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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, Chairman

Jeff Goldklang, President

Mike Veeck, Executive Advisor to the Chairman

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

Management

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.

Ben Abzug, Senior Vice President

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.

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.

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 in the early 2000's. She is credited with coming up with the RiverDogs Dog Day concept in a promotional meeting in 2014, deciphered by the rest of the front office after three hours of charades. Her favorite hobbies include watching the 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.

Ticket Sales

Evan Courtney, Director of Ticket Sales

Evan joined the RiverDogs following the 2021 season. Prior to arriving in the Holy City, Courtney spent three seasons as an account executive with the Tennessee Smokies. His career in professional baseball began as intern for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

The Chicago native loves sports in the Windy City except for the Cubs. He enjoys being disappointed by the Bears every year. He received a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida where his flamingo-themed suit was a massive hit.

Evan loves Charleston and cannot wait to discover everything the city has to offer. He is looking forward to providing fantastic service to the incredible RiverDogs fan base.

Savannah Bullins, Director of Group Sales

Vanna joined the RiverDogs in 2022 after previously serving as the Marketing Manager at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC for three years. While at the Crown, she served as an expert, and local resource, for promoter clients on how best to promote their show/event in the market. She also coordinated theme night promotions and special events for corporate executives, businesses and fans, solicitated sales and developed and executed marketing campaigns and social media plans.

The graduate of East Carolina University also previously spent time as Group Coordinator for the Crown Coliseum. In this role, Vanna developed all group sales programs, activities and private events, and managed all club and suite level services.

Keith Millikan, Senior Account Executive

Keith joined the RiverDogs in July of 2023. Prior to arriving in Charleston, Keith spent five seasons with the Evansville Otters baseball team in Indiana, as an account executive and most recently, Director of Group Sales.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Sport Administration from the University of Cincinnati. Keith is passionate for Cincinnati Reds baseball, motorsports and enjoys cycling, running and pumping small iron.

Keith would eventually like to own a sailboat named either “Jenny” or “Nights in Blue Satin”. As you can tell, he needs help in the naming department. Feel free to slow him down when you see him at The Joe and offer a suggestion.

He is excited to learn more about Charleston and engage with the RiverDogs fanbase to provide a great experience for everyone stepping foot within The Joe.

Riley Hollar, Account Executive, Group Sales

Riley joined the RiverDogs as a gameday intern in 2021 and returned as a full-time intern in 2022 prior to earning a full time role with the team. Born and raised in Charleston, she recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Sport and Entertainment Management. She grew up going to RiverDogs games with her family and is very excited to be a part of another great season with the team!

When not working she enjoys attending events around the Charleston area and spending time with her yellow lab, Lily.

Paul Wales, Ticket Operations Manager

Paul joined the RiverDogs in August of 2023. Prior to arriving in Charleston, he spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, as part of their Ticket Tech Game Day staff, and had internships with the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota during spring training and the ReliaQuest Bowl in their ticketing departments.

Paul graduated from the University of Tampa with bachelor's degrees in Sport Management and Marketing, and was on the university’s Cross-Country and Track teams.

Paul has refused to allow his work experience to have an impact on his passion for the New York Yankees, although their performance in October makes him question his support of the team. The Florida man has recently ended his hatred of country music and can be seen running throughout the streets of Charleston before the sun rises. Paul is excited to be a part of the Charleston community and enjoy what the area has to offer.

Colin McKenzie, Account Executive

Colin joined the RiverDogs as a full-time intern in 2023 prior to being hired as a full-time employee in August of the same year. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he recently graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Communications. He attended several RiverDogs games as a fan while in school and is excited to now be a part of the organization.

Colin is the youngest of four children in his family. He has two older brothers and a twin sister who is two minutes his elder. Outside of work, he enjoys fishing, playing sports, candlelight dinners and the beach.

