November 23, 2004 - Northwest League (NWL) - Boise Hawks
The HawksÂ’ front office staff has undergone a number of changes since the season came to a close. Todd Rahr is the clubÂ’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 teamÂ’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 CardinalsÂ’ Single-A club; Eugene, Oregon (1994-98) with the rival Emeralds of the Northwest League; and San Bernardino, California (1998-99) with the DodgersÂ’ Single-A club as its General Manager.
A graduate of Ohio University with a sports science-sports industry bachelorÂ’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 teamÂ’s Assistant General Manager. In that role, sheÂ’ll oversee the HawksÂ’ business operations and facility management.
Duncan is beginning her 6th season with the Hawks. In that time, sheÂ’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 teamÂ’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 bachelorÂ’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 bachelorÂ’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 masterÂ’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.
Amanda Compson is now the teamÂ’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. SheÂ’s been bestowed the title Â“Queen of PhonesÂ” 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: YouÂ’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 didnÂ’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 IÂ’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 itÂ’s all for the better. WeÂ’re restructuring the staff for one reason and thatÂ’s to be successful and putting people in the right spots and asking people to use the skill sets theyÂ’re capable of that will lead to success. Other than that, itÂ’s really going to be pretty seamless. I donÂ’t see a whole lot changing from when customers walk in our front door theyÂ’re not going to see a whole lot of different faces. ItÂ’s just going to be hopefully a much more successful staff setup.
HT: How would you describe your management style? WhatÂ’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 donÂ’t surround myself with people that I think can do things on their own, all itÂ’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. ThatÂ’s what IÂ’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 youÂ’re going to have success. If you have a staff full of followers itÂ’s just going to be a long, long road.
So I think everybodyÂ’s pretty much bought into what weÂ’re trying to do here which is really create something that weÂ’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: WhatÂ’s been the most exciting thing about Boise Hawks baseball to you and whatÂ’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 weÂ’re doing into this great masterpiece of a sculpture. ThatÂ’s what IÂ’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 weÂ’re getting there.
But when you talk about daunting tasks literally day-in-and-day-out I think weÂ’re almost trying to recreate what used to be here in the 90Â’s that is get ourselves in the position of being the number one sports and entertainment option here in the market. ThatÂ’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, weÂ’ve got BSU football and weÂ’ve got the Steelheads who, to me, claim the number one and two positions. Which means weÂ’ve go the task of trying to jump over those guys. So weÂ’ve got to come up with some pretty creative ways to do that. WeÂ’ve got to look at the little things and weÂ’ve got to do those right. But weÂ’ve also got to do things that really wow the fans. ThatÂ’s kind of a creed as well is the word Â“wow.Â” We want people to be wowed when they come into this ballpark.
HT: On a personal level with a wife and three kids, whatÂ’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, itÂ’s a pretty tight-knit community. A lot of people will ask me, Â“is your goal in life to be in the major leagues?Â” And my goal is not to be in the major leagues. Because that means IÂ’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. ItÂ’s a world weÂ’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 everythingÂ’s just gone tremendously so far. So from a personal basis it was tough to leave a place weÂ’d been for the past four and a half years. This is probably the most seamless transition weÂ’ve experienced mainly because the kids are a little older and itÂ’s easier for them to make friends and stuff like that. ItÂ’s been a real easy move.
HT: WhatÂ’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 Â’04 and Â’05?
TR: I hope there is a big difference. But I think the people whoÂ’ll notice the difference more are the people internally.
Our number one focus this year is to upgrade the service at the ballpark. WeÂ’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 weÂ’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 thatÂ’s the noticeable difference is that when you come to the ballpark itÂ’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 donÂ’t think weÂ’re going out to change the world at this point. WeÂ’ve kind of already done that.
HT: Do you have any closing comments?
TR: Well maybe just to finish the thought on philosophy Â– my philosophy and what IÂ’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, weÂ’re going to do right by the owners; weÂ’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 canÂ’t be an excuse for not servicing correctly. ThatÂ’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 weÂ’ve done so far, some of the things folks may have not noticed because it wasnÂ’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 heÂ’s doing in the marketing department has brought us to a new level in doing things I wish we couldÂ’ve done in Springfield, Missouri and San Bernardino and Eugene Oregon (laughs).
We havenÂ’t had the people whoÂ’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 weÂ’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. WeÂ’re excited about the future.
2005 Boise HawksÂ’ Schedule
21-25 at Everett
26-30 Home vs. Eugene
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
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
1 Home vs. Tri-City
2-4 Home vs. Yakima
5-7 Home vs. Spokane