows with money bags for my game day staff and check all of our group hospitality areas to insure our fans have a great time with no worries.  During the game, I am running between the Box Office, front gates and our hospitality areas making sure things are running smoothly.  I also count the money and complete several different reports that go to the GM, Finance Manager and Ovations.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

My dream job was to become Director of Ticket Operation for a minor league baseball team.  Since I have only achieved that goal recently, I really haven’t thought much about what I want to achieve next.  The logical move would be to work for a Major League team but I love the family-friendly, laidback environment that a minor league game brings.  I don’t know that I will ever want to make the jump to the majors but I’m looking forward to see what comes my way.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

I would just want to say thank you for your loyalty and support over all these years.  While I have only been with the organization for a year and a half, I have experienced some of the best fans in minor league baseball in Frederick.  Thank you for coming out and supporting the Keys and I look forward to many more years of Keys baseball.

Keys Staff Feature – Adam Pohl

The next Keys Staff Feature is on one of the two Assistant GM’s, Adam Pohl.

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

I worked in Salem prior in the Carolina League and had moved back to the DC area when an opportunity with the Keys opened up. Prior to the Keys I have worked with the Tar Heel Sports Network, the Asheboro Copperheads of the Coastal Plains League, Burlington Indians of the Appalachian League and Salem Avalanche of the Carolina League.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

I am an Assistant General Manager and my duties include everything that drives bringing more people to Keys games. In running our marketing department we put forth a plan of promotions and advertising that looks to spread the word of our affordable family product to more and more people in our area. Daily I meet and develop partnerships throughout the community to grow and strengthen the brand of Keys baseball.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

What is unique about my position is that aside from the business aspects of my job I also broadcast our games and enjoy bringing the highs and lows of Keys baseball to our great fans. I also just love being a part of our young and vibrant staff. It’s great coming to a place you love and working alongside others that have a great passion for our craft as well.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

Broadcasting Orioles baseball.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

You make this place special. And when its snowing on a Tuesday in November and we are still driving to get more people and companies interested and involved in Keys baseball we believe in what we are doing and what this place means because of your support and passion for this club.

Keys Staff Feature – Brandon Apter

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

I studied Sport Administration at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and secured a game day internship with the Reading Phillies (Double-A Phillies) in the summer of 2009. There, I was involved in selling group tickets, being on the R-Phils street team and participating in other marketing efforts. During games, I worked their prize wheel, acted as my own stadium character Brando the Bando and helped run the kids club program. I enjoyed it so much that I got a nine-month position as the Marketing Assistant with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced-A Royals) in Delaware. My duties their consisted of managing a group of 40 college interns, designing website media walls and stadium banners and pretty much made sure all of the on-field promotions were sharp when they went on field. After my time there, I interviewed with some teams and ended up in Frederick and have enjoyed my time here thus far. I also spent some time working with a company in Hatboro, PA called the Sports Network. It is a sports wire service that serves clients across the nation and I did a lot of box score entry and in-game computer play-by-play.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

I am the Promotions Manager for the Keys. No day is really too similar when it comes to the marketing department here but when it comes to office duties, I am in charge of sending out charitable donations, in charge of Keys Baseball Camps, the college internship program and anything involving community relations like mascot and player appearances. I also help plan out the promotional schedule and theme nights. The big program that I enjoy running is Keys for Reading because getting kids excited about reading and baseball is one of the more rewarding aspects of the job.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

My game day responsibilities start by making the game scripts each day. The scripts run through the entire pregame timeline by the minute and also what goes on in between innings, whether it is an on-field promotion or a video. I work closely with Marketing & Sponsorship Assistant Bridget McCabe and Creative Production Manager Matt Houston on the scripts so I know if any sponsors get special reads during the game or if there are any special first pitches. When gates open, I am on-field for the pre-game stuff and make sure all of the ceremonial first pitches go smoothly. Finding players to catch the first pitch is the tough part! After those, I get the thumbs up from manager Orlando Gomez when the team is ready to take the field and radio up to Matt Houston to roll the open video. When the game begins, I juggle being one of the two on-field emcees for the night and managing a group of 6-9 interns per game. The thing I enjoy the most is the fan interaction. I can’t really sit around in one spot for a long period of time so running around the stadium doing promotions, dressing up as Frank Key or the hot dog is something I live for when it comes to games, because it all adds to the atmosphere. Working game days and seeing kids and families take in their first games is so rewarding so I always try to treat every night like Opening Night, because you never know who may be at the Grove for the first time.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t partially living my dream now. Having a job in marketing in minor league baseball is a dream come true in itself. Long term I would love to become the General Manager for a minor league team or possibly the Director of Community Relations for an MLB team. I would like to achieve one of those two in the next 5-7 years.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

There is so much to say about the Frederick fans because I get to interact with all of them so much during games. Keep up the support because without the fans, there would be some Atlantic League team no one cares about in town. The whole situation with the lease last year and the fan support speaks so much to the character of the people in this city and I love it. I guess I can just say, thanks for being you and keep it up!…and Shake Those Keys!

