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riverdogs.com | The Official Site of the Charleston RiverDogs

Front Office Staff

Main Office Contact Information

Phone: (843) 723-7241
Fax: (843) 723-2641
Main Email: admin@riverdogs.com

Ownership

Marv Goldklang, Chairman

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.

Jeff Goldklang, President

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.

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, 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.

Management

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Garrett 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.

Morgan Powell, Director of Ticket Operations

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.

Daniel Armas, Sales Representative

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.

Claudia Davis, Sales Representative

Davis joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2019 season after most recently working with the Miami Marlins as an inside sales representative. The Florida native's first season with the RiverDogs marks her third consecutive season in baseball after serving as the box office manager for the St. Lucie Mets (High-A, Florida State League) in 2017. The Orlando native is a graduate of the University of Florida's Sport Management program.

Mike Ryan, Sales Representative

A native of New York, Ryan joined the RiverDogs in 2017 after generating business-to-business sales while selling for the teams within the Goldklang Group ownership, including the RiverDogs, as an Inside Sales Account Manager at the group's call center in Fishkill, N.Y.

Ryan graduated York college of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. In 2016, Ryan worked as a box office representative for the New York Cosmos Soccer Club, selling individual game tickets and assisting with marketing groups in promotional strategies.

Serg Saradjian, Sales Representative

Joining the RiverDogs during the 2017 season, Saradjian came to Charleston after previously working within the Goldklang Group as an Inside Sales Account Manager in New York. The Peekskill, N.Y. native is a graduate of Nichols College with a degree in Business Administration.

During his final semester, Saradjian interned with Boston College Athletics in the sports marketing department where he assisted with the development and execution of brand and partnership marketing strategies.

Jake Terrell, Sales Representative

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.

Media Relations & Broadcasting

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.

Promotions

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.

Business Management/Accounting

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.

Special Events

Lisa Dingman, Director of Special Events

Dingman recently moved to Charleston from Brooklyn, N.Y. and joined the RiverDogs special events team. Prior to working as the Director of Special Events for the RiverDogs, she was the Corporate Events Manager for Alcoa Inc. During her time at Alcoa she worked with the companies Chairman, Executives and Board of Directors planning all high profile and large scale events company-wide.

A native of Johnstown, N.Y., Dingman brings a wealth of event planning experience to the Charleston club and helps oversee the RiverDogs' numerous year-round events including the RiverDogs Bark for your Brew, the Fun is Good Golf Tournament, Run Forrest Run 5K Race, and Legends in the South Alumni Game.

Bailey Linderman, Riley Park Club Events Manager

Linderman joined the RiverDogs in January of 2017 as the events manager for the all-new Riley Park Club, managing the RiverDogs' interests associated with the space's non-gameday events and serves as the liaison with The Indigo Road, the RiverDogs' food partner for the Club. With a year-round event space set to open just prior to the 2017 season, Linderman will manage the mult-purpose space as a venue for up to 300 guests suitable for a wide variety of events including weddings, high-end banquets, networking events, business meetings, and more.

Linderman brings over five years of experience in the hospitality industry to the RiverDogs. The Greenville, SC native last worked as the Executive Meeting Manager at the North Charleston Marriott where the Clemson alum helped the venue transform from an unbranded hotel to a full service Marriott Modern, the first of its kind in South Carolina.

Community Relations

Walter Nolan-Cohn, Director of Community Relations

Walter Nolan-Cohn joins 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, the Chicago native 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.

As the club's new community relations director, Nolan-Cohn will coordinate 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, will continue to be a focus.

Marketing & Creative Services

Courtney Lewis, Marketing & Creative Services Manager

Lewis joined the Goldklang Group's southernmost club heading into 2019 after three seasons in Massachusetts with the RiverDogs' sister club, the Pittsfield Suns (Futures Collegiate Baseball League). While under same ownership umbrella, she worked as the Director of Marketing and Ticket Sales, spearheading the club's 2018 promotional calendar, enhancing the fan experience, and creating all sponsorship and marketing creative for the club. The University of Albany graduate started out in baseball having previously worked with the Hudson Valley Renegades (Short Season, New York-Penn), one of the Goldklang Group's other clubs, in the promotions department during the 2015 season.

Jeremy Schrank, Director of Video Production

Schrank, a native of Illinois, joined the RiverDogs prior to the 2017 season as the Director of Video Production.

Prior to his time with the RiverDogs, Schrank worked for the George Washington University athletic department, creating videos for in-stadium use, game highlights, videos for Raise High TV as well as a variety of sports related duties.

Schrank graduated from the University of Missouri (Mizzou) with a degree in Sports Broadcast Journalism. He spent four years working for KOMU TV-8, an NBC affiliate, as a sports producer, sports anchor and reporter. In 2015, he had the opportunity to cover the Kansas City Royals during the ALCS and World Series performing live shots and live tweets.

Schrank 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.

Client Services

Melissa McCants Azevedo, Director of Client Services

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.

Merchandise & 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.

Ballpark Operations

Josh Otterline, Director of 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.

Zach Severns, Head Groundskeeper

Joining the RiverDogs in the Fall of 2018, Severns was named head groundskeeper of Joe Riley Park prior to the 2019 season. The Fresno, California native took over the helm of the Riley Park playing field after two seasons with the Lansing Lugnuts in Michigan. In 2018, his second year with the Blue Jays affiliate, the Washington State grad was named the Midwest League Sports Turf Manager of the Year while Cooley Law School Stadium was named the Single-A league's top playing surface.

 

Severns has previously worked as the head groundskeeper with the Augusta GreenJackets in the South Atlantic League and interned with the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers in his sports turf career. He currently resides in Mt. Pleasant with his dog, Chief.

Food & Beverage

Jesse White, Director of Food & Beverage

White joined the RiverDogs during the 2018 season after most recently working as the Director of Food & Beverage for Aramark at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he oversaw the food and beverage operations for 15 Gamecocks athletic programs and events. Prior to his stint in the Palmetto State, he resided in Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the Warehouse Manager at the PPG Paints Arena, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Club Level Supervisor at Heinz Field, both with Aramark. The Slippery Rock grad got his start in the sports industry as the Lead Concessions Supervisor at PNC Park with the Pirates.

Kristina Wilkins, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage

Wilkins has been a part of the RiverDogs team since 2013, assisting in the RiverDogs' famed culinary exploits at The Joe, until joining as the Assistant Director of Food & Beverage prior to the 2017 campaign.

A native of James Island, Wilkins brings prior experience working for the Charleston County Parks and Rec Department prior to her time with the RiverDogs. She becomes the next member of a food & beverage division that has been lauded nationally by the likes of Rachel Ray, Adam Richman, The Bob & Tom Show, Southern Living and a host of others.

Sara Carpenter, Hospitality Manager

Carpenter was onboarded with the Charleston front offie in 2018, bringing with her a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, working most recently as 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 with a BBA in Marketing and added a degree in graphic design at VCU.

Office Management

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.