Front Office Staff
Main Office Contact Information
Phone: (843) 723-7241
Fax: (843) 723-2641
Main Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldklang is Chairman of the Goldklang Group, which over the years has owned and operated MiLB clubs at most classification levels. He holds a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he played college baseball, a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Laws degree from NYU.
Goldklang practiced law with the firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York, becoming a partner of the firm in 1974 specializing in corporate tax and investment banking transactions. He continued to practice law until 1983 when he left to accept the position of Senior Executive Vice President of a New York Stock Exchange company at which he focused on developing its leveraged buyout and asset management divisions.
He established his own merchant banking and private investment firm in 1986, which has included the Group among its activities. He is a 2004 inductee in the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame, a 2010 inductee in the Florida State League Hall of Fame and currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee for the South Atlantic League and a member of the New York Penn League Executive Committee. In addition to the Group's baseball interests, Goldklang has been a limited partner of the New York Yankees for over thirty years. He is married and has four children including Jeff and Michael, who each work in the Group's corporate office.
Goldklang, a left-hander out of New Jersey, has been involved with the Group in various executive roles since his arrival in 2002. He began his career with the Charleston RiverDogs in 1994, handling the concessions and merchandise operations, and was instrumental in the transition of the club into its new ballpark for 1997. Upon leaving the RiverDogs, Goldklang joined Integrated Sports International, continuing with them through their acquisition by SFX Sports Group and subsequently Clear Channel Entertainment. During his tenure, Goldklang was part of the group that developed the Properties division of SFX Sports, managing all aspects of the merchandising program and specializing in the formation of sponsorship agreements with national brands, primarily sports-related. In addition, he developed marketing programs for SFX Sports as well as the Theatrical, Radio, and Outdoor divisions of Clear Channel Entertainment.
Goldklang's current responsibilities as President within the Group center on the broad scale oversight of the Group's four franchises. This includes managing the financial operations of the Group's entities, managing the year-round use of venues, and coordinating- in tandem with the Group's marketing department- national and regional opportunities for the four Goldklang clubs.
Goldklang resides in New Jersey with his wife, Erica, and his sons, Jared and Jacob.
|Mike Veeck||Executive Advisor to the Chairman|
It is a name synonymous with fun at the ballpark. Veeck continues to blaze new trails every baseball season. After all, who else would hire a dog or pig to deliver baseballs to the umpire, a Roman Catholic nun to give massages, mimes to perform instant replays or lock fans out of the stadium to set an all-time attendance record for fewest people at a game?
The Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Veeck's grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck's father, Bill, was a Hall of Fame owner with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and the then-minor league Milwaukee Brewers. Famous for so many occurrences at the ballpark, Bill Veeck will always be remembered for signing Larry Doby, the first black man to play in the American League and for sending 3 foot, 6 inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate for the Browns in a 1951 game against Detroit. It is with the belief that anything is possible and no idea too silly that Veeck operates his ballclubs.
Veeck is the part owner of four baseball teams including the Charleston RiverDogs, and is a consultant for one other. He has served to put fun back into baseball while proving his ideas are not specific to sport. An advertising professional, coveted public speaker, founder of the Veeck Promotional Seminar, and all around idea man, Veeck has released his first book, entitled "Fun is Good," describing how this simple philosophy leads to success in any business.
Veeck has spoken and entertained groups at companies such as 3M, the NBA, General Mills, and NASCAR.
Veeck and his wife, Libby, reside in Mt. Pleasant. He is the father of two children, William "Night Train" and Rebecca.
|Dr. Gene Budig||Co-Owner|
Budig, past president of Major League Baseball's American League, has been a partner of the Charleston RiverDogs for several years. Budig was a university president/chancellor for 22 years before assuming the top job in the American League (1994-1999). He headed Illinois State University, West Virginia University and the University of Kansas.
He currently serves as a senior advisor to Major League Baseball, and is a retired major general in the Air National Guard/United States Air Force. He and his wife, Gretchen, live on the Isle of Palms.
|Peter B. Freund||Co-Owner|
Freund is the President of Trinity Packaging Corporation, a privately held plastics manufacturer headquartered in Armonk, N.Y. He is the fourth generation in his family's business, which began as a paper company in 1917. A lifelong baseball fan and New York Yankees season ticket holder, Freund is fulfilling his dream of ownership in professional baseball having signed on as a partner in the Charleston RiverDogs in 2009. He and his wife, Mimi, reside in Pound Ridge, N.Y. with their twin daughters, Winnie and Wren, and visit Charleston as often as they can.
