Holly Jones was named the Victoria Baseball Club's first general manager on Tuesday morning.
The 26-year-old Eugene, Oregon, native has the baseball card to prove it, thanks to a unique promotional ploy handed out to local media.
Donning Oregon Ducks colours on the brief bio (that also came along with a pack of grape chewing gum), the card states Jones grew up playing volleyball and tennis, cheered on the Ducks and Seattle Mariners, admits to an obsession of buying Nike shoes and lists Victoria as the favourite place she's visited.
In other words, she's a quick study, with previous experiences as assistant GM with the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast League and more recently in marketing positions with JetBlue Airways, Creative Artists Agency and the National Basketball Association as her guide.
"The three years I spent with the Corvallis Knights were three of the most influential and most important years of my life," said the new GM, whose role is strictly from the business side with the new organization. "My experiences the last 4 1 /2 years with the NBA and JetBlue has put me in a position to be able to further enhance and build my business knowledge and prepare me to take on this leadership role.
"Much like we did in Corvallis, I'm eager to build another successful and inspiring organization in Victoria and build an organization we can all be proud of."
The Knights are known as one of the top organizations in the West Coast League, which will include the as-yet-unnamed Victoria team. The Knights relocated to Corvallis from Portland and Jones had a role in building that club, one of the reasons why John McLean, a co-owner of the Victoria team with Dwight Willett, made the hire.
"This is a start-up operation and with that comes picking up a lot of lessons learned and experiences elsewhere to figure out what you can do, need to do and shouldn't do," said McLean. "Having the experience with the league and, most importantly, having the sales and marketing experience with the NBA and JetBlue [helps]."
Jones holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Oregon.
"I'm excited to be on board and start building out the infrastructure of the team, start figuring out the promotional schedule and, of course, getting involved with the community. We want to make sure, come June next year, that we have absolutely the best product in the league, on the field," she said.
The next move for the local group is hiring a field manager. McLean says he's far advanced in the hunt, having already brought candidates to town to check out the facilities at Royal Athletic Park.
"The key thing we look for in a head coach/field manager is someone who has strong relationships with the colleges and universities, that can pick up the phone and talk to the head coach of the University of Washington, or UCLA or Kentucky," said McLean.
"When our coach calls and says, 'Hey, I'd like a pitcher or two, or a centrefielder, who have you got?' We want to make sure they are comfortable sending someone here, that they believe the person is going to get a good experience, [not only] from a lifestyle perspective, but also to improve their playing skills."
McLean expects to make that announcement in a week or two.
The team's website is victoriabaseballclub.com. The organization is asking fans to get involved in a name-the-team contest online.
The team is also on Twitter @VicBaseballClub and can be found on Facebook.
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