After launching a transformation in baseball operations nearly one year ago with the hiring of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, the Orioles now have confirmed their off-the-field leadership team.
The Orioles have announced the hiring of T.J. Brightman as their senior vice president and chief revenue officer, while promoting Jennifer Grondahl to senior vice president of community development and communications, and Greg Bader to senior vice president of administration and experience. Along with Lisa Tolson, who was named senior vice president of human resources prior to the season, they now comprise the senior management team in charge of the club’s day-to-day business operations, the Orioles said.
With a focus on bringing visitors to downtown Baltimore from throughout Maryland and the surrounding area, Brightman brings outside industry expertise and the business acumen to drive tourism and create local economic impact, the Orioles said. In his new role, the club said, Brightman will draw on his background in media and sports industry revenue generation to employ fresh strategies to attract new fans and retain existing ones.
Brightman’s responsibilities will include ticket and corporate sales for Baltimore and Sarasota, Fla., revenue operations. Most recently, Brightman served as the president of A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR, a creative agency headquartered in Maryland but serving clients coast to coast with offices in Burbank and Sonoma, Calif. His advertising and marketing career spans more than two decades, with half of that time spent in broadcast, supporting professional sports properties.
Reaching out beyond the ballpark walls, Grondahl will focus on building and maintaining relationships with partners, community leaders, civic organizations, fans and the media. The Orioles said Grondahl will infuse a community outreach and communication focus into every aspect of the organization, building upon the club’s existing community presence.
Over the last two years, Grondahl expanded corporate and community partnerships for the Orioles’ Sarasota operation, which generates more than $92 million in annual economic impact, as certified by Sarasota County and the State of Florida, the club said. Grondahl has overseen community programs such as the “Eat, Train, Live Like the PrO’s” Health & Fitness Challenge, which was taught to more than 4,500 children annually in all Sarasota County public middle schools, and Athletes & Artists Play for Kids fundraisers, which benefited students in music and arts education. She has 16 years of marketing, public relations, fundraising, and event management experience, both as an entrepreneur and in leading teams in the private and nonprofit sectors.
With an eye toward further enhancing the Camden Yards experience, Bader will focus on identifying and executing new concepts to blend with recent additions such as the Birdland Memberships program, Kids Cheer Free initiative, the upgraded Eutaw Street facade and Boog’s BBQ brand, as well as new local cuisine options and other special events and theme nights, the Orioles said. He will focus heavily on continuing current progress, while overseeing areas such as the fan experience, ballpark operations, customer service and brand marketing.
He will work to initiate plans that deliver the best experience at Camden Yards to fans of all ages, according to the club, including additional entertainment opportunities outside of Orioles baseball, including both small- and large-scale music events, like the sold-out Billy Joel concert this past summer in Baltimore and the Cole Swindell concert in Sarasota last spring. Bader has been with the Orioles organization for 25 years, most recently heading up its communications and marketing efforts.
Tolson was promoted to senior vice president of human resources earlier this year and she rounds out the newly formed senior leadership team. Tolson has been with the team since 1985. She transitioned from group sales to finance, and found a home in human resources. Tolson will continue to focus on promoting the Orioles’ culture and mission to help the club deliver on its goals and objectives, one of which includes fueling the local economy through the development of jobs, the team said.
“Our partnership group is delighted to announce the further development of our senior management team,” said Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos. ”This diverse group of executives is the rare combination of veteran entertainment, sports and business leaders, including both longtime Orioles staff members and professionals recruited from private industry, each of whom wanted to be a part of what we are building at Camden Yards. This is an exciting time for the club and for Baltimore, and the future of both the hometown team and our community is in very good hands.”