Suns Have New Leader
Suns Have New Leader
Kurt Landes hands reigns to Will Smith as new General Manager
Veteran front office executive Will Smith has been promoted within the Hagerstown Suns to General Manager by team owner Mandalay Baseball Properties. Previously the team's Assistant General Manager, Smith will now be responsible for leading the Suns and all day-to-day activities of the club.
Smith takes over from Suns President & General Manager Kurt Landes, who has enjoyed a very successful five-plus year run at the helm. Landes has, in baseball terminology, been "called up" and has accepted a new significant position within the Minor League Baseball industry. He will be leaving the Suns and their owners, Mandalay Baseball Properties next week.
"I'm excited to take on this new challenge," said Smith. "I look forward to building upon the team's accomplishments from Kurt's tenure and continuing to make Municipal Stadium a wonderful family entertainment destination."
Smith, first hired by the Suns as their Director of Ticket Sales in 2003, has been the team's Assistant General Manager for the past three seasons. The 2007 season will be his 7th in Minor League Baseball.
"I know Will is going to do an absolutely fantastic job leading the Suns," said Landes. "It's sad to leave the Suns and Mandalay Baseball, but it's time for both Will and I to take our next career step. I'm very proud of the team's accomplishments over the past five years."
Landes, whose first day with the Suns was on September 11, 2001, leaves the Suns with thirteen years of baseball experience. Under Kurt's guidance, the team increased attendance just over 50% and the Suns have received significant amounts of national, regional and local media attention for Suns promotions and events.
Landes was the Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce "Business Person of the Year" in 2004 and the Suns recently received the Chamber's prestigious "At Your Service" Award this past spring. Landes orchestrated Willie Mays' return to Hagerstown in August 2004, and initiated the team's successful annual Chili Cookoff & Music Festival among other accomplishments. Just recently, Landes was responsible for the team's affiliation switch to the Washington Nationals.
The Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League are the new Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals and are owned by Los Angeles based Mandalay Baseball Properties. Ticket packages, group information, and sponsorships are available by calling 301-791-6266 or by visiting the Suns at www.hagerstownsuns.com.