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The Official Site of the Charleston RiverDogs Charleston RiverDogs

Front Office Staff

Main Office Contact Information

Phone: (843) 723-7241
Fax: (843) 723-2641
Main Email: [email protected]

Ownership

Marv Goldklang

Marv Goldklang, Chairman

Jeff_Goldklang

Jeff Goldklang, President

Mike Veeck

Mike Veeck, Executive Advisor to the Chairman

Gene Budig

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 Freund

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.

Al Phillips

Al Phillips, Co-Owner

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

Bill Murray, Co-Owner/Director of Fun

Management

DaveEchols

Dave Echols, President/General Manager

Echols has guided the RiverDogs through some of their most successful seasons since being named general manager in 2004. He led the staff in hosting the highly successful 2004 and 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star games, and has twice earned SAL General Manager of the Year honors. Under his guidance, the RiverDogs have been named recipients of MiLB national awards for excellence in promotions, marketing, and sustained excellence. And, in 2016, the RiverDogs won the inaugural Patriot Award, given to the Minor League team that best exemplifies outstanding support of the military branches and engagement with veterans.

 

He's a member of the Rotary Club of Charleston, the Executive Association of Greater Charleston, and the boards of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and Trident Technical College. He was a founding member and vice president of the Palmetto Military Support Group, and currently serves as an Air Mobility Command Civic Leader.

 

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.

BenAbzug

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 spent two years as an intern with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League. Abzug currently resides in Mount Pleasant with his wife, Jess, and their daughters, Joanna and Hazel.

AndyLange

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.

Mascots

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Charlie T. RiverDog, Mascot

Taken with the first overall selection in the June 1994 Minor League Mascot Draft, Charlie has been an integral part of the RiverDogs since their inception. He was the first high school mascot taken with the first overall selection in the storied history of the Mascot Draft, as part of the inaugural season of RiverDogs baseball in 1994. Charlie has helped the RiverDogs become one of the most popular attractions in the Lowcountry, moving into Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in 1997, the RiverDogs pristine 5,549-seat ballpark on the banks of the Ashley River.

Charlie has witnessed many of the RiverDogs greats pass through the Lowcountry from his time in Charleston. His favorites to don the RiverDogs uniform include B.J. Pupton, Andy BARKett, Aubrey Ruff, and Rob Ruffsnyder. He is an active member of the Lowcountry community, and attends numerous events year round.

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Chelsea, Mascot

Chelsea's been bringing spunk to the Lowcountry since joining the RiverDogs the early 2000's and is credited with coming up with the Monday Dog Day concept in a promotional meeting in 2014, deciphered by the Charleston front office after three hours of charades. Her favorite hobbies include watching her favorite RiverDogs hit home runs, long walks on Folly Beach, and digging for her lost bone on the Riley Park warning track to the chagrine of the grounds crew.

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Bark, Mascot/Palmetto Tree Extaordinaire

Showcasing the tremendous depth in the RiverDogs' mascot ranks, Bark is the most famous tree in the Palmetto State. Bark's roots go way back in the history of the Lowcountry; his great grandfather was one of the palmetto trees that helped repel the British attack on Ft. Moultrie in 1776. After growing up as a small sappling planted in Shoeless Joe's Hill when the RiverDogs' new ballpark opened, he grew legs and sprung forth from his rooted spot after longingly watching the Charleston fans have so much fun in the stands without him. You can catch him hanging out with his friends Charlie and Chelsea at The Joe.

Ticket Sales

Garret Randle

Garret Randle, Director of Ticket Sales

Randle began leading the RiverDogs' ticket sales efforts starting in 2018 after most recently working as a Business Development and Account Executive with the Houston Dynamo Soccer Club, where the Dallas, Texas native mentored other staff members in business-to-business sales, while also serving as a representative for the club's brand at networking events and functions. He brings a wealth of experience in baseball, working in various sales and marketing positions for the Frisco Roughriders (Double-A, Texas) for parts of four seasons.

Randle is a graduate of Northwood University (Cedar Hill, Texas), where he pitched collegiately and garnered a degree in business management with a minor in sports management. He also earned a Master's in Journalism from the University of North Texas.

Daniel Armas

Daniel Armas, Senior Account Executive

Armas joined the RiverDogs sales team prior to the 2017 for his first stint in baseball. A former Naval serviceman deployed for two tours in Iraq and Kuwait, Armas most recently worked as a Navy recruiter in Raleigh, N.C. where he gained experience identifying and processing new enlistees.

During his tours of duty, the Longview, Tex. native was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn as an Operations Specialist in the Riverine Squadron 1 and Coastal Riverine Squadron 2. He was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and named Junior Sailor of the Quarter in 2013.

Jacob Terrell

Jake Terrell, Senior Account Executive

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.

