"The Storm is pointed in a positive direction and I feel the team is primed for some of the most exciting and successful seasons the team has ever seen," said Oster. "Chris has done a great job with the club and with his vast sports experience and knowledge he is well deserving of this new title. With my new role I am looking forward to creating and developing some new innovative business ventures that will help continue the growth of the Storm brand and make us one of the most popular and successful teams in Minor League baseball."
Oster, whose hometown is Mantua, Ohio, will be entering his 19th year working in professional baseball. He followed Kevin Haughian as General Manager in 2000 and earned California League General Manager of the Year in 2001. Prior to joining the Lake Elsinore Storm, Oster spent time with the Geneva Cubs, Wilmington Blue Rocks, and Salem Avalanche. In 2001, Oster brought in the San Diego Padres as the major league affiliate of the Storm, which led to the development of Little Padres and Little Storm Parks throughout the community. Oster has also played a major role in making the Storm brand the most recognizable and popular logo in minor league baseball. The implementation of a local school reading program, and the redesign of a stadium lease that helped stabilize city and team relations are more examples of Oster's involvement in the community.
"With Dave Oster taking on increased responsibilities for non-baseball activities, I am very excited that we have been able to promote Chris Jones to Vice-President and General Manager. I know Chris will lead our excellent staff and take the Lake Elsinore Storm fan experience to higher levels. Dave will continue as President of Lake Elsinore Storm Baseball overseeing both baseball and non-baseball operations," said Lake Elsinore Storm owner, Gary Jacobs.
Jones, who is in his 15th year in professional sports and his eighth in Minor League Baseball, also worked for the High Desert Mavericks in the California League, the Staples Center, and the Dallas Cowboys.
"Becoming a General Manager has always been a goal of mine," said Jones. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to continue the tradition of an organization that has great ownership, dedicated fans, and a hard-working staff committed to the success of this franchise."
Originally from Houston, Texas, Jones has been a resident of Lake Elsinore for the past four years, where he has been involved in the community as a Rotarian and a member of the Board of Directors for the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce. Jones is also co-founder of Valley Blood Services, and active in the Histiocytosis Association of America, helping his son, Bryce, and others who suffer from this rare blood disease.
"Working for the Storm and raising my family in Lake Elsinore has been a great experience," Jones said. "We certainly look forward to spending many more years in this growing community."
The Storm will begin the franchise's 14th season on April 5, 2007 with a seven-game road trip before celebrating Opening Day at The Diamond on Thursday, April 12.