Atlanta Braves Turn to Recruiter In Hunt for General Manager

October 1, 2015 – The Atlanta Braves organization has retained Millman Search Group, Inc. to recruit a general manager for the mixed-use development property adjacent to SunTrust Park, home of The Braves. The complex will be the first-ever mixed-use community to open in tandem with a major league venue. Both are slated to open in the spring of 2017.

Under the agreement, Millman Search Group is charged with recruiting an executive with in-depth experience managing mixed-use properties, malls or town centers. The incumbent will be responsible for the management and oversight of the property that will include specialty retail outlets and restaurants, the Roxy Theatre, a four-star Omni Hotel, a nine-story office space, and 600 planned upscale residences.

“We have the distinct opportunity to be a catalyst to change northwestern Metro Atlanta with our development and SunTrust Park project. It is paramount for us to find the right person to oversee the many key elements of this development while working closely with the Atlanta Braves to coordinate the year round activities of this premier southeast destination,” said Mike Plant, executive vice president of business operation for the Atlanta Braves. “We are confident that Millman Search Group will help us find the best candidate to fill this unique role.”

“The Atlanta Braves are setting a new high standard for professional sports venues across the nation, and we are honored to be a part of this monumental project,” said Mark Millman, the search firm’s president and CEO. “As the first of its kind, this unique mixed-use development requires a reputable general manager with proven year-over-year success overseeing various mixed-use formats, including retail, restaurants, residences, hotels and Class A office buildings. We are seeking a best-in-class individual with the industry competence and professional confidence to bring this project to fruition, facilitate a grand opening, and provide ongoing oversight for continued success.”

Since 1982, The Millman Search Group has placed senior-level professionals across the shopping center and commercial real estate, hospitality, entertainment, retail, luxury retail and wholesale industries. The firm recently recruited a new GM of Miracle Mile Mall in Las Vegas, one of the most successful shopping malls in the country, VP of property management for Phoenix-based Red Development and a VP of construction for Los Angeles- based CIM Group, full service real estate and infrastructure investment management firm.

The commercial real estate industry has been on solid footing across the country since the last economic downturn collapsed the sector. Experts say it is growing, in part, because investors have been more willing to take on additional risk to achieve higher yields. The result, report recruiters specializing in the space, is increased hiring within the sector. In addition to construction, jobs tied to technology, energy and banking are rebounding.

Aside from Atlanta – which The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, UPS, Delta Air Lines and Turner Broadcasting call home – San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Portland are just some of the other cities benefiting from the commercial real estate sector’s expansion. The SunTrust Park development complex is expected to expand a number of job sectors, including real estate, hospitality, retail and entertainment. According to published reports, 73 percent of real estate employers and professionals anticipate upcoming job growth and 89 percent expect 2015 will meet or exceed 2014 hiring levels.

The sports industry itself continues to be a growth area for executive search businesses. Many C-suite focused recruiting firms are now active in the sector and some specialize only in the sports field itself; these include Turnkey Search, Sports Recruitment International and Collegiate Sports Associates — all dedicated to providing sports-related executive search and leadership advisory services.

Alden & Associates, based in Florence, Mass., has developed a recruiting practice around finding coaches, athletic directors and other related management for intercollegiate athletics. When a top college or university needs to fill an opening for these positions they often turn to Betsy Alden, the firm’s president and founder, and her team, which has found athletic directors at colleges like Nebraska or head football coaches at top-ranked schools like DePauw University.

And of course Major League Baseball has been turning to headhunters for recruiting and talent management assistance. Last month, MLB tapped Korn Ferry to provide league-wide talent support services, which includes assisting candidates who reach the interview process for baseball operations positions. And in recent weeks, Korn Ferry placed David Stearns as the Milwaukee Brewers’ new general manager. The firm also assisted Major League Baseball in the recruitment of Rob Manfred into the commissioner’s post eight months ago.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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