April 20, 2014
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Hawk talk

November 23, 2004 - Northwest League (NWL) Boise Hawks

STAFF CHANGES

The Hawks’ front office staff has undergone a number of changes since the season came to a close. Todd Rahr is the club’s new President/General Manager. He assumed those duties after Dan Walker resigned the post in mid-October. Todd will also continue to serve as the team’s Director of Sales & Marketing.

Rahr joined the Hawks in February, 2004 via Springfield, Missouri where he was the VP/Baseball Operations for the independent Central Baseball League Springfield-Ozark Mountain Ducks. He spent four years in Missouri after stops in Savannah, Georgia (1992-93) with the Cardinals’ Single-A club; Eugene, Oregon (1994-98) with the rival Emeralds of the Northwest League; and San Bernardino, California (1998-99) with the Dodgers’ Single-A club as its General Manager.

A graduate of Ohio University with a sports science-sports industry bachelor’s degree, Todd Jumped into baseball management right out of college and has been in it ever since. Working in every facet of the organizational structure in the past 13 seasons, he now settles into the overall management of the Hawks on a day-to-day basis.

Todd, a Bothell, Washington native, is married. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children, Zachary (13), Elijah (8), and Megan (6).

Dina Duncan has been named the team’s Assistant General Manager. In that role, she’ll oversee the Hawks’ business operations and facility management.

Duncan is beginning her 6th season with the Hawks. In that time, she’s filled a number of positions including: Director of Customer Service, Retail Manager, and Group Sales Representative.

Dina was born in Boise, Idaho and raised in Pensacola, Florida before moving to Garden Valley, Idaho in the fall of 1996.

Ken Hyde is now the team’s Marketing Manager. He oversees client services, public relations, media/community affairs, and gameday promotions/production.

Hyde joined the Hawks as Public Relations Director in April, 2004. He came to the Hawks from WOTV, the ABC affiliated television station in Battle Creek, Michigan where he was sports director. Prior to that, he worked as a sports anchor/reporter at KSPR-TV in Springfield, Missouri. Hyde began his career in television news at KFAA-TV the NBC affiliate in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

Ken is married. He and his wife, Michelle, are expecting their first child in March.

Nat Reynolds has been named the Director of Ticket Sales. He oversees all ticket operations and group sales.

Nat joined the club as a sales representative in March, 2004. He came to the Hawks from Citadel Radio Boise, where he worked as an advertising executive for news and sports talk radio while also acting as the voice of high school football on KTIK.

Prior to his work at Citadel, Nat was working across the county in upstate New York. It was there that he got his feet wet in sports marketing and on-air work. Nat found a team in LeMoyne College, a Division One baseball program which was not on the radio and with a little desire he got them on the air and broadcasted the games. Nat earned his bachelor’s degree in of all things environmental science from the University of Idaho.

He was married shortly after graduation and was off to the Peace Corps, serving in Bolivia. Upon their return Nat and his wife, Allyson, had their son Harrison and moved to Syracuse, New York where Nat earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.

Amanda Compson is now the team’s Ticket Operations Manager. She handles the box office and advanced ticket sales.

Compson joined the Hawks in January, 2004 as an intern and was quickly hired full-time. She grew up in the rural town of Dayton, Washington and currently resides in Boise. Amanda is presently finishing her degree in sport management from Washington State University.

Dorothy Gutierrez has been named Group Sales Manager. She supervises group operations and advanced ticket sales.

She is beginning her 4th season with the Hawks in the ticketing department and her second as the head of group sales.

Dorothy moved to Boise 6 years ago from sunny southern California from a small town with a big heart called Apple Valley.

She graduated from high school with honors, went to Jr. College and completed 1 year of Law School. She’s been bestowed the title “Queen of Phones” by her co-workers because she loves to talk on the phone to our fans. Dorothy enjoys her new life in Idaho living with her husband Ricardo and 10 year old son Steven.

Interview with President/G.M. Todd Rahr

Hawk Talk: You’ve got to be excited about the future. What are your general thoughts as you take over the running of the club on a day-to-day basis?

Todd Rahr: Well, first of all I was completely shocked about Dan stepping down because I really didn’t know that that was kind of in the works. But at the same time, I think he felt a sense that he could step down at this time and that the team would be in good hands only because I’ve been through this kind of thing in the past. That whole thing kind of threw me for a loop but quickly I just regrouped. From my point of view, being the General Manager is not a whole lot different than what I was doing last year or the previous five years.

As far as the other changes that are going on here it’s all for the better. We’re restructuring the staff for one reason and that’s to be successful and putting people in the right spots and asking people to use the skill sets they’re capable of that will lead to success. Other than that, it’s really going to be pretty seamless. I don’t see a whole lot changing from when customers walk in our front door they’re not going to see a whole lot of different faces. It’s just going to be hopefully a much more successful staff setup.

HT: How would you describe your management style? What’s brought you to the point that helps you to see success for the Hawks in 2005?

TR: My number one thing in supervising or managing people is throwing as much accountability as I can on the shoulders of those people. If I don’t surround myself with people that I think can do things on their own, all it’s going to do is make this a weaker organization. The reason why people like Ken Hyde, Dina Duncan, Nat Reynolds are on this staff is because I feel they have the ability to take hold of their job and really develop it and make it their own and make it better than what it was in the past. That’s what I’m looking for is developmental minds, people who want to lead themselves and lead other people. What I know about that is that if you have a staff full of leaders you’re going to have success. If you have a staff full of followers it’s just going to be a long, long road.