Emily Lemmon

Emily Lemmon, Account Executive, Groups

More information coming soon.

Media Relations & Broadcasting

Jason Kempf

Jason Kempf, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations

Jason Kempf looks forward to making his RiverDogs debut on the air in the 2021 season. The Wisconsin native joins the RiverDogs as a well-traveled broadcaster, having been a member of radio teams in St. Paul, Dayton, and the Quad Cities. One of his career highlights was getting to broadcast from Miller Park in Milwaukee. His positive attitude and easy-going style are sure to be a welcomed addition to the airwaves for RiverDogs fans around the country.

Promotions

Nate Kurant

Nate Kurant, Director of Promotions

Kurant was fundamental in the "Make Fun" branding for the RiverDogs. Many of the RiverDogs promotions over the past few seasons have received local, national and even international attention. Silly String Night, Color Night, and Helen McGuckin Night, just to name a few, have all been celebrated in the MiLB industry and beyond.

He joined the team prior to the 2016 season, with previous experience with the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training in Dunedin, FL. He also worked as the director of marketing and social media for the Dunedin 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 also works an an announcer for a number of places, including the University of South Florida, Charleston Southern University and the Citadel.

Business Management/Accounting

DaleStickney

Dale Stickney, Director of Finance

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.

Special Events

Kayli Varner

Kayli Varner, Special Events Manager

Varner returned to the RiverDogs prior to the 2019 season after interning in Charleston during the club's record-setting 2017 campaign. The University of Georgia alum helped in the club's community outreach efforts during that year. Varner will work in tandem with the RiverDogs' Director of Special Events, Lisa Dingman, in filling out the club's year-round schedule of non-baseball events ranging from the annual Ballpark Festival of Beers, Hot Stove Banquet & Auction, food festivals, concerts, and more.

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Maddie Grace Smith, Segra Club at Riley Park Manager

Smith is a former RiverDogs intern from the 2018 season, when she worked as a member of the promotions team while helping execute several of the RiverDogs' non-gameday special events. The Virginia native is a graduate of Charleston Southern University, where she earned a degree in Business Management with a Sports Communications minor.

Smith now manages the RiverDogs' multi-purpose, year-round event space, suitable for up to 300 guests and with a wide variety of events including weddings, banquets, networking events, business meetings, and more. Contact Maddie Grace for inquiries about your next group event.

Community Relations

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton, Director of Community Outreach

A native of Goose Creek, Singleton joined the RiverDogs' Community Relations team before the start of the 2019 season as the club's Director of Community Outreach. A former professional outfielder, Singleton played college ball at Charleston Southern University for three seasons while becoming a nationally-renowned speaker whose message of forgiveness following the loss of his mother in the Mother Emanuel tragedy helped galvanize the Charleston community. The Goose Creek native was a standout player with the Bucs on the field, ranking among the top-20 in school history in hits and top-10 in stolen bases before being selected in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. The Goose Creek High product announced his retirement from the game as a player after finishing his second season in the minor leagues in 2018, appearing in 107 games with the Single-A South Bend Cubs that year.

Chris recently wrote his first book, "Different", which has sold thousands of copies and been featured by numerous outlets including the Obama Foundation. The book can be found on his website here.

Brooke

Brooke Runzo, Community Relations Manager

Swetenburg returns to the Charleston front office prior to the 2019 season after working as promotions and fan engagement intern two seasons prior. Her work with the promo team was outstanding and earned her the admiration of her co-workers that led to her full-time employment with the team. "She was my favorite intern and co-worker," said RiverDogs promotions director, Nate Kurant.

Since her time with the RiverDogs during their record-setting campaign in which they welcomed over 300,000 fans for the first time in The Joe's history, she has stayed in the Lowcountry, working as a sports marketing intern with her alma mater, The College of Charleston, and as an Event Sales & Marketing Manager with the Magnolia Plantation Weddings.

She recently married her sweetheart, Ethan Runzo, in July.

Marketing & Creative Services

Walter Nolan-Cohn

Walter Nolan-Cohn, Director of Marketing

Walter Nolan-Cohn transitioned into a new role as the Director of Marketing prior to the 2020 campaign, after three seasons as the club's Community Relations Director. Through the 2020 year, he's been an MVP in content creation, social media engagement and so much more around the ballpark as the team has adjusted. He was a vital member of the "To Go from the Joe" team, and many kids at RiverDogs Baseball Camp will fondly remember "Coach Walter".

