MOOSIC, Pa. -- Personal, interactive customer service is at the core of any successful venture. That is exactly what the people of NEPA can expect when they come to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders games this season. The team's front office has more than doubled its number of full-time employees -- from a dozen to nearly 30 -- since the team last played games at PNC Field in the 2011 campaign.
"Our fans will notice the difference," said team president and general manager, Rob Crain. "The frequency and depth of interaction they will enjoy with all of our employees will grow dramatically. Fans are just as much a part of our team as anyone in a RailRiders polo, and we hope our growth will allow them to readily feel that way at every game."
And so, just 77 days away from Opening Day, below are the hard-working folks who'll call PNC Field and NEPA home.
Rob Crain (president/GM):
- Former pitcher at Springfield College.
- Started his career in sports as a summer intern with the independent Concord Quarry Dogs (NECBL).
- First job in affiliated baseball came with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in group sales.
- Sept. 2006, hired by the then-Omaha Royals.
- In 2009, was promoted to assistant general manager.
- Played an integral part in the design/construction of Werner Park and led the club's rebranding to the Storm Chasers.
Jeremy Ruby (executive vice president of operations):
- Returned after a two-year sabbatical.
- Bat boy at first-ever Red Barons' game in 1989.
- Joined Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise in 1998 as an intern.
- Soared to operations manager from 1999-2004. Later named general manager in 2005.
- Son of current Houston Astros Double-A pitching coach, Gary Ruby, and great-grandson of long-time Major League umpire Joseph Paparella, who worked four World Series (1948, 1951, 1957 and 1963).
- A 1994 graduate of Valley View High School and a 1998 graduate of East Stroudsburg University.
- Was selected by the then-California Angels in the 38th round of the June 1994 First-Year Player Draft.
Paul Chilek (executive vice president of business operations):
- Joined SWB in Aug., 2007 as the director of accounting.
- Prior to joining SWB, was the director of business and box office operations for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
- Also served as the Pens' controller from 1999-2005.
- A Scranton native who currently lives in Moosic.
- A 1994 graduate of Riverside High School and a 1998 graduate of King's College.
- Has also worked for Sanofi Pasteur and Parente Randolph.
Doug Augis (vice president of ticket sales):
- Boasts nearly two decades of experience in the sports management and ticketing industry.
- Joined SWB in April 2009 as the VP of ticket sales.
- Has also worked for the Gwinnet Gladiators, Burlington Indians, Delmarva Shorebirds, Frederick Keys, Bowie Baysox, Durham Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.
- Westfield, N.J., native and an alumnus of Elon University.
Katie Beekman (vice president of marketing and corporate services):
- Joined SWB in June 2010.
- Prior to joining SWB, was the assistant general manager for the State College Spikes.
- Spent a decade with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as the team's vice president of business operations.
- Native of West Wyoming, Pa.
- Graduate of nearby King's College.
Curt Camoni (vice president of baseball operations):
- Joined SWB's front office team in February 2005 as the director of stadium operations.
- Prior to joining SWB, was the assistant director of football operations for the University of Pennsylvania football team.
- A 2002 graduate of the University of Scranton, where he was a pitcher.
- Received his master's degree from Temple in 2004.
- Lifelong resident of Jessup, Pa.
Mike Trudnak (vice president of corporate partnerships):
- Joined the SWB franchise in November 2003 as the team's promotions director.
- Promoted to VP of corporate partnerships at the end of the 2007 season.
- A 2004 graduate of College Misericordia (now Misericordia University) and an elected member of its alumni board.
- Named one of "40 under 40" in 2011 by the Times Leader.
- Serves as an ambassador for the Volunteers of America Association.
Media relations & broadcasting
John Sadak (director of media relations and broadcasting):
- National football/basketball/baseball/soccer play-by-play announcer for the Dial Global Sports Radio Network (formerly Westwood One), the ESPN family of networks, and CBS Sports Network.
- Former radio voice for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Class A Advanced, Carolina League), the 26-time Ivy League champion Princeton University men's basketball team and the nationally ranked University of Delaware women's basketball squad.
- His call of Douglas Davis' last-second shot to propel Princeton over Harvard in the 2011 Ivy League one-game playoff was replayed numerous times on hundreds of radio stations throughout the country, on CBS television and led ESPN's SportsCenter for 24 hours.
- Has also called ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball and water polo, including multiple Final Fours for the NCAA.
- NSSA Delaware Sportscaster of the Year in 2009 and 2011. Was also a finalist in 2010 and 2012.
- Runner-up for Minor League Broadcaster of the Year in 2012 according to Ballpark Digest.
- Former assistant director of broadcasting/scoreboard operations for the New York Yankees.
Andrew Kappes (media relations/broadcasting assistant):
- Joined the RailRiders in December 2012.
- Spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Lexington Legends (Class A, South Atlantic League).
- Started in professional baseball at the age of 14 in 2005, spending five years with the independent Florence Freedom.
- Has called college baseball for his alma mater, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati.
Curtis Phair (Corporate Partnerships Executive):
- Joined SWB in October 2012.
- Spent last year as a corporate partnerships coordinator for the Camden Riversharks (independent Atlantic League).
- Graduated from Temple in 2011 with B.S. in sport and recreation management.
- Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa..
Kristina Knight (director of corporate services and special events):
- First joined the franchise as an intern in 2005.
- Hired as a Ticket Account Executive in January 2006.
- Has received multiple promotions during her tenure including the titles of group sales manager, sponsor service manager, senior sponsor service manager and her current role.
- A 2005 graduate of Bloomsburg University, where she served as the captain of the team's competitive dance team and was named Homecoming Queen in 2005.
