|Front Office Biographies|
President & CEO
Considered by many to be among the leaders of the game, D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall has turned the organization into a model franchise within the sports industry and throughout the business world during his nine years at the helm of the club. Hall focuses the organization's efforts in five areas he has called the "Circle of Success" - fan experience, performance, community, culture and financial efficiency - each of which has seen tremendous growth during his tenure.
The success of the franchise during Hall's tenure has led to numerous honors, including ESPN the Magazine tabbing the D-backs as the top Major League franchise in 2013 and sixth overall among the 122 professional sports franchises in the publication's Ultimate Standings, which is based on eight categories on and off the field.
With a focus on creating the best fan experience in all of sports, Hall has succeeded in accomplishing that goal at both Chase Field and at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the D-backs' Spring Training home near Scottsdale. Stadium enhancements at Chase Field that have taken place under Hall's guidance include the APS solar shade structure and Game 7 Grill in the plaza area, new HD scoreboard in center field, the Sandlot on the upper level, the Miller Lite Diamond Club, All-You-Can-Eat Seats on the Insight Diamond level and value-item pricing at concession stands and Team Shop locations throughout the ballpark as well as the newly renovated merchandise and concessions experience in 2015. Hall also installed, named and created a FAWTSY (Find A Way To Say Yes) customer service policy throughout the organization to further improve upon the extraordinary fan experience, as Arizona Foothills Magazine tabbed Chase Field as the Best Sports Venue in Phoenix in 2014. Last year marked the eighth consecutive season that the team offered the lowest Fan Cost Index in Major League Baseball.
Hall's leadership has helped guide the D-backs to two National League West Division Championships (2007, '11) and one NLCS (2007). In 2014, Hall hired the first-ever Chief Baseball Officer in Major League history, naming Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa to that post and providing him with the resources and responsibility to oversee the franchise's baseball operations. By season's end, Hall and La Russa had hired Dave Stewart as Sr. Vice President & General Manager while adding De Jon Watson as Sr. Vice President of Baseball Operations. Together, the baseball leadership group tabbed Chip Hale as manager and added several key players via trade and international free agency.
In the community, Hall has positioned the D-backs as one of the largest philanthropic entities in the Valley. In 2014, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the D-backs' organization surpassed the $41 million mark in charitable giving since their inception in 1998, including nearly than $30 million in the past nine years under Hall's direction. In 2014, the team launched the D-backs Give Back Jersey program which will outfit more than 35,000 youth players across 60 leagues this season. During the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire, the D-backs were able to give back more than $700,000 on behalf of their fans to the families of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives. In 2008, Hall established the Michael Wogan Season Ticket Scholarship Program, a first-of-its-kind program for fans or existing season ticket holders who may have experienced a change in circumstances, providing families with more than 362 full-season tickets for a value of more than $635,000 since its inception.
The unique corporate culture of the D-backs, which was created by Hall, led Yahoo! to deem the club as "the best workplace in sports." In 2013, the sports industry's highly-regarded recruiting network TeamWork Online tabbed him as the "Best Boss" in sports and the organization was named the "Most Admired Company for Workplace Culture" by AzBusiness magazine and BestCompaniesAZ. Fittingly, the D-backs' physical front office was rebranded the D-backs Culture & Innovation Center in 2013. In 2015, the D-backs were rated No. 1 on Ranking Arizona's list of Best Places to Work among small businesses.
Among the programs Hall has created is the President's Council, comprised of select members of the executive management team and a rotating committee consisting of the organization's Employee of the Month winners, to organize numerous company culture events throughout the year. He also established employee recognition programs like "A-Game All-Stars" to reward game-day employees for exceptional service on a monthly basis throughout the season. The organization's investment in its employees resulted in the D-backs becoming the first sports organization to be named among the "Best Places to Work" by the Phoenix Business Journal for eight consecutive years from 2007-14.
In 2012, with the intent to increase community volunteerism amongst D-backs employees, identify and develop leaders, the team created the D-backs Give Back League. More than 100 employees joined to form nine teams with each creating a plan to reach into the community. The volunteer-driven league resulted in close to $875,000 in cash and in-kind donations and several thousand volunteer hours.
In the last 10 years, the team has eliminated more than $210 million of debt through equity and debt restructures, putting the club on sound financial ground for years to come.
