PRESS RELEASE – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) have announced that there are 21 members of the team’s new ownership group with strong ties to Northeast Pennsylvania. These individuals will participate in the RailRiders Advisory Council, which will further connect the organization to the community.
The team hosted more than 1,000 community members, season-ticket holders and corporate sponsors at PNC Field earlier today as Mark Teixeira, the first baseman for the New York Yankees, visited Moosic to show his support for the RailRiders. The RailRiders arranged for Teixeira to meet boys and girls from the Challenger Little League prior to the event, which included fundraising for the organization, one of the RailRiders’ year-round community partners.
The co-managing owners of the RailRiders, David Blitzer and David Abrams, disclosed the identities and backgrounds of the 21 people who comprise the team’s local ownership. Blitzer and Abrams expressed their excitement about partnering with such a prestigious group of individuals.
“The RailRiders are a community asset and David and I felt that we would be able to create a stronger bond between the team, its fans and Northeast Pennsylvania by adding co-owners with lifelong ties to the region,” said Abrams.
“We are confident that the members of our ownership group that either grew up or currently reside in NEPA will help us in achieving our long-term goal of making the RailRiders the top organization in Minor League Baseball,” said Blitzer.
The local ownership group includes:
John Dionne is a senior advisor to the Blackstone Group and a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School. He is a member of the RailRiders’ board of directors and was formerly the chairman of The University of Scranton’s board of trustees. His wife, Jacquelyn Rasieleski Dionne, is a Scranton native and currently serves on the university’s board. They jointly received the University of Scranton’s President’s Medal in 2013.
David Flannery and Amy Wilson are both natives of Scranton. Amy is the daughter of Jim and Nancy Wilson, who live in Green Ridge. She attended St. Paul’s and Scranton Central High School. David is the son of Edward and Louise Flannery, formerly of West Scranton, now of Moosic. He attended St. Pat’s and West Scranton High School. David and Amy currently live in New York City, but return to the Scranton area many times each year with their three children to visit their extended families, ski at Montage, attend RailRiders games and take advantage of everything NEPA has to offer.
Matt Haggerty was born and raised in Scranton. He is CEO of Times-Shamrock Communications and publisher of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, the Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre, and the Standard Speaker in Hazleton. He also serves as managing director of Elk Lake Capital which is the family office private equity firm of the Lynett-Haggerty family. In the community, he serves as secretary of the board of the Northeast Pennsylvania Healthcare Foundation and vice-chair of the board of The Scranton Area Foundation. He is a former secretary/treasurer of the board of trustees of Mercy Health Partners, which operated the Mercy Hospital in Scranton, a former member of the board of trustees of Scranton Preparatory School and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past president of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Lackawanna County. He lives in Scranton with his wife, Christina, and their five children, Abigail, Caroline, Cecelia, Matthew Jr., and Joseph.
Jeff Jacobson is a longtime Scranton-area resident with his wife Robin and their children, Matthew and Shelley. The president of Jacobson Hat Co., Inc. a manufacturing company based in Scranton for 50 years, the lifelong New York Yankees fan also has served in a variety of community service roles. Jacobson has served as chairman of the board for Geisinger-Community Medical Center, on the Geisinger Health System Foundation’s board of directors and has volunteered for other local non-profit organizations.
Kathleen M. Lambert and John D. McCarthy, Jr. are brother and sister. John is the president of McCarthy Tire, a third-generation family-owned business, and Katie is the CFO. John currently resides in Trucksville with his wife Lynn and son John. Katie resides in Wyoming with her husband Gary and their three children: Gary Jr., Mary Kate and Timothy. Both John and Katie are active in the community. They sit on various boards and both of their families are involved in numerous charities. John and Katie are both sports enthusiasts that are strongly committed to the growth and success of the region. John is also a New York Yankees season-ticket holder.
George Lynett is publisher emeritus of The Times-Tribune. He has chaired several community boards including: Scranton Preparatory School, Marywood University, Scranton Area Foundation, Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Allied Services. He and his wife, Patti, recently chaired the Lackawanna County and Wayne County United Way campaign. They live in Scranton.