Freund also has ownership stakes in Minor League teams in both Williamsport, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn.
Phillips was born in Sumter, S.C. and has lived in Charleston since he was a child. Phillips earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Management from Clemson in 1985. After obtaining his MBA from UNC in 1988, Phillips began work with Carolina Eastern, a Charleston-based company that markets and distributes fertilizers. In 1995 Phillips became President of Carolina Eastern and has continued to hold that office to this day. Phillips is active among the Charleston community, serving on the board of Porter-Gaud School and Palmetto Agri-Business Council. In addition to serving in the community, Phillips has a minority partnership interest in various baseball clubs. He is married to Kathryn Pearce Phillips with whom he has four children.
|Bill Murray||Co-Owner/Director of Fun|
Far from an absentee owner, Murray can be seen at "The Joe" on any given night. In recent years, he has caught and thrown out ceremonial first pitches and coached first base. In addition to the RiverDogs, Murray also holds co-ownership of the Goldklang Group's teams. He is an accomplished actor and a graduate of "Saturday Night Live." He has starred in such films as Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Meatballs, Stripes, Quick Change, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, Rushmore, Charlie's Angels, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation, The Life Aquatic, and St. Vincent . In 2004, Murray won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category for Lost in Translation.
|Dave Echols||President/General Manager|
Echols has guided the RiverDogs through some of their most successful seasons since being named General Manager on March 17, 2004. In his first season, he helped the club host the highly successful 2004 SAL All-Star Game, and he also earned 2013 South Atlantic League General Manager of the Year honors during his tenure. In 2016, Echols added president to his title, as well.
From 2002-04 Echols served as GM of the Brockton (Mass.) Rox and was named Northeast League Executive of the Year in 2003. The University of Dayton graduate has also worked for teams in Kinston, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Echols is active in community affairs and resides on Johns Island with his wife, Debra, and son, Logan.
|Scott Bush||Vice President/Business and Marketing Development|
Holding a dual role as both a member of the Goldklang Group and the RiverDogs, Bush oversees business development for all four of the Goldklang teams while based out of Charleston. In his new role as of 2016, Bush oversees and manges the global sales and related marketing initiatives within the Group, providing leadership on coporate partnership side and leveraging current and future inventory assets.
Bush began his baseball career as an intern with the RiverDogs' sister team, the St. Paul Saints, in 2004 after his junior year at the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 2005, he spent time in California working for the Fresno Grizzlies and the Stockton Ports. While in Stockton he oversaw the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. After proper seasoning in California, he returned to the Saints prior to the 2008 season.
Bush spent 2008-09 as the Director of Corporate Sales with the Saints, helping oversee a significant increase in corporate partnerships over that time. After leaving to pursue other career opportunities with the Minnesota Timberwolves and KSTC45, Bush returned for his third, and most recent, tenure with the Saints in 2012 where he served as the Assistant GM until 2016 before relocating to Charleston.
|Andy Lange||Vice President/Corporate Sales|
Lange began his career in baseball with the Charleston RiverDogs in October 2001, having joined the sales staff after two years with the historic Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston. During his career, he received 2013 South Atlantic League Sales Executive of the Year honors in his tenth season as Assistant General Manager before his promotion to Vice President.
Originally from LaPorte, Ind., Lange has been in Charleston since 1996. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the local chapter of the March of Dimes. He married the former Melissa LaPlaunt on Dec. 31, 2007, and they reside in West Ashley with sons Wrigley, Hayden, and Maddux.
|Melissa McCants Azevedo||Vice President/Special Events|
Azevedo has been with the RiverDogs in at least a part-time capacity since 1989 when she served in a variety of roles on the gameday staff. She joined as a full-time member of the front office in 1996 when she served as the Community Relations Director under Mike Veeck. A graduate of the College of Charleston, she rejoined her alma mater as the sports marketing director for the Cougars in 2000 before returning for her second stint with the RiverDogs in 2004 as a member of the special events staff.
