Tuesday, Omaha Storm Chasers president and general manager, Martie Cordaro, announced a host of roster changes to the front office, including five full-time hires, numerous promotions and a newly formed department as the team gears up for the 2013 season.
Matt Rau, a former catcher at North Dakota State, takes over as the new director of corporate sales while Kyle Schoonover steps to the plate and into the role of director of group sales. Cameron Wilson joins the team as a group sales executive, along with Jenna Grable, who comes aboard as the new manager of the Storm Front Team Store, and supervisor of Community Relations intern Caitlyn Brown.
Ben Hemmen, very familiar to Storm Chasers fans as the energetic on-field emcee, will be the director of the newly formatted marketing and promotions department. He will ensure that everyone will have a memorable experience at Werner Park until the last person leaves. He will also manage all promotions and offseason events for the ball club. Aaron Cox, who served as a community relations intern during the 2012 season, was promoted to a full-time position as Promotions & Client Services Manager and will assist Hemmen with client relations.
The new director of special events is Omaha native Ben Kratz, who will be in charge of booking and executing all nongame-day events at Werner Park. Kratz will look to build upon the 72 openings from last year, as he was a major part in facilitating the recent agreement with the University of Nebraska-Omaha baseball program.
Noah Diercks, who had been the assistant groundskeeper during the last two seasons, has been promoted to the position of head groundskeeper, or, as he referred to himself, "the keeper of the grass." Adam Basinger, who was a grounds crew intern in 2012, will now step into the role vacated by Diercks and take over as his assistant.
Jason Kinney, the long-time director of merchandise, has transitioned to a role as a corporate sales executive, while creative services manager Ben Tupman and baseball operations manager Brett Pollock now have "director" titles. Cordaro has also promoted Laurie Schlender for the second consecutive year, as she is now the lone assistant general manager after serving as assistant general manager-business operations in 2012. Schlender is responsible for many team areas with a focus on accounting, finance and merchandise. Rounding out the lineup, Ryan Worthen has earned a promotion from ticket operations assistant to group operations manager.