- A 2001 graduate of Riverside Jr./Sr. High School.
Ryan Beardsley (community relations manager):
- Joined the franchise in June 2011.
- Prior to his SWB tenure, he was a journalist with the Scranton Times-Tribune and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
- Graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Technology and a two-time graduate of Marywood University including an M.A. in communication arts.
Karen Luciano (corporate services manager):
- Spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as a client services coordinator for York Revolution (independent Atlantic League).
- Was responsible for more than 200 accounts while with York.
- Creative force behind some of the most innovative giveaways in league history, including giving an actual 2011 championship ring to a lucky fan.
- Has previously worked for Rochester Red Wings, Las Vegas Wranglers and Bridgeport Bluefish.
- A 2007 graduate with honors of SUNY-Fredonia.
Lindsey Graham (corporate services manager)
- A 2011 graduate of Marywood University with a B.F.A. in graphic design.
- Hails from nearby Clarks Summit, Pa.
Cameron Wengrzyn (director of fan experience):
- Responsible for creating a fun atmosphere at PNC Field for all fans.
- Spent the previous four seasons with Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Class A, Midwest League).
- Led the Timber Rattlers' promotional efforts en route to the 2012 Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotion effort in Minor League Baseball.
- Has also worked for the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Cincinnati Reds.
- A 2008 graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in broadcasting.
Seth Atkinson (ticket operations manager):
- Joined SWB in July 2012.
- Previously was the manager of ticket operations and sales for Quad City Mallards (CHL).
- A 2010 graduate of the University of Iowa.
Kelly Cusick (inside sales/customer account manager):
- Hired for her current position in September 2011.
- Spent 2010 as an intern with SWB and 2011 as a seasonal inside sales representative with the team.
- Received her B.S. in business finance from Penn State University in 2003.
- Born, raised and currently resides in Scranton, Pa.
Allison Juchem (inside sales/customer account manager):
- Spent 2011 as a seasonal inside sales representative with SWB.
- Returned to the team in July 2012 as a customer service/inside sales representative.
- Started in baseball with the Hagerstown Suns (Class A, South Atlantic League) in 2010 as a game operations intern.
- Graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 2010.
Robert McLane (corporate account executive):
- Hired by SWB in September 2008 as group sales coordinator.
- A 2003 graduate of Scranton Prep and a resident of Lake Ariel, Pa.
- A 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in business administration.
Mario Scarfalloto (corporate account executive):
- First joined SWB in 2011 as a ticket sales intern.
- Was hired as a full-time employee to his current role in July 2012.
- A 2011 graduate of East Stroudsburg University where he was honored in the international hospitality honor society, Eta Sigma Delta.
- From and currently resides in Carbondale, Pa.
Katie Kuhn (group sales coordinator):
- Has previously worked for the Providence Bruins (AHL), Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Phillies.
- A 2011 graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.
- A native of the Lehigh Valley.
Amanda Zuzik (group sales coordinator):
- Spent the last 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Nashville Sounds.
- Interned with the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, in 2010.
- A 2010 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania.
Holly Norton (group sales coordinator):
- Joined the front office staff in September 2012.
- Interned with the United Sports Training Center in 2009, and with SWB in 2011.
- A 2011 graduate of Temple with a degree in sport and recreation management.
Nick Wenderlich (group sales coordinator):
- Worked for the Atlanta Falcons from 2011-12 and the Rochester Red Wings in 2010.
- Received his master's in international sport management in 2011 from SUNY-Cortland.
Bryant Guilmette (ticket operations assistant):
- Joined the franchise in January 2013.
- Spent last season with Lowell Spinners (Class A Short-Season, New York Penn League).
- A 2012 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Rob Galdieri (operations manager):
- Hired as operations manager by SWB in June 2009.
- Also served two years on the PNC Field grounds crew.
- Graduated from Delaware Valley College in 2009 where he played baseball for four years.
- A 2005 graduate of Bishop O'Hara High School.
- Born and raised in Scranton, Pa.
Steve Horne (director of field operations):
- Joined SWB in February 2007.
- Has spent time with the Birmingham Barons, Memphis Redbirds, Duke University and Ole' Miss.
- Highly decorated by his peers with his awards including: Southeastern Conference Groundskeeper of the Year (1992-93), Sports Turf/Beam Clay Field of the Year (1992-93, 1997-98), Southern League Groundskeeper of the Year (1997-98), Pacific Coast League Groundskeeper of the Year (2001-02, 2004-05) and Minor League Baseball Turf Manager of the Year (2005).
William Steiner (director of gameday operations):
- Hired as the staff accountant in January 2009.
- Began his SWB career as a sales intern and part-time member of the gameday entertainment and ticketing departments.
- A 2007 cum laude graduate of Wilkes University.
- Received his master's from Wilkes in 2008.
- During his time at Wilkes, was a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business.
- Was raised in Tamaqua, Pa.
Joe Villano (director of ballpark operations):
- Hired by RailRiders to his current role in February 2008.
- Prior to joining SWB, was the community service supervisor for the County of Lackawanna.
- A graduate of Carbondale Jr./Sr. High School.
The RailRiders' 2013 season gets underway with the grand opening of a reconstructed PNC Field on April 4, when the defending IL champion Pawtucket Red Sox come to town for a rematch of their 2012 playoff clash with SWB. It will mark the first "Thirsty Thursday" promotion of the year with $1 beer specials and $1 Pepsi products, along with a pregame live band performance and postgame fireworks. Club seating, partial and full-season ticket plans are now available.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.