Christopher Mellon is the president and chief executive officer of Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc., a $4 billion food service distributor located in Conklin, N.Y. He has called Greenfield Township home for the last 23 years. Today, he lives there with his wife Amy and five children: Kyle, Jordan, Ethan, Christopher and Colin. He has spent most of his life as an NEPA resident, originally in the Hazleton area. He has served on a number of boards in the region including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Hazleton, Scranton Diocesan School Board, Leadership Hazleton and the Aurora Project of Broome County, N.Y. He is a board member of Benco Dental headquartered in Pittston, Pa. and formerly served as a P&G Mehoopany Employees Federal Credit Union board member in Tunkhannock, Pa.
John C. Metz and the entire Metz family, John Metz, Jr., Jeff Metz and Maureen Metz, are dedicated to non-profit and civic organizations in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre community where they live and work. Their company, Metz Culinary Management, is a restaurant-inspired on-site food service provider that operates in 16 states and ranked 18th among the top-50 contract food providers in America according to Food Management Magazine. In addition, Metz owns and operates several restaurants in the area including T.G.I. Friday’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Wolfgang Puck Express and Lucky’s Sporthouse. In 2014, the Metz family was honored with the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce for professional excellence, positive recognition in the community and energy spent giving back to the region.
Bob Mills serves as president and chief strategic officer of Petrochoice and is the former owner of Craft Oil Corp. A 20-year resident of NEPA, the avid sports fan lives in Moosic. Bob serves as a member of the RailRiders board of directors. Maureen Mills owns Craft Oil Services and was also an owner of Craft Oil Corp. A lifelong NEPA resident, the entertainment enthusiast also lives in Moosic. The couple has three daughters: Morgan, Maggie and Brooke.
John “Jack” O’Donnell, who resides in the Philadelphia area, has been a lifelong baseball fan since he was a boy growing up in Philadelphia. He has been involved in baseball in many capacities, as a player, a parent and as a Little League coach, manager and board member. His main involvement in baseball, and the root of his love for the game, is watching his two sons play baseball throughout the years. His son, Casey, is now a 6’4″ starting pitcher for the University of Philadelphia Rams and his younger son, Ryan, is a pitcher and middle infielder for the Hatboro-Horsham Hatters High School team. John and his family are excited to be a part of the RailRiders team.
Daniel J. Santaniello was appointed president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Deposit & Discount Bank in December 2010 after spending the prior decade as the institution’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He previously served as senior vice president of retail sales and administration at another financial institution in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Lackawanna County, the 1990 graduate of Marywood University spent six years working in both Philadelphia and New Jersey before relocating back to Northeastern Pennsylvania. He proudly serves as chairman of the board of directors for The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce as well as the second vice president of the board of directors for the Scranton Cultural Center. He also sits of the board of directors for Saint Joseph’s Center and Friendship House and is a member of the Council for Saint Eulalia’s Parish, Moscow. He resides in Roaring Brook Township with his wife, Tina, and their children.
Andy Ufberg grew up in the Scranton area and still has strong ties to NEPA. After practicing law for several years, he currently serves as managing director with Major, Lindsey and Africa, the national and global leader in legal recruiting, where he places attorneys with top law firms and corporations nationally. He and his wife Lauren reside in Philadelphia with their three children.
Bob Ufberg is the founder and managing partner of Ufberg & Associates, LLP, a Scranton-based management labor and employment law firm – the only Pennsylvania firm selected for membership in The Worklaw NetworkÂ©, a national association of preeminent management labor and employment law firms. In addition to heading up his firm’s labor law practice, he is known for his creative work to resolve complex workplace issues. Bob and his wife, Laney, are active in a wide array of civic, community and religious organizations, and are the proud parents of four fine sons, Andy, Marc, Ross and Max, three wonderful daughters-in-law, and delightful grandchildren.
Max Ufberg, a Scranton-area native, is digital editor at Pacific Standard magazine in Santa Barbara, Calif. Prior to that he worked as a journalist at Wired magazine in San Francisco, Philadelphia Weekly, and The Virgin Islands Daily News, and has written stories for any number of regional and national news publications. Max is a graduate of Temple University where he studied broadcasting and English.
Murray Ufberg is a partner and former managing partner of the law firm of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP, which is located in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. His civic activities include membership on the boards of Misericordia University, The Commonwealth Medical College, Keystone College President’s Advisory Council and WVIA-TV/FM/HDTV. He is a past chairman of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry and the board of directors of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, as well as the Jewish Federation of Greater Wilkes-Barre. He is a member of the RailRiders board of directors.
The RailRiders open their 2015 season at home on April 9 against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.