(AKRON, OHIO) February 16, 2018 - The Akron RubberDucks announced today several front office additions for the upcoming 2018 season.
Sara Varela joins the staff as the new Coordinator, Promotions. She has built the 2018 promotional calendar, which is scheduled to be unveiled throughout next week, starting Monday. Prior to joining the RubberDucks, she was the assistant director of marketing and fan engagement for Duquesne University. Varela graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and she's a native of Los Angeles.
"We are pleased with the new additions to the front office. With their experience and love for baseball, we will continue to have a strong front office focused on providing the best in affordable family fun in Northeast Ohio," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander.
Following last season, David Bordonaro took over the role of Director, Corporate Partnerships. The Springfield, Ohio, native spent the previous three years in account manager for Material Handling Solutions. Bordonaro is an alumnus of Springfield High School and the University of Akron, where he earned his degree in hospitality management.
There are two new Ticket Sales Executives, Joe Mayanscik and Rik Segel. Both were part of the RubberDucks Ticket Sales Associates Program in 2017. Mayanscik is a native of Greenville, N.C., and he is an alumnus of East Carolina University, where he earned a public relations degree. Before coming to Akron, Mayanscik sold cars for East Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership. Segel is a native of Las Vegas. He earned a sport management degree from Bowling Green State University where he worked in the BGSU Athletic Ticket Office. Segel then worked for the University of Toledo's Athletic Ticket Office before joining the RubberDucks.
There were also some promotions for key front office members. Sam Dankoff enters his seventh season with the team as Director, Premium Experience after serving two seasons as the Director of Suites & Special Events. After two seasons as Merchandise Coordinator, Jeff Campano was promoted to Manager, Merchandise, and after two years as Community Relations Coordinator, Alex Hawks, who is entering his fourth year overall with the club, was promoted to Manager, Community Relations.
The front office also added six ticket associates from the RubberDucks Ticket Associates Program. Claudia Behrens is from Akron and attended High Point University (N.C.) where she graduated with a degree in communications and marketing. Anthony Chadwick grew up in Conneaut, Ohio, and graduated with a communications degree from Cleveland State University. Chadwick joins the RubberDucks after most recently working at the Spring Hill Winery in Geneva, Ohio. Sam Cranor is from Boulder, Colorado. He earned a sport management degree while playing baseball at Wilmington College before he spent a year working for the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye organizations. Cleveland native Ricky Hayden has a sport management degree from Bowling Green. He spent the 2017 season as the Lake County Captains' box office intern, following having worked for the Cleveland Browns' guest services department and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Sales & Service Operations department. Jacob Lambert is an Akron native who graduated with a sport management degree from the University of Akron. Prior to joining the Ducks, he was a bike technician and sales associate for Dick's Sporting Goods. Ian Wilkinson is a native of Hartville, Ohio. He graduated The Ohio State University with a sport industry degree and a minor in business. This will be Wilkinson's fourth season with the RubberDucks, after working the prior three as a grounds crew intern, a grounds crew gameday employee, and a digital analytics and email marketing intern. He also currently works with Coon Restoration and Sealants as a laborer. Former ticket associates from the 2017 program, Jeff Bell and Tyler Liles, both stayed in the Eastern League and joined the Harrisburg Senators' group ticket sales department this past fall.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2018 season, powered by FirstEnergy, will be the franchise's 22nd since moving to Akron. The Home Opener is on Friday, April 13, at 6:35 p.m. vs. Trenton Thunder, while the regular season begins April 5 at 6 p.m. at the Altoona Curve. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.