NWL names Ellis president

Exec brings wealth of baseball experience, leadership

By Northwest League | November 1, 2012 2:59 PM ET

BOISE, Idaho -- The Board of Directors of the Northwest League of Professional Baseball have chosen Michael Ellis, an executive with 20 years of experience in Minor League Baseball, as the next president of the Northwest League, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Ellis succeeds Bob Richmond, who retires after serving as league president for 30 years.

"After a thorough selection process with many highly qualified candidates, it became clear that Mike Ellis was a perfect fit for our league," states Andy Billig, chairman of the Northwest League Executive Committee. "Mike's broad experience and strong relationship within baseball will help him to be an effective leader for the Northwest League."

Ellis, a Missoula, Mont., resident, has served in various baseball capacities including team owner/operator, league director/vice president, and as a member of Minor League Baseball's Board of Trustees. Ellis, along with his wife, Judy, will continue as the majority owners of the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League.

"Mike Ellis has developed a sterling reputation within Minor League Baseball through his club ownership, service on the Board of Trustees and seats on various committees within the National Association," said Pat O'Conner, president of Minor League Baseball. "As a League president, I fully expect his administrative skills, knowledge of the business of baseball and stable demeanor to serve the Northwest League well for years to come."

The Northwest League has been a circuit that Ellis has appreciated for many years.

"I am extremely honored to be chosen for this position. The Northwest League is a highly successful and respected League, which has benefitted from the hard work and dedication of Bob Richmond. Bob, along with a talented group of team owners and management have set a standard that I will strive to maintain."

Bob Richmond will continue as president of the Arizona League, a position he has held since that league's inception in 1988. He will also remain the owner of Baseball Opportunities, Inc., a firm that brokers the sale of Minor League Baseball Franchises, and as co-owner of the Midland RockHounds of the Double-A Texas League. Richmond has served as president of the Northwest League from 1974-81 and 1991-2012.

Richmond added, "Mike is a most capable baseball man and he will do a terrific job as president of the Northwest League. I am most pleased that the League has chosen him as my successor."

About Mike Ellis
Ellis is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University and San Francisco State University with degrees in civil engineering technology and urban studies. He had a long career in planning, engineering and land development. He left his position as executive vice president of Irvine Community Development Company (a subsidiary of The Irvine Company), in 2005, to spend more time with his family and baseball activities. Baseball has been a family affair for the Ellis family. Judy Ellis, a past Rawlings Women Executive of the Year, first started as a day-of-game employee in 1984. Their son, Matt, a 25-year veteran within the Minor Leagues, is currently executive VP of the Missoula Osprey.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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