The organization continues to rack up awards and honors under Hall's leadership, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Chris Greicius Award (2014), the Phoenix Indian Center's Leon Grant Spirit of the Community Award (2014), Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, IMPACT Award - Community Champion (2013), Arizona's Corporate Excellence Community Impact Award (2013), City of Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department - Excellence Award (2013), Arizona Business Leadership Award (2012), "Organization of the Year" (2011) and the DREAMR award (2012) by the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, "Most Admired Company" and "top leadership" by AZBusiness Magazine (2011). In 2010, the D-backs were given the inaugural United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, which named the D-backs the most positive team in the world. The award honors and recognizes organizations positively impacting their communities through corporate responsibility.
Hall's vision to further establish the organization as a sports industry leader while spurring economic development and impact throughout the Valley came to fruition in 2011, as the team hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Chase Field for the first time ever, creating an economic impact of more than $67 million. Hall's persistence in convincing MLB to award the Midsummer Classic to the D-backs allowed Chase Field and downtown Phoenix to be showcased in more than 100 million homes across the world, while working diligently with city leaders, politicians and officials to ensure that fans had the finest All-Star Game experience.
The unveiling of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the D-backs' 140-acre Spring Training facility shared with the Colorado Rockies on Salt River Indian Community land near Scottsdale, Ariz., that Hall negotiated and designed, has greatly added to the already $350 million of economic impact for the Valley associated with Spring Training each year. In both 2011 and 2012, the D-backs set a franchise record for Spring Training attendance while the two clubs set an all-time Major League record for combined attendance at a single Spring Training facility. Salt River Fields was the first pro sports training facility in the U.S. to be built on tribal land and was privately funded without the use of any taxpayer dollars. The facility received LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2011, the first venue of its kind to achieve this designation.
Hall's vision for Salt River Fields was to keep fan interaction with players a top priority while also ensuring maximum comfort for visitors at the 11,000-seat ballpark. Both goals were accomplished, as the main stadium is located in the middle of the facility to enable fans to mingle throughout and get an up-close look at D-backs players as they practice. A unique roof structure and a northeast-facing field allow for approximately 85 percent of the fans in all 7,000 fixed seats to be shaded as the game progresses.
Hall routinely communicates with D-backs fans as part of his "one fan at a time" concept by answering every letter, email or phone call. He also conducts monthly chats on dbacks.com and is among just a handful of club presidents on Twitter and Instagram (@DHallDbacks), where he interacts regularly with fans. Hall spends most of his time at home games communicating with the fans in the stands to ensure their experience at Chase Field is exceptional.
Among the projects outside of Chase Field and Salt River Fields that have Hall's fingerprints on them is the Legends Entertainment District, a joint venture between the D-backs, the Phoenix Suns and the City of Phoenix that is the first of its kind between two professional sports organizations. The project has transformed the look of downtown Phoenix by creating experiential outdoor marketing opportunities and an energetic backdrop for visitors and Phoenix residents to enjoy their experience downtown.
Hall was personally selected to join a handful of corporate leaders by Governor Doug Ducey as one of his first orders of business to form a new pro-business group. The Arizona Zanjeros, as named by Ducey, are focused exclusively on economic development, defining Arizona's brand, and marketing the state to CEOs across the country and around the world.
Hall sits on Major League Baseball's International Committee and under his guidance, the D-backs hosted the first round of the 2013, World Baseball Classic. Hall has represented the team on goodwill trips to Mexico, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Australia and New Zealand, helping to bring international recognition to the franchise. In 2014, his continued efforts to showcase the D-backs on global stage reached its highest point, as the club hosted the Dodgers during MLB's historic Opening Series in Sydney, Australia.
Hall also serves on MLB's diversity committee and the Commissioner's on-field diversity task force and in that regard, the D-backs have also been industry leaders. The team was named to the 2014 Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Million Dollar Circle of Excellence as an organization that spends more than $1 million annually with minority or women-owned businesses. In 2014, the D-backs became the first MLB organization to sign One Community's Unity Pledge which supports and advocates for workplace inclusion and protection for all, including LGBT community members. For his commitment to equality, Hall received the prestigious Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2014. The award, ADL's highest honor, was established to recognize individuals who have exhibited extraordinary humanitarianism, and whose everyday actions exemplify the principles of opportunity, anti-discrimination, equal rights, community involvement and fairness for all.
