MLB, Yanks to co-host Diversity Business Summit
Third annual event to include observance of Jackie Robinson Day festivities at Stadium
The MLB Diversity Business Summit is coming home to New York. Major League Baseball announced on Monday that New York will host the third annual Diversity Business Summit, an event dreamed up by MLB executive Wendy Lewis that provides unprecedented access to the business of baseball.
Lewis, the senior vice president of diversity and strategic alliances for Major League Baseball, first envisioned the Summit as an opportunity to broaden the league's hiring horizons. Now, after successful turns in Chicago and Houston, the Summit comes to New York, the nation's capitol of commerce.
The event -- part symposium and part job fair -- will bring job-seekers in contact with human resources representatives from all 30 Major League clubs, the MLB home office, MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, among other institutions of the game. The Summit will take place on April 14-15, and it will include an observance of Jackie Robinson Day festivities at Yankee Stadium as the grand finale.
"Diversity and inclusion throughout Major League Baseball are central priorities for our industry and are essential to future success," said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig as part of an official press release on Monday. "Through the MLB Diversity Business Summit, we are taking innovative steps to provide unprecedented access for individuals who aspire to careers in our game or hope to find other valuable opportunities with our organizations."
The first Business Diversity Summit was held in Chicago, and the scene shifted to Houston last summer. More than 1,500 registrants signed up for the first two editions of the Summit, and for Lewis, it was easy to be proud of an event that had started as a far-off concept in her mind.
"I'm very, very, very pleased," Lewis said. "I'm pleased to be here in Houston, which is truly rich in diversity and business and opportunity. We really feel blessed to have the kind of leadership and support that Commissioner Selig displays year after year, along with the leadership of [Astros owner] Jim Crane. To have all of those worlds come together, it's really a good day."
This year, the Business Diversity Summit will take place at the Manhattan Center and at the New Yorker Hotel, and it will give job-seekers and entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet directly with decision-makers for business opportunities at Major and Minor League clubs. Commissioner Selig will issue the keynote address at the Summit, and he took questions from the audience last year.
Part of the draw of the Summit is the opportunity to network with people from all over the industry, but also to hear executive roundtable discussions about the state of the game. It's a unique chance for recent college graduates and aspiring applicants of all ages to learn about working in baseball.
Individuals may now visit MLB.com/diversitysummit to register and learn more about the 2014 MLB Diversity Business Summit, and interested job-seekers can follow the event's latest developments on Twitter (@MLB_DBS) and Facebook (Facebook.com/DiversityBusinessSummit).
The Yankees will serve as the hosts, and they'll have a special event planned for Jackie Robinson Day on April 15. The Yankees plan to unveil a plaque to the late Nelson Mandela in Monument Park that commemorates the South African leader's visit to Yankee Stadium in June 1990.
"The Yankees have always been committed to maintaining a diverse workplace in every facet of the organization -- from the field to the front office to the workforce of men and women who constructed the current Yankee Stadium," said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. "It is an honor for us to be involved with the MLB Diversity Business Summit, and we look forward to hosting the many talented attendees looking to launch their careers in the game of baseball as well as the business owners and entrepreneurs who are seeking partnerships with Major League Baseball and its teams."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.