Media Relations & Broadcasting

Jason Kempf, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations

Jason joined the RiverDogs in early 2020 and was fortunate to call the first championship in franchise history in 2021 . The Wisconsin native came to the RiverDogs as a well-traveled broadcaster, having previously broadcasted for the St. Paul Saints, Wichita Wingnuts, Dayton Dragons, and Quad Cities River Bandits. One of his career highlights was having the opportunity to broadcast a game at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Jason majored in Radio TV Film at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He and his wife Jodi, along with their dog, Mowgli, reside in Goose Creek.

Business Management/Accounting

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.

Community Relations

Amanda Najera, Community Relations Manager

Amanda joined the RiverDogs in early 2022 in her current role as the Community Relations Manager. Prior to joining the team, Amanda was the Event and Volunteer Coordinator at Keep Brevard Beautiful in Melbourne, Fl. While she relocated from Florida, she calls Oklahoma home. The Sooner State is where she received her bachelor's degree in public and nonprofit administration from the University of Oklahoma.

When not working, Amanda enjoys reading, exploring downtown (tell her your favorite place to eat) and going to the beach.

Marketing & Creative Services

Michael Lopes, Director of Marketing

Michael joined the RiverDogs in October of 2022. He was previously an Account Executive at Optimum Sports in New York City where he specialized in Olympics partnership strategy.

The Freehold, New Jersey native brings diverse experience to the RiverDogs marketing team. Michael has held numerous creative marketing positions in collegiate athletics at Clemson and Wofford, youth sports, gaming, and sports & entertainment consulting, as well as sales positions for the New York Jets and Jersey Shore BlueClaws.

Michael received a Master's degree in Marketing from Clemson University, and a Bachelor's degree in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland. He is excited to be in Charleston and is looking forward to exploring all that the city has to offer.

Hannah Von Zup, Director of Video Production and Multimedia

Hannah joined the RiverDogs Marketing and Creative Services Department in May of 2022. She was previously the Digital Initiatives Coordinator at Coastal Carolina University (#ChantsUp). Hannah specialized in ESPN+ video production and creative content.

Originally from the Poconos in Pennsylvania, Hannah received a Bachelor's Degree in Communication in 2020 and a Master's Degree in Sport Management in 2021 from Coastal Carolina.

When she is not working, Hannah enjoys spending time with her dog (Dice), exploring Charleston restaurants and going to the beach.

Omar Torres, Director of Creative Content

Born and raised in Salinas, Puerto Rico, Omar moved to the United States to join the RiverDogs. Prior to joining the team, he created hype videos and graphics for Atléticos de San Germán, a professional basketball team in Puerto Rico. He previously created content for Puerto Rican college & professional sports teams and served as an intern for soccer and volleyball prospect teams in Galicia, Spain with Proyecto JDB.

Omar received a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and Photography from Atlantic University College in Puerto Rico. He also has experience in advertising. Aside from work, he enjoys playing the guitar and other instruments.

Ty Barrett, Promotions Manager

Ty joined the RiverDogs shortly after the conclusion of the 2023 season. He previously worked in baseball as the Digital Marketing Intern for the Savannah Bananas during their 2023 world tour.

Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ty graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Sport Management degree in May of 2023. He has a background in promotions, having worked for the athletic department while in school.

Special Events

Lance Fletcher, Director of Club Sales/Events

Prior to starting with the RiverDogs, Lance was a hospitality operations manager with a catering company exclusively in the racing world focusing on race teams and VIP clients. He also spent time in Naples, FL, where Lance was the Director of Catering, Banquets and Events for a private country club. While there he received his IEPP, Wedding Planning and Luxury Wedding Planning certifications.

Lance also holds a sommelier certification and a WSET level 1 certification. He holds a diploma in Hospitality management and also hospitality & tourism management. Lance and his wife, Samantha, relocated to Charleston in June of 2021 where he became a Dual Director of Hotel Sales for a local hospitality company.

Victoria Veserra, Events Manager

Victoria joined the RiverDogs in October of 2023. Prior to becoming part of the team, she served as a marketing and events intern for the City of Charleston and also interned with A Charleston Bride, where she assisted with wedding planning.

Born in Houston, TX, Victoria attended New Mexico State University. She received degrees in Marketing and Management during her time in Las Cruces and was also a member of the Aggies track and field team. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, exploring the city and watching the Astros.