So I think everybody’s pretty much bought into what we’re trying to do here which is really create something that we’ve never really had with the Boise Hawks: creative stuff; fun; the family entertainment being better than ever; and literally having that creed day-in-and-day-out that we need to make this better every day of our work life here.

HT: What’s been the most exciting thing about Boise Hawks baseball to you and what’s the most daunting challenge you see facing the organization?

TR: I think the most exciting thing was coming in here last February and seeing a team that was pretty raw. I guess if you look at it like a lump of clay it was pretty raw and pretty undeveloped. That to me is the fun part of the job is trying to mold whatever we’re doing into this great masterpiece of a sculpture. That’s what I’m doing at this point is just trying to get that clay into something that is beautiful (laughs) and something that people want to look at. I think we’re getting there.

But when you talk about daunting tasks literally day-in-and-day-out I think we’re almost trying to recreate what used to be here in the 90’s that is get ourselves in the position of being the number one sports and entertainment option here in the market. That’s what I want myself and the staff to strive to do which is to be the number one sports and entertainment product here in the town. Although, we’ve got BSU football and we’ve got the Steelheads who, to me, claim the number one and two positions. Which means we’ve go the task of trying to jump over those guys. So we’ve got to come up with some pretty creative ways to do that. We’ve got to look at the little things and we’ve got to do those right. But we’ve also got to do things that really wow the fans. That’s kind of a creed as well is the word “wow.” We want people to be wowed when they come into this ballpark.

HT: On a personal level with a wife and three kids, what’s been the coolest thing about moving here and being a part of this community?

TR: I just think the community, for as big - in terms of area - that it is, it’s a pretty tight-knit community. A lot of people will ask me, “is your goal in life to be in the major leagues?” And my goal is not to be in the major leagues. Because that means I’ve got to go to these big cities and work in a big city and live in the suburbs and all. To me, this size town is just perfect. It’s a world we’ve come from where I was in Springfield, Missouri; Eugene, Oregon and Savannah, Georgia. Those are the size towns that I enjoy.

From a personal basis, we got here, we bought a house, we are in the Nampa area and the kids are in the Vallivue School District and everything’s just gone tremendously so far. So from a personal basis it was tough to leave a place we’d been for the past four and a half years. This is probably the most seamless transition we’ve experienced mainly because the kids are a little older and it’s easier for them to make friends and stuff like that. It’s been a real easy move.

HT: What’s the biggest change fans are going to see when they walk into the stadium in 2005? Or is there going to be a huge difference between ’04 and ’05?

TR: I hope there is a big difference. But I think the people who’ll notice the difference more are the people internally.

Our number one focus this year is to upgrade the service at the ballpark. We’ve added a lot of stuff since 2003. The entertainment, I think, has certainly been upgraded. The theme nights that we do out here have certainly become kind of a staple already. I know we get great comments on all that stuff.

But really where I think we’ve become a better organization is when we focus on the little things: whether it is just a clean stadium, how the ushers relate to the fans, how the promo team works with the fans, you know it really comes down to that. Hopefully that’s the noticeable difference is that when you come to the ballpark it’s hard to complain about anything.

What we do is spice up the entertainment side of it. I really look at this as something that year-after-year we improve whether it be the look of the stadium, or the entertainment aspect. I hope it is noticeable but at the same time I don’t think we’re going out to change the world at this point. We’ve kind of already done that.

HT: Do you have any closing comments?

TR: Well maybe just to finish the thought on philosophy – my philosophy and what I’m trying to instill in everyone here is simply that you need to put the customer at the forefront of your mind, not yourself. And if you do right by the customer, we’re going to do right by the owners; we’re going to make sure this place is a profitable, money-making operation for the owners if we treat the customers correctly.

I think being the small business that we are, that can’t be an excuse for not servicing correctly. That’s been my main focus over the course of the last 9-10 months is looking at the details and what we need to fix.

I think when you look at what we’ve done so far, some of the things folks may have not noticed because it wasn’t as blatant as some of the entertainment things we did at the stadium: the community affairs side of the business was something we absolutely were lacking. There was just an effort by Dan and myself to just say we have got to have a stronger community affairs department and public relations department and media relations department. That in itself has raised us a lot. Ken Hyde and what he’s doing in the marketing department has brought us to a new level in doing things I wish we could’ve done in Springfield, Missouri and San Bernardino and Eugene Oregon (laughs).

We haven’t had the people who’ve been proactive before. That was my number one goal coming in here, was obviously getting the revenue up, getting themes going, but my number one goal was getting the community affairs, PR and media relations as strong as it could be because that is where I think we really make a footprint in this market is via that piece of the business. And we’ve done some great things there and I look for that to be one of the things that just continues to evolve and gets better and better every year. We’re excited about the future.

2005 Boise Hawks’ Schedule

JUNE

21-25 at Everett

26-30 Home vs. Eugene

JULY

1-3 at Tri-City

4-8 Home vs. Everett

9-11 at Yakima

13-15 Home vs. Tri-City

16-20 at Eugene

21-23 Home vs. Yakima

24-26 at Yakima

27-31 Home vs. Vancouver

AUGUST

2-6 at Salem/Keizer

7-9 at Spokane

10-12 Home vs. Spokane

13-17 Home vs. Salem/Keizer

19-23 at Vancouver

24-26 at Spokane

27-29 at Tri-City

30-31 Home vs. Tri-City

SEPTEMBER

1 Home vs. Tri-City

2-4 Home vs. Yakima

5-7 Home vs. Spokane

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Northwest League Stories from November 23, 2004


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.