Kenosha’s Northwoods League franchise will be owned and operated by Steve Schmitt, Vern Stenman and Conor Caloia. Schmitt founded the Madison Mallards, the most successful summer collegiate team in the nation, in 2001. In 2009, Schmitt and Stenman founded the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods League.
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Schmitt’s passion for the game and extraordinary attention to customer service are two big reasons why Mallards baseball has become a summertime mainstay in Madison. Since 2001 the Mallards have made the playoffs five times, including a Northwoods League Championship in 2004, and appearances in the Championship Series in 2005 & 2008. In 2009, Schmitt and Vern Stenman partnered to start the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Also, the owner of the Shoe Box and Rookies Sports Bar in Black Earth, WI. Steve is actively involved in the community and is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Stenman, the 2003 and 2005 Northwoods League Executive of the Year, enters his sixteenth season in the NWL, and fourth as President of the Madison Mallards, having spent the previous eight seasons as the team’s General Manager. His innovative promotional ideas and steady vision have contributed to the team’s rising attendance each of the past nine seasons—including consecutive 200,000+ attendances from 2006 to 2012 and a Summer Collegiate Baseball League record 217,143 fans in 2011. Prior to Madison he was an intern and later Assistant GM for the St. Cloud River Bats from 1997 to 2000 before taking a corporate account position with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild for a year. In 2009, Stenman and Steve Schmitt partnered to start the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. The Rafters have consistently ranked in the top half of the Northwoods League in attendance despite playing in one of the smallest markets in the League. Stenman and wife Kallie have two children, daughter Chloe Mae turns five in September, and son Bode was born in December of 2011. He is originally from St. Cloud, MN.
Caloia enters his fourth season as the General Manager of the Madison Mallards. In 2011, Caloia was recognized as the Northwoods League’s Executive of the Year. In 2009 he re-joined the Mallards after most recently serving as the Director of Operations of the Wilmington Sharks of the summer collegiate Coastal Plains League. Under his management, the Sharks hosted the 2009 CPL All-Star Game and were named the ‘09 CPL Organization of the Year. Prior to moving to Wilmington, Caloia worked as the Director of Marketing at the Western Athletic Conference. At the WAC he was responsible for developing marketing, branding, and promotional campaigns for the Division I conference. Caloia previously worked for the Mallards from 2003 to 2006, starting as an intern and working his way up to Assistant General Manager. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Journalism with a focus on Strategic Communication. He is scheduled to receive his M.B.A. from the UW-Madison in May of 2013. Conor and wife Rachel have been married for three years and he is originally from St. Charles, Ill.