Azevedo was awarded the College of Charleston's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 and a finalist for the Local Influential Women in Business award by The Charleston Regional Business Journal in 2012. She resides in West Ashley with her husband, Tyson, and daughter, Brynlee.
|Ben Abzug||Assistant General Manager|
Abzug, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was named the Assistant General Manager of the Charleston RiverDogs in 2013 after spending the previous four seasons with the Burlington Royals of the Appalachian League. With Burlington, Abzug was named the 2012 Appalachian League Executive of the Year and helped increase the Royals' sponsorship sales by 80 percent in two years. Attendance also rose 23 percent in Burlington under Abzug's leadership.
A graduate of Purdue University, Abzug previously spent two years as an intern with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League. Abzug currently resides in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Jess, and their daughter, Joanna.
|Jake Terrell||Director of Ticket Sales|
A native of Asheville, N.C. and a graduate of UNC-Asheville, Terrell began his career in baseball with the South Atlantic League rival Asheville Tourists before joining the RiverDogs in February of 2004. Terrell has served in variety of roles since joining the RiverDogs, serving as the food and beverage manager and box office manager prior to working in ticket sales.
Terrell is the son of Bob Terrell, the long time sports writer and historian who covered the Tourists for the Asheville Citizen-Times before he was enshrined into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2000.
|Joey Cain||Sales Representative|
Cain enters his fourth season with the RiverDogs and his second as a sales representative after serving as the club's Promotions Director for the 2014-15 campaigns. A native of West Nyack, N.Y., Cain spent the previous two seasons before joining the RiverDogs in the Fall of 2013 with the Hudson Valley Renegades under the Goldklang Group in the New York-Penn League.
A graduate of Hofstra University, Cain has previously spent time as an intern with Army Athletics in West Point, as well as with 1050 ESPN Radio in Penn, N.Y., among others.
|Alfonso Rogers||Sales Representative|
A current member of the Air Force Reserves at Joint Base Charleston, Rogers joined the RiverDogs staff as a sales representative during the 2016 season. A recent sport management graduate of The Citadel who previously earned an associate's degree in Aviation / Airway Management and Operations from the Community College of the Air Force in 2014, Rogers was The Citadel Sports Management Major of the Year, a Tommy Baker Fellow, and the HESS Department's Sophomore of the Year.
Rogers also served on the media relations staff of the Medal of Honor Bowl, was an intern for the Cooper River Bridge Run and holds membership in the Charleston Promise Neighborhood as well as the National Association of Sports Officials. In addition to working with The Citadel's ticket office, Rogers has supervised 15 personnel as a C17 Instructor Airdrop Loadmaster at Joint Base Charleston, where he has been since 2006. He also accounts for the maintenance and safety operations of a C17 aircraft in addition to multiple weapon systems, support equipment and units that maintained zero losses.
|Will Senn||Sales Representative|
Senn joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2015 season and is a May 2014 cum laude graduate of The Citadel, where he studied Business Administration and earned Dean's List in seven of his eight semesters. A Gold Star student, Senn was a member of the famed Summerall Guards, the military college's elite, silent drill team. A native of Newberry, Senn spent time working at the Newberry Country Club, the Newberry School District and was an assistant event manager of The Hibernian Society in Charleston.
A pitcher in his playing days at Newberry High School, the southpaw holds the distinction of handing future World Series champ and former Mid-Carolina High School standout Carl Edwards Jr. a rare loss during his prep career, claiming the winning decision in the Newberry rivalry game.
|Morgan Powell||Box Office Manager|
A native of Alpharetta, Ga., Powell comes to Charleston from the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns, where she was the assistant general manager for the 2014 and '15 seasons in charge of tickets. She spent the 2013 campaign with the Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Renegades as the box office manager and social media/marketing coordinator.
