After launching an organizational transformation in baseball operations nearly one year ago with the hiring of Executive Vice President and General Manager MIKE ELIAS, the team now confirms the leadership vision off the field. The Orioles have hired T.J. BRIGHTMAN as Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, and promoted JENNIFER GRONDAHL to Senior Vice President of Community Development & Communications, and GREG BADER to Senior Vice President of Administration & Experience. The trio join LISA TOLSON, who was named Senior Vice President of Human Resources prior to the season, as the senior management team in charge of the club’s day-to-day business operations.
The comprehensive process to reposition the club’s baseball operations began last year when Elias was hired to reconfigure the baseball operations department to reflect the industry’s state-of-the-art practices surrounding scouting, player development, and the use of analytics across all areas. These practices have helped the Orioles’ organizational talent ranking rise this season from 22nd to ninth according to Baseball America. To complement this new approach in building baseball operations, the addition of business and community leadership will create enhancements in business operations.
With a focus on bringing visitors to downtown Baltimore from throughout Maryland and the surrounding area, T.J. BRIGHTMAN brings outside industry expertise and the business acumen to drive tourism and create local economic impact. As the Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Brightman’s background in media and sports industry revenue generation will allow him to employ fresh strategies to attract new fans and retain existing ones, helping Oriole Park at Camden Yards build on the nearly 75 million fans who have passed through its gates. In his new role with the Orioles, Brightman’s extensive sports marketing background and passion for the team fuels his focus on revenue generation. His responsibilities 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 into the community, JENNIFER GRONDAHL will focus on building and maintaining relationships with partners, community leaders, civic organizations, fans, and the media. As the Senior Vice President of Community Development & Communications, she will infuse a community outreach and communication focus in every aspect of the organization, building upon the Orioles’ existing community presence to create positive impact locally. 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. Grondahl has overseen community programs such as the “Eat, Train, Live Like the PrO’s” Health & Fitness Challenge, taught to more than 4,500 children annually in all Sarasota County public middle schools, and Athletes & Artists Play for Kids fundraisers, benefitting students in music and arts education. She holds 16 years of marketing, public relations, fundraising, and event management experience, both as an entrepreneur and leading teams in the private and nonprofit sectors.
With the club looking to further enhance the Camden Yards experience, GREG 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, new local cuisine options, and other special events and theme nights. As Senior Vice President of Administration & Experience, Bader will focus heavily on continuing the progress made while overseeing areas such as the fan experience, ballpark operations, customer service, and brand marketing. He will work to initiate plans that deliver the ultimate experience at Camden Yards to fans of all ages, including additional entertainment opportunities outside of Orioles baseball, such as 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.
Recruiting and attracting the best and brightest talent to support the Orioles’ mission remains at the forefront. With the background and understanding to lead this effort, LISA TOLSON was promoted to Senior Vice President of Human Resources earlier this year and rounds out the newly formed senior leadership team. Celebrating 34 years of service with the Orioles, Tolson brings a perspective few can replicate. She has been with the team since 1985 and transitioned from group sales to finance, finding a home in human resources where she has served as director, vice president, and senior vice president. 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.
“Our partnership group is delighted to announce the further development of our senior management team,” said JOHN ANGELOS, Orioles Executive Vice President. ”This diverse group of executives is the rare combination of veteran entertainment, sports, and business leaders, including both long-time 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.”