Keys Staff Feature – Bridget McCabe

Our next staff feature brings us to Marketing & Sponsorship Assistant, Bridget McCabe.

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

After I graduated college, I applied to a few different baseball teams around the country. The Frederick Keys were one of the first to offer be a position and in what I wanted to be doing, so that is where I headed. Before working with the Keys I worked from the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Football, the U.S. Open and the Massachusetts Twisters.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

I am the Marketing and Sponsorship Assistant for theFrederick Keys. I honestly don’t think there is a “regular” day in the office. Every day is different. I do everything from making sure all Sponsor contracts are fulfilled to thinking up things for theme nights to looking up new potential business to going on appearances. It’s never very “regular” at all and that’s what makes it so great!

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

There are a bunch of things. I put together a book with all of the reads for the PA announcer to read throughout that night’s game and make any changes to players’ walk out songs if they request it. I also do promotions on field and throughout the stands and take pictures throughout the game for sponsorship.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

I want to work in Community Relations with a Major League Team. I have experience, but the Sports Industry is extremely competitive so it is hard to say exactly how long it will take me to achieve my dream job, hopefully within the next 5 years though.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

Thank you for your continued support of the Keys! We do what we do for you; we love putting on a show so thank you for coming out to enjoy it with us. Shake your Keys!

 

Keys Staff Feature – Matt Houston

Next up in our staff features is Creative Production Manager, Matt Houston

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

My start in sports came during my time at Ball State University, where I was part of a program called Sports Link, which is the nation’s first program that totally immerses students in the world of sports and electronic media. During the summers of 2009 and 2010 I worked as they Associate Producer/Graphics Coordinator for the Fort Wayne TinCaps. (Class-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres) After graduation from Ball State I was hired as the Game Entertainment and Production Assistant for the Indianapolis Indians. (Triple-A Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates) After my time with the Indians, I came home to Maryland and worked on a freelance basis with Antietam Cable and Comcast Sportsnet before finally finding a home in Frederick with The Keys.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

First of all, I would have to argue the notion that there is such a thing as a “regular day in the office” when working in sports, especially Minor League Baseball, but if there were… I can be found most days in the press box working on my never-ending list of ads/flyers/in-game elements.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

My duties on game days include making sure all of the still and animated graphics for the video boards are up to date, coordinating promotions with Brandon Apter and Bridget McCabe, and then coordinating the overall in-game presentation between everyone in the press box, camera operators, and those who run the individual promotions down on the field.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

Ah the age old question of “what do I want to do when I grow up” … I know I want to work in the field of sports production, but whether that is for a team like The Keys or for a network like Comcast Sportsnet is still up for grabs. What I do know is that I am very lucky to already have a job that I have so much fun doing that it can barely be considered work.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

Since this is my 1st season with The Keys, I cannot speak for fan support over the years, but I can say that I have been impressed with the overall fan support during the 1st half of the season. Keys fans have packed The Grove so far this year, and have not been quiet. Whether it’s rally animations on the video board or following along with Frank Key as he bangs his drum during the rally inning, Keys fans love to get loud and I love hearing it.

Keys Staff Feature – Catherine Larkin

Next on the list is Box Office Assistant, Catherine Larkin.

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

I was in a transition period in my life trying to figure out what my next move was going to be.  I have previously worked in event operations with a concentration on guest services and wanted to expand my knowledge in box office management which is why I applied specifically for this job. Previous companies I have worked for have been the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Daytona International Speedway, Hudson Valley Renegades and other various volunteer experiences such as the Super Bowl, NCAA Women’s Final Four, and conference basketball championship tournaments.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

I am the Box Office Assistant. An off day consists of catching up on reports, processing group contracts and taking any phone or window sales. Game day I am taking sales as well as working a window, sales or will call, as well as handling any issues that may arise.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

My main duties are in the box office but I try to assist wherever I can during a game.  I enjoy interacting with our guests. I am one of the first people our guests deal with so I want to ensure that they have a positive experience to ensure they come back.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

I don’t have a dream job title. As long as I am working in sports or events I would be happy. I would like to try ticket sales or sponsorship next.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

Thank you and keep it up because without there fans there would be no Keys. And always remember to shake your keys!

