December 14, 2019

Touring The Bases With…Kristyne A. Haver

June 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kristyne A. Haver CPA, is the Controller for the Reading Phillies located in Reading, Pennsylvania.  They have been an Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies since 1967.  They are in the Eastern League.

SEAMHEADS: What does your job consist of?  What are your responsibilities?

KRISTYNE: My job title is Controller.  Mainly, I’m in charge of all things relating to finances, but there’s a lot more to it than that.  First of all, I do all the financial reporting for the four companies that make up the Reading Phillies and management, and also am the treasurer for our charity.  In addition, my position encompasses all of human resources, risk management and insurance, and anything legal and regulatory.  In essence, I look at my job as protecting the assets of the company.

SH:  How did you wind up working for the Phillies?

KH: Well, Chuck Domino and my (now ex) husband were on the Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau board together and were traveling to a legislative meeting in Harrisburg one night in March 2002.  Chuck mentioned to my husband that he had to fire his business manager, and the person he subsequently hired no longer wanted the job.  Since I knew Chuck before through our sons’ friendship, I took my resume right over to his house the following evening.  At the time, I was in a job I didn’t like and had just started looking elsewhere, so the timing was perfect.

SH: When and how did you get interested in working in baseball?

KH: In actuality, I am a hockey fan, but have always wanted to work in sports.  My opportunity came along in baseball so I jumped on it.

SH:  When did you get interested in baseball?  Who influenced you?

KH: My grandfather was a huge fan of the Kansas City Royals and I saw my first major league game with him around age 10.  To me, baseball has been one of those sports where it’s much more exciting to watch a game in person than on TV.  Therefore, I’ve become a much bigger baseball fan since working for the Reading Phillies.

SH:  Did you play sports in high school or college?

KH: I was mainly a swimmer, but my high school didn’t have a pool, so I was on the summer swim team at our local pool.  I also performed on the synchronized swim team in the summer as well.  We didn’t compete, but put on a show every year at the end of the summer.

SH:  Where were you raised?

KH: I grew up in the Midwest, Nebraska and Iowa specifically.  I graduated from high school in Atlantic, Iowa.

SH: Did you attend college?  If so, which one and what was your major?

KH: I did attend college right after high school at Iowa State University, but in the midst of my college career, I got married and ended up moving around a lot for my husband’s job.  I received an AA in Business from Pensacola Junior College and finished my BBA at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia in 1998 with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics.  (Yes, I went to school with Randy Moss and Chad Pennington!)  I passed the CPA exam in January 2000, and keep my license active by taking 40 continuing professional education credits each year.

SH: What do you love most about your job?

KH:  I love the variety of what I do.  Although I do have a daily routine with some of the things I do, there is always something different that comes up each day.  Second, where else can you be entertained by your job 71 nights a year?  My position is the only one in the front office that doesn’t have specific game responsibilities so although I’m usually here catching up on work, I can also go out and watch the game if I want.

SH:  What is the most difficult part of your job?

KH: I think the most difficult thing about my job is being the bad guy from time to time, meaning that I have to put the damper on someone’s enthusiasm by telling them we can’t do something because of rules or laws.  Unfortunately, it goes with the job.  There have been other challenge as well, such as when I helped out the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in their first season, along with doing my own job here in Reading, and then after the season ended, assisting with the sale of the Reading Phillies franchise to the Philadelphia Phillies.  I logged a lot of hours that year.  As a single mother, it was logistically difficult at times.

SH: Who was your mentor in baseball?

KH:  I would have to say both Craig Stein and Chuck Domino.  When I started with the Reading Phillies in 2002, Craig was the sole owner, and Chuck was the general manager.  My love of my job came specifically from them and their support of what I do.  The accounting department can be viewed as a necessary evil, but they’ve always understood and valued me as an accountant and as a person.  I will always be grateful to them for giving me this opportunity, and trusting me to do my job.

SH:  What woman in baseball do you admire the most?  If you could ask her one question, what would that be?

KH: I would have to say Susan Ingersoll, the Director of Baseball Administration for the Philadelphia Phillies.  I would like to ask her how she got her start in baseball, how she was able to move up in such a male-dominated area, and any advice she may have to give.

SH:   What is the most outstanding memory you have working for your team?

KH:  The World Series!  In both 2008 and 2009.  Other than that, in 2004, watching Ryan Howard break the Reading Phillies home run record set in 1970 by Greg Luzinski.  Those are the three memories that specifically stick out in my mind, but I have lots of good memories here.

