ROUND ROCK, Texas - Round Rock Express owner and CEO Reese Ryan announced Thursday the introduction of Ryan-Sanders Sports Services ("RSSS") to the family of Ryan-Sanders companies. RSSS will serve as the umbrella for all food service and retail operations at Dell Diamond, as well as the management of the United Heritage Center and Ryan-Sanders Sports Turf Services.
"We're excited at the opportunities presented by the creation of Ryan-Sanders Sports Services to improve the overall fan experience at Dell Diamond as we enter our 15th season," Ryan said. "By bringing our concessions in-house and partnering it with our retail operations and the United Heritage Center, we hope to be able to offer the same level of service at the concession stands as our fans have experienced throughout the ballpark in seasons past."
George King, Express Executive Vice President and General Manager, will step down from that role to take the reigns as President of Ryan-Sanders Sports Services effective immediately. Express Assistant General Manager Chris Almendarez will be promoted to General Manager of the Express, overseeing all business and baseball operations for the team. Express President Dave Fendrick remains in his position through the transition.
"Chris has been an integral part of this organization since he joined the Express and he's a natural fit to step up and lead the business side of the team as General Manager," Fendrick said. "I look forward to his leadership as the Express celebrates our 15th season."
The newly formed sports services division of Ryan-Sanders Baseball will handle all of the catering, concessions and hospitality operations at Dell Diamond.
King, an East Texas native, joined the Express front office in 2010 following time as vice president and general manager of the Nashville Sounds. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in the Pacific Coast League office over two stints, most recently serving as vice president of business and operations. His professional baseball tenure dates back to 1995 with the Phoenix Firebirds; he held positions with several teams, including the San Francisco Giants. King was named director of baseball operations of Major League Baseball's Arizona Fall League in 2000, following Hall of Famer Frank Robinson in that position. Prior to working in professional baseball, King served nine years in the U.S. Navy and was deployed in Japan for five years. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for distinguished service. King and his wife Tiffany live in Round Rock with their four children.
Almendarez joined the Express front office in 2009 as a senior account executive. He was promoted to senior vice president/assistant general manager following the 2012 season. Prior to joining the Express, Almendarez, a Humble, Texas native, worked in pharmaceutical sales, serving as a professional sales consultant for SkinMedica Pharmaceuticals. A graduate of the University of Houston and former member of the Houston Cougars baseball team, he and his wife Jana reside in Round Rock with their two sons.