Nolan-Cohn originally joined the RiverDogs after spending the 2016 season with the St. Paul Saints (Independent, American Association), the RiverDogs' sister team under the Goldklang Group ownership. As an intern, he worked in the front office performing duties ranging from sales, promotions, and appearing in community and player events as a Saints representative. A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Sports Marketing & Management, Nolan-Cohn previously worked as a marketing intern with IU where he coordinated several event-based promotions, fan experience, and social media for all 24 Hoosier athletic teams on campus. And have you heard of Chicago? If not, Walter could gladly provide you with a plethora of information about the Windy City, from restaurant recommendations to why the Bears will be Super Bowl contenders this year.

Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry, Director of Video Production

Perry has been a versatile member of the RiverDogs since he began prior to the 2020 season, Perry took over as the club's director of video production after a stint as an intern at the Major League level in the video department with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. A native of Fresno, California, he shot and produced video features showcased on the video board at Great American Ballpark, Reds.com, the Reds social media channels, and TV broadcasts. When he's not working in the video department, he's been integral in the kitchen as part of "To Go from the Joe", RiverDogs Culinary Camp and much more.

Client Services

Morgan Powell

Morgan Powell, Client Services 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.

Ballpark Operations

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Josh Otterline, Director of Stadium Operations

Otterline joined the RiverDogs during the 2018 season after working as the Facility Manager for the Washington Nationals, where he managed the Nats' 18,000 square foot facility in D.C. The product of the University of Georgia heads back South after getting his start in baseball working in stadium operations with the Gwinnett Braves, Atlanta's Triple-A affiliate, during the two seasons prior. Otterline was also a Atlanta Braves baseball camp division leader and is a graduate of the UGA Sport Management program.

A team MVP through the 2020 calendar year, he has spearheaded the attack on ballpark cleanliness through operations, and empowered the staff in assisting in keeping The Joe as a premier facility in Charleston. His dedication and willingness to do every job both big and small makes him a vital member to the club. Any club would be lucky to have him, and the RiverDogs are certainly glad he's on our team.

Kevin Coyne

Kevin Coyne, Head Groundskeeper

Kevin Coyne took over as the RiverDogs' head groundskeeper heading into the 2019 season after working on the field crew for the Minnesota Twins for the previous four seasons at Target Field. Prior to his Big League stint, the Minnesota native worked as the Assistant Field Superintendent with the San Antonio Missions of the Double-A Texas League. Kevin is the team's biggest advocate for beards, and along with his grounds-keeping brethren, reminds you to stay off the grass.

Merchandise

Sara Carpenter Web

Sara Carpenter, Director of Merchandise

Carpenter joined the Charleston front office in 2018, bringing with her a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, she was a manager at Butcher & Bee in Charleston. She has held various roles in event management and food and beverage in the Charleston area for the last six years. A native of Virginia, Carpenter is a graduate of James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a BBA in Marketing and added a degree in graphic design at VCU. Her versatile experience has come in handy for the RiverDogs organization, as she has continued to grow and adapt her role with the team to help step in where needed. Her willingness to go above and beyond has resulted in strong growth in the merchandise department.

Food & Beverage

Josh Shea

Josh Shea, Vice President/Food & Beverage

Following a year-long hiatus, Josh Shea returned to the RiverDogs in the 2019 offseason after being named the club's Vice President, Food & Beverage. Shea returned to the Lowcountry after serving as the F&B Director for six years (2013-2018) previously with the club. The Clemson grad spent the 2019 season as the Food & Beverage Director in Augusta (Class-A, South Atlantic League) where he revamped the GreenJackets' concession operations in their second year at SRP Park. His development of the RiverDogs Culinary Camp has proven to be a successful addition to the camp programs for the team, and been a growth opportunity for both the campers, as well as the staff.

A native of Abbeville, SC, Shea previously gained culinary experience as the catering chef at Tidewater Catering, spent time at Triangle Char & Bar in West Ashley and Halls Chop House in downtown Charleston while also working as a personal chef prior to his first stint with the RiverDogs. Along with his Clemson education, he has also earned an associate's degree from the Culinary Institute of Charleston.

Matt Roddy Web

Matt Roddy, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage

Roddy joined the RiverDogs during the 2019 season from Columbia, where the University of South Carolina grad worked in the food and beverage department with the Columbia Fireflies (New York Mets) of the South Atlantic League. He also brings experience in marketing and sales with the Cottontown Brew Lab in Columbia, where he was involved in all aspects of the startup microbrewery.

Office Management

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Cynthia Linhart, Office Manager

A native Charlestonian and a graduate of St. Andrew's Parish High School, Linhart joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2018 season as the office manager. She is a licensed real estate broker and brings over two decades of experience in the industry in both residential and commercial real estate before her first tenure in baseball.

Linhart resides in the Charleston area with her husband, Corey, and her Spring Spaniel, Beauregard. She is the proud mother of four children, Choral, Ethan, Luke, and Conrad, all pursuing careers and is an active parishioner at St. Mary of the Annunciation.