Powell also served as an executive trainee for the RiverDogs' South Atlantic League rival Rome Braves in 2012 and spent two years as a media relations student intern at Auburn University, where she graduated with a degree in Public Relations in 2011.
|Matt Dean||Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations|
Dean came to Charleston as the "voice of the RiverDogs" in November of 2015 after beginning his baseball career as the broadcast and media relations assistant for the RiverDogs' sister team, the St. Paul Saints. While in the Twin Cities, the Wisconsin native served as a color analyst and number two play-by-play man for the Saints who set a franchise record total in wins with a 74-26 season in 2015. In his first season handling the play-by-play duties in Charleston, the RiverDogs saw an 11-year playoff drought snap as Charleston finished with an impressive 70-63 regular season record and the first playoff win in RiverDogs history.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dean interned with 100.5 FM ESPN Radio while in Madison, and was a part-time broadcaster for the Big Ten Network's Student U Program.
|Nate Kurant||Director of Promotions|
Kurant, who has the responsibilities of coordinating the RiverDogs' promotional schedule, joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2016 season. He earned his undergraduate degree in Mass Communications in 2007 from the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg and added a masters in Journalism and Media Studies from USF-St. Petersburg in 2012.
His previous experience includes serving four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays as their Spring Training emcee. He also worked as the director of marketing and social media for the Dunedin (Fla.) Blue Jays, where he created and developed marketing ideas to promote the organization to the local fan base and made the team more visible nationwide by creating professional baseball's first and only universal rain check. He has been an announcer for numerous teams and events, including the University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Storm, and East/West Shrine Game.
Among his other experiences, he was a high school baseball coach, served in missions in Costa Rica, and was an improv comedian.
|Dale Stickney||Business Manager|
A native of Miami, Fla., Stickney has been with the Goldklang Group since 2000 when she ran the Veeck Promotional Seminar. She joined the RiverDogs as Director of Special Events in 2003, coordinating a number of fundraising and community events for the club before transitioning to her current role as business manager in 2008.
Prior to joining the RiverDogs, Stickney spent time working for the National Association of Baseball Leagues and the Hickory Crawdads, another club with membership in the South Atlantic League. She currently resides in Mt. Pleasant with her husband, Jeff, and three children: Miles, Travis, and Sydney.
|Kristen Wolfe||Director of Special Events|
A graduate of the College of Charleston, Wolfe interned with the RiverDogs during the summer of 2011 and has since worked alongside of Melissa McCants Azevedo in orchestrating and managing the club's many year-round special events being hired on full-time the following season.
The club's annual special events range from RiverDogs'-themed golf outings to beer festivals and from summer baseball camps to competitive running events. Extraordinary events the RiverDogs have hosted in recent years include the 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star Game and, most recently, the Legends in the South Alumni Game that featured former players from the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.
A captain of the Cougars' cross country and track and field teams, Wolfe was the College of Charleston's nominee for the prestigious Coleman Lew Leadership Award presented by the Southern Conference. While a student, she also interned with the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Wolfe, a native of Virginia, was elevated to her current role as Director of Special Events in September of 2016.
|Haley Kirchner||Special Events Manager|
Kirchner, a native of Massachusetts, served as an intern for the Charleston RiverDogs during the 2013 season. She spent the last two seasons working as the Director of Community Relations and previously held roles in the promotions department.
A graduate of Westfield State University, Kirchner has a Bachelors degree in Communications. Her first internship in baseball was in 2012 with the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns, a sister team of the RiverDogs. She is a lunch buddy with the Be A Mentor organization and spends lunch once a week with her 5th grade mentee.
|Zana Bowens||Director of Community Relations|
Bowens joined the RiverDogs in 2016 as an intern before coming on full-time as the Director of Community Relations for the following season. As the club's community relations director, Bowens coordinates the RiverDogs' community branding and extensive outreach programs which includes promoting healthy living through youth sports - especially youth baseball - as well literacy, among others. The ball club's volunteer projects along with planning appearances for Charlie T. RiverDog, the club's loveable mascot, continue to be a focus.
Bowens previously spent time as a marketing intern at her alma mater, Fresno State, assisting in the coordination of special events for Bulldogs athletics events. A standout student athlete with the Bulldogs, Bowens joined the RiverDogs after a successful four-year career with the volleyball team, including two as the team's co-captain. Bowens was a three-time Academic All-Mountain West selection during her Fresno State career.
|Tyler Schwemin||Director of Video Production|
A graduate of Northern Michigan University with a dual degree in Media Production and New Technology along with Physical Education, Schwemin joined the RiverDogs staff full-time in January of 2016 after working as a video production intern the season prior. In addition to his work at The Joe, Schwemin has also worked as a video producer at The Citadel for a number of Bulldog athletic events including football, baseball and basketball.
