Jenna Forter was on Wednesday named general manager of the Kamloops NorthPaws.
Forter, who will graduate this year from Thompson Rivers University with a bachelor’s degree of tourism management, began talking last year with the West Coast League baseball club’s ownership team, which includes Jon Pankuch, Norm Daley and Neal Perry.
“I was really moved by their passion for building the Kamloops community and doing something really unique and different with the team,” said Forter, who moved to Kamloops in 2017 to study at TRU.
“I was honoured that they considered me and now I’m very honoured to be working for them because I really believe in what they’re doing.”
The NorthPaws were slated to join the WCL ranks in 2021, but the season was pre-empted by the pandemic.
Forter, from Okotoks, Alta., will focus mostly on business and administration duties, including marketing and sponsorship, with a goal of creating a unique game-day experience for fans at Norbrock Stadium.
Head coach Cole Armstong of Surrey is in charge of recruiting and signing players, but Forter will be involved in contract work and plans to learn more about the baseball side of the organization.
“We don’t want to be traditional in the sense we’re hiring the same people everyone else hires,” Pankuch said. “You end up with the same result every time. Someone with her skillset and background will assist us when we hit the field in May.”
Forter is one of five active female general managers in the WCL.
“I want to focus on creating a unique fan experience for Kamloops and a legacy in the area, doing something different in the summertime,” Forter said.
“It’s the change I think we’ve needed, something unique to bring to the community.”
The WCL, a wood-bat summer league for collegiate players, was founded in 2005 and includes 16 teams from Oregon, Washington state, B.C. and Alberta.
Kamloops is slated to play host to its home-, season- and franchise-opening game on May 31, when the Edmonton Riverhawks come to town.