Hall currently serves on or is associated with 25 boards, including the Arizona Mexico Commission, Great Hearts Academies, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, National Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer, Stand Up 2 Cancer Melanoma Dream Team Sponsor, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, US Airways Education Foundation, Valley of the Sun YMCA and Positive Coaching Alliance. Hall, who is the current Chairman of the Board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and past Chairman of the Board for the Valley of the Sun United Way, raised $47 million throughout the Phoenix area as the VSUW's 2009-10 campaign chairman. He has also raised money by serving as an event chairman for the Prostate On-Site Project (POP) Walk, 75th Anniversary March of Dimes, March for Babies Walk, The Wellness Center, several Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) events, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), St. Vincent de Paul, Florence Crittenton and the Foundation for Blind Children.
Hall served as master of ceremonies at the 2015 Arizona inaugural ceremonies and gives numerous keynote speeches to various groups or conventions throughout the country about his unique vision on leadership, customer service and culture. He has spoken to U.S. Air Force Academy cadets at the annual National Leadership and Character Symposium. He donates all speaking engagement fees back to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and other local non-profit organizations he supports.
A native of Los Angeles, Hall joined the D-backs in May 2005 as Senior Vice President, Communications and served in numerous capacities prior to being named president in September 2006 and adding the title of CEO in January 2009. Prior to joining the D-backs, Hall made a brief stop as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for a Fortune 500 company based in Los Angeles, where he increased brand awareness. He spent parts of 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, joining the organization's Single-A Florida State League affiliate in Vero Beach, Fla., as an intern in 1992 and departing as the club's Senior Vice President, Communications in 2004. In between, he served key roles during three ownership changes with the Dodgers and was recognized for reuniting Fernando Valenzuela with the organization after hiring him as a color analyst for the team's Spanish radio broadcasts in 2003.
Hall stepped outside of baseball for employment during the 1999 season, as he hosted a three-hour morning talk show on the Dodgers' flagship station (XTRA 1150 AM) and served as host of the "Dodger Game Day" pregame radio show when the team played at Dodger Stadium. He also had a stint in front of the camera as a weekend sports anchor at KNBC-TV (Ch. 4) in Los Angeles.
He received a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, where he was named "Man of the Year" in 1991, in broadcasting and journalism and a master's degree from Ohio University in sports administration. In 2012, he received an honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Phoenix. He was inducted into the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002 and was awarded the ASU Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2003. In 2006, Ohio University's Sports Administration Program recognized Hall as the 25th recipient of the Charles R. Higgins Distinguished Alumnus Award. Hall was the keynote speaker for ASU's Cronkite school convocation in December 2008, becoming the first Cronkite alum to deliver a commencement speech at the school's graduation and also spoke at the W.P. Carey School of Business and the University of Phoenix convocations in 2012.
His philanthropic efforts led to Hall being named the APS Peacemaker Award at Valle del Sol's Profiles of Success, the Bill Shover Leadership Award from United Blood Services and the Phoenix Award by the Phoenix Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2013. He was the inaugural recipient of the Goldwater Community Service Award in 2012 by the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix. In 2007, he was named to the Phoenix Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" class, was the recipient of the "Community Lifeline Award" from Teen Lifeline and was named the Phoenix Father's Day Council "Father of the Year" to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The SportsBusiness Journal added him to its prestigious "Forty Under 40" class in 2008. The Phoenix Business Journal also named Hall to its inaugural list of "Most Admired CEOs" in 2009. Hall is also a member of the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business "Dean's Council of 100," Young Presidents' Organization and the Thunderbirds.
He faced his greatest personal challenge when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2011, just as the team was battling for a division title. Hall immediately went public with the diagnosis in order to encourage other men to get tested after age 40. Following successful surgery to remove his prostate, Hall is now cancer free and has become a tireless advocate of cancer-fighting charities while continuing to speak publicly about the health challenge he faces. In 2014, he launched his own 501(c)(3) organization, the Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation, which is dedicated to serving as a comprehensive tool for those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and their families to help them understand the challenges and choices they face and how they can maintain a "pro" state of mind. In 2014, he was honored with the USC Institute of Urology's Louis Zamperini Courage Award and the Pro-State Foundation was honored by Jane Seymour's Open Hearts Foundation, which supports organizations that are committed to positively impacting lives in the areas of health, education, arts and sports.
Hall and his wife, Amy, reside in Paradise Valley with two of their three children, Hayden and Kylie. Their oldest son, Logan, attends Pepperdine University where he is a member of the tennis team.
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