PRESS RELEASE – Charleston RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols has announced the hiring of four new staffers as the front office tackles an important offseason heading into the 20th season at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Matt Dean is the new “Voice of the RiverDogs” and media relations director while Nate Kurant is the new director of promotions. Morgan Powell will be the new box office manager and Megan Blackman is the new office manager.
Dean, a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double-major of Life Sciences Communication and Agricultural Business Management, spent last season as the broadcast and media relations assistant for the RiverDogs’ sister team, the St. Paul Saints. He served as the analyst and backup play-by-play man for the Saints’ home games. Prior to that, Dean was an intern as ESPN Radio 100.5 FM in Madison and was a broadcaster for the BTN’s (Big Ten Network) student program.
Dean was recognized by the NCAA Football Student Radio Call of the Week (Nov. 17, 2014), honored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Sports Radio Story of the Year (2015) and was an Eagle Scout.
“Matt is a young talent whom I believe our listeners will thoroughly enjoy,” said RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. “He spent a season with the St. Paul Saints, which gave him a solid background in broadcasting. As ‘Voice of the RiverDogs, Matt will be an integral part of our 2015 season.”
Kurant, who will have the responsibilities of coordinating the RiverDogs’ promotional schedule, earned his undergraduate degree in Mass Communications in 2007 from the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg and added a masters in Journalism and Media Studies from USF-St. Petersburg in 2012.
For the past four seasons, Kurant served as the director of marketing and social media for the Dunedin (FL) Blue Jays where he created and developed marketing ideas to promote the organization to the local fan base and made the team more visible nationwide. He created professional baseball’s first and only universal rain check, was a writer/graphic designer and a high school varsity baseball coach. He also served in missions in Costa Rica, was an improv comedian and has a working knowledge of Spanish and English sign language.
“Nate comes to us with an impressive background in marketing and social media on the minor league baseball level,” Echols said. “He possesses multiple skills, and we’ll utilize them as marketing and promotions are the backbone to the RiverDogs’ successes over the years. I believe our fans will enjoy the results of Nate’s work.”
For Powell, who is a native of Alpharetta, Ga., and who will handle the RiverDogs’ busy box office, comes to Charleston from the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns, where she was the assistant general manager for the 2014 and ’15 seasons in charge of tickets. She spent the 2013 campaign with the Hudson Valley (NY) Renegades as the box office manager and social media/marketing coordinator.
Powell also served as an executive trainee for the rival Rome Braves in 2012 and spent two years as a media relations student intern at Auburn University, where she graduated with a degree in Public Relations in 2011.
“Morgan is another energetic, young professional whom our fans will enjoy interacting with,” Echols stated. “She is experienced in box office management, and with our establishing a new attendance record in 2015, our fans will see a seamless transition in that area.”
Blackman, of Goose Creek, was a former RiverDogs special events intern, who most recently worked in the medical profession as a patient services representative and a physician’s office specialist. A 2011 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Experimental Psychology, Blackman added a master’s in Health, Exercise and Sport Science at The Citadel.
“Megan has been an intern with our special events staff,” Echols added. “She has an infectious and positive attitude, and she, too, will do a good job for us.”
The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, begin their season on April 7 with a seven-game homestand that features the rival Columbia Fireflies (April 7-10) and the Asheville Tourists (April 11-13). Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at 843/577-DOGS (3647) or online at http://www.riverdogs.com.