SH: What advice would you give a young woman considering a career in baseball?

KH: Apply for an internship to get your foot in the door.  Once you are in, take the job seriously.  Be willing to do anything and everything asked of you and more, even if it in no way relates to your degree or your eventual goals. Not that you can’t have fun, too, but this is ultimately a business and you need keep that in mind.  As a woman, I would also stay away from workplace romances, which includes both coworkers and players.  Although there are some that work out successfully, most don’t, and it could hurt your credibility.

SH: What makes you successful at your job?

KH:  First of all, it helps to be associated with one of the most successful Minor League Baseball franchises!  Everything we do here is a team effort and it shows.  Teamwork and camaraderie has always been the focus here, first with Chuck Domino, and now our current GM, Scott Hunsicker.

As for me personally, considering I’m an accountant, attention to detail is very important, but also is the ability to see the big picture.  My 15 years of experience in public accounting required speed and accuracy so one learns to work efficiently in that environment.  With my clients, the goal was to improve their processes and procedures in order to make my job easier.  Here at the Reading Phillies, I have made some changes in the accounting department to improve our processes and procedures, and I also try to work with the other departments to do the same.  My goal has always been to make it easy on my coworkers to get me the information I need.   I’m also the type of person who looks at what needs to happen to get the job done.  Not just my job per se, but the game.  I’ve been known to help out in concessions after all the college students have gone back to school, and to help on the field and in the stands with the roving camera and equipment.  If I see something that needs to be done, I do it, or I find someone who will.

SH: What is your favorite baseball movie?  Have a favorite baseball book?

KH: My favorite baseball movie is “Field of Dreams.”  Being set in a cornfield in Iowa brings back memories for me.  I also read the related book by Ray Kinsella about Shoeless Joe Jackson.

SH: What is the most unusual promotion you have seen with your team?

KH:  To me, the one that sticks out the most is the bobblehead campaign.  The fans voted on our web site during the off-season for the front office staff member they would most like to see on a bobble head.  Our video director, Andy Kauffman, did a spectacular job with this campaign.  He wrote amusing scripts for the staff and filmed their campaign videos.  He then did a news report on RTV each week discussing the voting results thus far.  Since he is a former news anchorman, these reports were very professionally done.  The campaign videos were hysterical and I still have them saved on my computer.

SH:  What is the funniest thing you have seen with your team?

KH: That would have to be Awful Night.  Although there were several amusing aspects of that night, the funniest thing is when Joe Bialek (Bago) sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch ala Las Vegas lounge singer (complete with kicks), and wearing blue seersucker shorts and a matching shirt with black braces.

Another funny incident took place in the office, not at a game.  At the time, the royalty of Baseball town was Queen Ruth Hartman, a former player for the Fort Wayne Daisies and current sheep farmer.  Ruth names all of her sheep after Phillies players or front office staff.  One day, she brought Shane Victorino (the sheep) to the stadium to shoot a promotional video, but also brought him into the front office to visit.  Of course, he proceeded to do his business in the hallway in front of my office.  Some things only happen in Reading.

SH:  Do you follow other sports?  Aside from your team, what teams do you follow?

KH: As I mentioned before, I’m a hockey fan.  I really got into hockey when my son started to play, but my family has always been hockey fans.  My mother kept scrapbooks of the local minor league team in Omaha and gave them to me when my son started to play.  The team was the Omaha Knights, the farm team of the Detroit Red Wings, and you would not believe the things in those scrapbooks!  She had photos from Gordie Howe’s 18th birthday party, the newspaper clipping from Terry Sawchuck’s first professional shutout, and much more.  I e-mailed the acquisitions department at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto regarding the scrapbooks, and I had a phone call within two hours.  I traveled to Toronto the summer of 1999 and donated them to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  It is still listed on their web site as one of their premiere acquisitions of 1999, and if you google my name, you will see this link.  I do root for the Red Wings because of this family connection, but I will watch any hockey game, anywhere.  I just love the game.  And, of course, I root for the Philadelphia Phillies!  I also follow Marshall University football.

SH: What is the most creative part of you?

KH: Accounting, by nature, is not considered very creative.  However, I do have some creative outlets.  I love photography, and have often wondered if I could have made it in photojournalism.  I also do a bit of drawing.  At work, I play with clipart, and will decorate the weekly sales report with clipart from whatever is going on that week.  I try to make it humorous, if I can.