Ballpark Operations

Brandon Dunnam, Director of Operations

Dunnam took over day-to-day operations of The Joe in February of 2021. He arrives in Charleston with a wealth of Minor League Baseball experience, having worked in stadium operations for the Mobile BayBears, Helena Brewers, Tennessee Smokies, South Bend Cubs and Carolina Mudcats. In addition to his time in baseball, Dunnam has served as Public Safety Manager's Assistant at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Public Safety Lead for the Nashville Predators.

The native of Saraland, Alabama graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management from the University of Southern Mississippi. When not at the ballpark, he enjoys trying new restaurants and breweries and exploring beaches and trails with his Golden Retriever, Caroline. Dunnam is thrilled to be in Charleston and looking forward to making a home in the Lowcountry for the foreseeable future.

Jon Kimball, Operations Manager

A native of Mesa, Arizona, Kimball joined the RiverDogs full-time staff in January of 2024. Previously, he worked part-time for the RiverDogs in 2023 and served as operations intern in 2022. Kimball graduated from Tabor College in Kansas with an MBA after prevously earning a bachelor's degree in sports management. He pitched collegiately at both Tabor and Feather River College.

When not at the ballpark, Kimball is an avid golfer and coaches at East Coast Baseball Academy. He has a pit bull named Bella and is a rabid fan of the Dallas Stars.

Kevin Coyne, Head Groundskeeper

Kevin 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.

If you are in the ballpark while a game is not in progress, there is a good chance you will spot his sidekick Charlotte patrolling the field and searching for someone to play fetch with.

Nate Burton, Assistant Groundskeeper

Nate joined the RiverDogs in October of 2023 after spending the 2023 baseball season working full-time on the Washington Nationals grounds crew. Prior to joining the Nationals, he served as an intern with the University of Mary turf staff.

Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Nate attended the University of Mary where he was also a member of the baseball team. In high school, he won three state baseball championships at The Miller School.

Food & Beverage

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.

Chelsea Carver, Food and Beverage Business and Human Resources Manager

Carver joined the RiverDogs in October of 2023 after previously serving as Customer Solutions Coordinator at US Foods in Fishers, Indiana. She also spent time as a Retail Manager for Compass Group in several cities. Carver graduated from Indiana State University in 2016 with a major in Food Service Management.

In her free time, Carver loves to travel, bake and watch football (Go Chiefs!). She also enjoys spending time with family, friends and dog London. Have a niece and nephew (Charlotte and James)

Amber Hotelling, Hiring and Scheduling Manager

The 2021 season is Amber's first as a full-time member of the RiverDogs staff. She was a frequent visitor to The Joe following a move to the Lowcountry in 2008 and joined the food and beverage team in 2018 as Dog World Supervisor. She was named Employee of the year in 2018 and 2019. Previously, Hotelling spent time as a board member for Parks Baseball Dixie Youth Baseball and ran their concessions for four years. She has also volunteered at Dorchester District 2 schools in the classroom and with athletic programs, Sertoma football and cheer, Carolina Coonhound Rescue and the Homeless Period Project.

Ryan Ehlinger, Senior Concourse Manager

Ryan joined the RiverDogs Food and Beverage department in January of 2023. Originally from Dubuque, Iowa he majored in both Sport Management and Marketing at Loras College with a minor in Business Analytics.

He spent the 2021 season as an intern for the Midwest League's Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and previously interned with the Wausau Woodchucks of the Northwoods League. In his free time, he enjoys watching the St. Louis Cardinals, playing video games, watching Star Wars, and traveling.

Andrew Bertolini, Sous Chef

Andrew joined the RiverDogs in October of 2023, shortly after graduating from the Culinary Institute of Charleston. He will receive a degree in hospitality in the spring of 2024.

Born in Arlington, VA, he spent 12 years in the United States Army reserves. When not in the kitchen, Andrew enjoys watching sports and many outdoor activites, including hunting and fishing.

Merchandise

Cynthia Linhart, Director of Merchandise

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.