Name: Katie Beekman
Title: General Manager
Company: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Address: 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic PA 18507
Katie Beekman attributed her success to patience, persistence and hard work.
“Everything I have accomplished, I have earned by putting in my time and showing up to get the job done,” she explains.
As the general manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, she notes that in a historically male dominated field, it has not always been easy.
“We have made improvements, but I still walk into executive meetings as the only female in the room. In the end I strive to be recognized for my hard work and not my gender,” she adds.
Beekman manages several departments including community relations, stadium operations, sponsorship sales/service, special events, baseball operations and field operations. She offers significant insight into marketing, promotions and ticket plans, and works regularly with the New York Yankees player development team and the clubhouse staff to ensure the smooth transition of player transactions and assignments.
Majoring in English at King’s College with a marketing minor, she was planning on attending graduate school however, opted out at the last minute after realizing that she really had no idea what she wanted to do. Then an opportunity presented itself for her to take an entry level position running the team store for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
“I knew nothing about hockey or the team’s cult popularity when I accepted the position, but it ultimately kick-started my career in sports,” she said.
Six months later she moved to the marketing/sponsor services department, before leaving the Penguins several years later after several promotions leaving as vice-president of business operations, then taking a position with the State College Spikes Single-A short-season baseball team.
After some time and getting married, Beekman and her husband wished to return to start a family and she secured a job with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in 2010 and has worn many hats before attaining her current position.
“I have worked countless early mornings, late nights, and long days over the past 20 years, and will forever be proud of my accomplishments and grateful for the opportunities that have come my way,” she notes.
Having several important mentors along the way, Jeff Barrett and Rich Hixon played major roles in attaining better opportunities over her time with the Penguins.
“Without realizing it, they influenced how I leaned to sell, how I leaned to deal with staff, how I learned to be a good co-worker to the people I was in the trenches with every day. They both taught me that working hard and playing hard go hand-in-hand and you cannot have one without the other,” she said.
While working in minor league sports is a grind, she admits, it is also a lifestyle. “You have to be willing to make sacrifices and work really hard at a work/life balance to get ahead,” she said.
She is grateful to the enduring support of her husband and greatest cheerleader, Will; and daughters, Allie, 5, and Hannah, 7, and their dog, Maya.
Beekman has been named twice as MiLB’s International League nominee for the Rawling’s woman in baseball award; a mentor as part of MiLB’s L.I.F.T program to help mentor young female executives in the sports world; and is a proud member of Circle 200.