SH: Are you married?  Do you have any children?

KH: I was married for quite awhile, but am now divorced.  My ex-husband was in arena management, and there was a hockey team in his building, which I think probably fueled my interest in working in sports.  I have two children.  My son, Jeremy, is 21 and a junior at George Washington University in Washington, DC, although he is currently spending spring semester abroad studying in Berlin.  My daughter, Kelsey, is 17 and a senior in high school.  She will be attending NYU this fall.

SH:  What do you do for relaxation after work?

KH: Mainly, it’s attending local venues to hear live music.  I have a fondness for good guitar playing.  Other than that, it’s biking while I watch any of the Real Housewives shows on BravoTV (Love the drama!), reading, spending time with my camera, Skyping with my son in Berlin, shopping with my daughter, traveling.  When I really need to relax, I take off for our house in Gulf Breeze, Florida.  Then you can find me lounging in pool for most of the day.  Unfortunately, I only make it there a couple of times a year.   I attend a seminar in Nashville every fall for CPAs in sports and entertainment.  Besides earning the required CPE credits, I love to hear the music.  You can hear it all in Nashville.

SH: Do you have a favorite quote?

KH: Although this is not a quote, it is something I believe in.  Although I grew up Lutheran, I’ve also embraced the Buddhist philosophies, most specifically, the second noble truth.  One translation of the second noble truth is that “we are the cause of our own pain and suffering by the expectations we place upon others.”  How true is this?  It’s something I have to constantly work at.

SH:  What is your motto, if any?

KH: I have two.  The first one is, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  The second one is basically my one and only house rule.  It’s the only thing my kids are required to remember for the rest of their lives, and it really does cover everything.  “Don’t be stupid.”

SH:  What kind of music do you like?  Have a favorite band?  Favorite song?

KH: I like all kinds of music, but it is the blues that stirs my soul.  But, I will listen to everything and find something to like.  My favorite band of all time is Led Zepplin.  I grew up in that great era of music when musicians really had to be musicians.  There wasn’t the technology to cover up a lack of ability.  The late sixties and early seventies were the best as far as I’m concerned.  Jimi Hendrix is another favorite.  Currently, I will travel to Wilmington, Delaware to hear my favorite guitar player, Anthony Gallucio.  Besides being incredibly talented on guitar, he is also an amazing songwriter.

SH:  Do you have a nickname?

KH:  I went by Kristy growing up, but I generally go by Kris now.

SH:  What is your biggest pet peeve?

KH: In baseball, my biggest pet peeve has to be when people ask me if I work in the off-season.  Really?  Do you think we all just show up the day before the season starts and it all just magically comes together?  Baseball is a business like any other business, and also unlike any other business at the same time.  I try to patiently explain to people what happens in the front office during the off-season.  My other pet peeve has to do with bad drivers.

SH: Do you travel?  What is your favorite American city?

KH: I have done some traveling in my life.  I’ve been to Europe twice and my favorite city there is Prague.  It’s very beautiful, and comparatively cheap.  My favorite American cities are Nashville, NYC, and Pensacola, Florida for the music, shopping, and relaxation.  But my favorite city is New Orleans.

SH: What woman do you admire the most?

KH: A professor of mine at Marshall University, Dr. Alina Zapalska.  I had her for Global Macro Economic Theory, and she’s the only teacher/professor in my entire career who really taught me how to think.  She’s amazing!  Dr. Zapalska is originally from Poland, has a BS in Physics and Mathematics, THREE masters degrees in Industrial Chemistry, Agricultural Economics, and Economics, and a PhD in Economics.  Her CV is 14 pages!  I feel fortunate to have had her for a professor.

SH: What are your long-term goals?

KH:  I wouldn’t mind moving up in the Phillies organization if a position ever became available, but I’m pretty content here.  Of course, if some other organization offers me a pile of money to move, I might have to at least think about it!  In the meantime, I just want to grow and change along with the Reading Phillies.  Eventually, I will retire to our house in Florida where you will find me lounging in the pool!

SH:  What do you do during the off-season?

KH: Work!  There’s plenty of work to do…the fiscal year end, budgeting, season ticket renewals, setting up the new contracts for the coming season, etc.  There’s never a down time in accounting, the focus just changes somewhat.


Norm Coleman is an actor, photographer and writer. He resides in Half Moon Bay, California.

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