The Marquette, Mich. native has taken part in a number of freelance projects including directing ESPN3 broadcasts of Citadel basketball, directing College of Charleston basketball games for the Charleston Sports Network, and working for PBS's "Charleston After America" documentary.
Schwemin produces video content for the ballpark presentation and for the club's website (riverdogs.com) while overseeing the broadcast of all 70 RiverDogs home games on MiLB.tv.
Merchandise and Team Store
|Michael DeAntonio||Director of Merchandise|
A native Charlestonian and graduate of Bishop England High School, DeAntonio joined the RiverDogs full-time in January of 2008 after working as an intern for the 2007 season. A graduate of the University of South Carolina's Sports Management Program, Mike also gained experience working at the Family Circle Cup, the MCI Heritage an at USC's Colonial Center prior to joining the RiverDogs.
DeAntonio can be found running the RiverDogs team store both at the ballpark during the games along with online merchandise sales. He helps coordinate the creation of new team apparel including the rolling out of the Holy City alternate uniforms and logos first used during the 2016 campaign. He loves to help put on a show for fans 70 times a season.
Food and Beverage
|Josh Shea||Director of Food and Beverage|
A graduate of Clemson University who also earned an associate's degree from the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Shea signed on as the RiverDogs Director of Food & Beverage in 2013 with 11 years of experience in the food service industry under his belt.
Most recently, Shea was the catering chef at Tidewater Catering and also spent time at Triangle Char & Bar in West Ashley and at Halls Chophouse in downtown Charleston. He also served as a personal chef during this time. A native of Abbeville, S.C., Shea placed first in the 2012 Food & Wine Festival's Brisket and Shoulder competition while also taking home first prize in the 2011 Pearlstine Competition Home Cooking category. He also earned a first prize in the 2011 Oyster Competition for his oyster Rockefeller.
|Jay Weekley||Assistant Director of Food and Beverage|
Weekley joined the RiverDogs in the fall of 2014 after working for the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns, Ft. Myers (Fla.) Miracle, and Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Renegades. Weekley most recently worked with the Suns as their director of food and beverage. A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies, Weekley's concentrations were in business administration, mass communications and kinesiology.
Weekley currently resides in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Lydia.
|Philip Guiry||Director of Operations|
Guiry joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2015 season having previously served as the Assistant General Manager for the Bakersfield Blaze in the California League. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., and a 2007 graduate of the University of Florida, Guiry oversees the stadium operations at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park and is very much an active part in the RiverDogs brainstorming and promotional efforts.
Prior to joining the Blaze in 2010, Guiry served as a marketing representative for the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League in 2009-10 where he was part of the Chukars' administration that was recognized with the 2010 Bob Frietas Award recognizing the most outstanding minor league operations at each level. Guiry currently resides in West Ashley with his wife, Rachel.
Bio coming soon.
|Mike Williams||Head Groundskeeper|
A professional groundskeeper since 1993, Williams formerly served as the head groundskeeper for the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays and has been with the RiverDogs since 2006.
Williams is a 1989 graduate of Ohio University with a degree in recreation management and a master's in athletic administration that he earned from Ohio in 1991. He furthered his education in turf management at Cornell University from 1995-96.
Williams' accolades include the 1994 Eastern League Groundskeeper of the Year Award and the 1994-95 Beam Clay Professional Field of the Year Award. The Riley Park field was also recognized with the 2009 Sports Turf Manager Award for fields in the South Atlantic League while also being selected as "Best Playing Field" in the league by the SAL in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014.
Under Williams' guidance, his crew won top honors in the Florida State League in 1999 and 2000 while with the Tampa Bay Rays. Prior to the 2006 season, Williams worked on the grounds crew for the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorm Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Bio coming soon.
|Megan Blackman||Office Manager|
Blackman, a native of Goose Creek, is a former RiverDogs special events intern who first worked with the club during the Fall of 2014 before joining the full-time staff as the office manager prior to the 2016 season. In between her stints with the RiverDogs, she worked in the medical profession as a patient services representative and a physician's office specialist.
A 2011 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Experimental Psychology, Blackman added a master's in Health, Exercise and Sport Science at The Citadel.