Make sure to check out tomorrow’s staff feature on Creative Production Manager, Matt Houston.

Keys Staff Feature – Dave Ziedelis

Taking the spotlight next is General Manager, Dave Ziedelis…

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

Named GM in Nov 2004 – been in MILB for 13 years as GM – spent 7 years in MLB with San Diego Padres – other sports experience includes America’s Cup Professional Yacht Racing.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

GM – really managing the entire operation and everything that entails – being a minor league GM is actually running your own business.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

I enjoy the personal involvement with all the different segments of our community – from fans and sponsors, to players and umpires, to families and children, etc.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

I am really living the dream as we speak, and feel very fortunate with the life I have been blessed with.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

You are the people that make all this possible – plain and simple.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for our next staff feature!

Keys Staff Feature – Matt McCann

Up next in our special Staff Feature is Promo Assistant, Matt McCann.

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

The Keys are the second professional institution I’ve worked for. I was an intern with the Bowie Baysox last season, helping with marketing and promotional needs. I started out as an intern here in February doing similar tasks before I moved to a full-time role in May.

What is your position with the Keys and what does your regular day in the office entail?

My official title is Promotions Assistant. Under my job are three main responsibilities, all of which are marketing initiatives for the Keys. These are the Junior Keys Kids Club, Frank Key’s Army, and Birdland Passport. For these marketing initiatives, I am the main contact with club participants as well as making sure that all aspects of the initiatives, whether it is promotional or club perks, run smoothly. I also do some community appearances and grassroots marketing outside of the office.

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy most about them?

On some nights, I operate the music board and sound systems within Harry Grove Stadium. My days on music board are my chance to sit down and enjoy all nine innings of the game. On other nights, I help to run promotions such as on-the-field contests. This is my chance to talk with the Keys fans as they enjoy what our ballpark has to offer.

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

I would either like to work in player personnel or baseball operations for a major league club or be a general manager for a minor league club. Hopefully I can achieve one of these two in about 10-15 years, or once I accumulate enough experience.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

You are the people who helped keep this team in Frederick this past offseason. Your continued support will help us do our jobs effectively—in fact, you are the reason I have this job in the first place! With great fans like you, the Keys are proud to call Frederick their home.

Stay tuned for the next staff feature tomorrow on Keys GM General Manager, Dave Ziedelis.

Keys Staff Feature – Travis Watts

Over the next few weeks, we will be giving some inside information on Keys front office staff members and how they ended up with the Keys along with what they hope to achieve long-term. Up first is Stadium Operations Manager, Travis Watts.

How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?

I started off as the Stadium Operations Assistant in January 2011. I needed an internship experience to round out my college career, and stayed on after I graduated in May of last year. Previously I worked for the Elon University Athletics Department for three years as a game operations assistant. I assisted with all aspects of game operations for various sporting events, including baseball, softball, football, soccer, and volleyball. I helped organize promotions, ran music and audio, played videos and kept score, and generally did whatever anyone asked me to do.

What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?

Currently I am the Stadium Operations Manager with the Keys. My day is never regular and I am rarely in the office. On off days I manage repair and improvement projects throughout the stadium and do a lot of repairs myself. These include plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and carpentry repairs. I manage the storage areas here at the stadium and am constantly organizing and taking inventory of different assets we obtain. I create schedules for game-day employees and manage different budgets. I rarely have a set schedule, but that’s the way I like it!

What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?

Some of the basic things I do during a game-day are set up parking, turn on score and video boards, organize sign in sheets and radios for game-day employees, and do minor repairs. I am in charge of the cleaning crew, Fun Zone attendants, the bat-boys, and I also help manage the ushers. I am constantly checking in with my employees to make sure everything is running smoothly. I also help out wherever I am needed, so some days I help with promotions and even the grounds crew. If you see someone running around the stadium it’s usually me!

What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?

My dream job is the one I have right now. I love working with my hands and being outside all the time. Eventually I would like to move behind a desk as a Director of Operations for a major league team, but for now I am enjoying my experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?

I would like to say thanks to all the different fans I meet every game-day. Everyone is a lot of fun to talk with. Whether it is about baseball, the Keys, Harry Grove Stadium, or anything, I really enjoy getting to know people and hear their different stories.

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