Jim Abel is a life-long resident of Lincoln, and the Chairman and CEO of NEBCO Inc., a Lincoln-based company with interests in the manufacture of concrete building materials, road construction, insurance, mining, real estate development and recreation. Jim’s interest in baseball dates back to enjoying the Lincoln Chiefs and working concessions during the Chicago Cubs spring training games while attending Arizona State. In 1973, after earning a degree in Business Administration, Jim returned to Lincoln beginning his career on the company’s highway asphalt and concrete paving crews. In 1985, Jim succeeded his father, George P. Abel Jr., as President of NEBCO, Inc. In addition, Jim serves as President of the Abel Foundation, which continues the family tradition of returning a measure of the company’s success to the community.
CHARLIE MEYERPresident / General Manager
A native of Arlington, Nebraska, Charlie serves as Treasurer of NEBCO, Inc. and President/General Manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs. Meyer is a graduate of Doane College, Nebraska College of Business and Colorado School of Banking. He is involved in a number of charitable and community organizations in the Lincoln area, including the following boards: Child Advocacy Board, Nebraska High School Hall of Fame, Founding Board Member of 100’s of Lincoln Men Who Care, the Lincoln Youth Complex and Chair of the Expansion Committee of the American Association. He and his wife Val, have three children and five grandchildren: Jamie & Ryan Von Sossan, and sons Cole & Lou of Sacramento, CA; Amber & Pete Fencl. daughters Izzy and Maxine, and son Brody of David City, NE; and Brian of Lincoln, NE.
DAVE ASCHWEGEDirector of Stadium Operations
After spending 13 seasons as an umpire in the Minor Leagues, Dave joined the Saltdogs organization in October of 2007. He spent 2008 as a ticket account executive, and was named as the director of stadium operations in September. On the field, he served as a Triple-A umpire for eight years, and also worked games in the Dominican Republic Winter League. Between 2002 and 2005, Dave was a fill-in umpire in the Major Leagues, and then worked in the American Association 2006-07. He still umpires some college games in his spare time. Dave and his wife, Peg, have two sons, Jack and Sam, and a daughter, Kathleen.
BRENDEN GERLACHAsst. Director of Stadium Operations
Brenden is entering his first season with the Lincoln Saltdogs. A native of Milford, NE, he attended Midland University, where he played football and graduated in 2021. He also works for the Lincoln Sports Foundation and spends time as a basketball referee. In his free time, Brenden enjoys playing golf, fishing and hunting.
DANIEL THOMASDirector of Ticketing
Daniel is entering his fourth season with the Saltdogs, and first as Group Sales Executive. He graduated from UNL in 2018 and recently earned his Masters degree at Arkansas State University. He and his fianc e, Angela, are getting married in October, and they are parents to a dog, Winnie, and a cat, Ellie. In his free time, Daniel loves cheering on his Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Vikings.
JAKE BRANDTGroup Sales Executive
Jake joins the ‘Dogs for his first full season after spending time as an intern in 2019. A native of Lincoln, Jake attended Southeast High School and eventually went on to play at Nebraska Wesleyan. He graduated in 2020, and wants everyone to know he — like Uncle Rico — can throw a football over them mountains. This must come in handy for Jake and his two dogs — Ellie and Champ — when they want to play fetch. He is a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan.
MICHAEL DIXONDirector of Broadcasting & Communications
Michael joins the Saltdogs for his third season after spending 2017 and ’18 in a similar role with the expansion Cleburne Railroaders. A native Texan, Michael graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2017 and immediately went to work in the American Association. Michael’s work includes FloSports and local high school work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and he recently filled in as the play-by-play voice for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers.
NIKKI CHIPPSOffice Manager
Nikki is in her first season with the Lincoln Saltdogs. She has spent almost 10 years in Lincoln after moving from St. Joseph, Missouri. She came to the ‘Dogs after working for Midwest Petroleum and Equipment as a staff accountant. Her connection to the ’Dogs included time with the Nebraska Christmas Lights display. She lives in Lincoln with her other half Tim and their four children, and in her free time she enjoys camping, fishing and spending time with friends and family, while she also loves cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals.
STEVE DERIESEDirector of Operations for Concessions
This is Steve’s third year as the Director of Operations for Concessions at Haymarket Park. He is an alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been with Valentino’s/Premier Concessions for over 30 years! Steve has a wife and two daughters, and when not at the park, he enjoys serving in several ministries at his church.
KATIE WILKINSONDirector of Kitchen Operations
This is Katie’s third year as Director of Kitchen Operations at Haymarket Park. She has worked at Valentino’s/Premier Concessions for 15 years and in a management position for 10 years. Katie has experience in store operations and catering multiple types of events. She lives just outside of Lincoln with her two Beagles, Zeke and Chloe.
HEATH KRAMERPublic Address Announcer
A lifelong Nebraskan, Heath has been involved in baseball as a player, coach, umpire and announcer. He serves with the MyBridge Radio team as an on-air host and producer. Heath has been married to Ann for 25+ years and they have two sons, Chandler and Noah. Heath is on a quest to visit every Major League baseball stadium. He has 14 to go.
HUNTER FITTONClubhouse Manager
Hunter is in his first season as the Clubhouse Manager after spending the 2021 summer as an intern with the Saltdogs. Hunter is originally from Omaha, where he attended and played baseball at Omaha Westside High School. He’s a die-hard New York Yankees fan, but with a soft spot for the Arizona Diamondbacks (a place he would like to relocate, because, well, he hates the cold). Hunter will graduate from UNL in December 2022 with a degree in ADPR, and he coaches a travel team in Millard called the Millard United Battle.
KYLE TREWHITTDirector of Grounds
Kyle is in his second year as Director of grounds and playing surfaces at Haymarket Park after spending an additional four years on the turf crew staff. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Kyle was born and raised in Lincoln and attended Lincoln Southeast high school. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, Alyssa, and their dog, Sammie. Kyle’s degree from UNL was turf grass management.
KYLE LENGFELDERAsst. Director of Grounds
Kyle is in his first year as Assistant Director of grounds and playing surfaces at Haymarket Park, after spending an additional six years on the turf crew staff. Kyle was born and raised in Colorado before attending classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received a Bachelors Degree in Turfgrass Science and Landscape Management. Kyle and his fianc e, Tawny, live in Lincoln with their dog, Lulu.
TY SCHWEERVideo Production Manager
Ty is entering his second season with the Saltdogs and is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Originally from Clay Center, NE, Ty works as an intern for HuskerVision and attends the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Ty specializes as a director for various platforms and plans to graduate in December 2022.
JEFF BRIDENBroadcast Team: Studio Host
Jeff is an award-winning broadcaster who got his start as a public address announcer in his home town of San Diego, Calif. After high school, he spent nearly 10 years in the Navy, working for Armed Forces Radio and TV. Jeff won the 1987 Department of Defense Thomas Jefferson Award for Broadcasting Excellence, for his work as a sports reporter and anchor. Briden joined KLMS in 2003 as a weekend host and sports producer, and serves as a studio host for high school sports broadcasts in addition to his excellent work with the Saltdogs. Jeff also has two daughters, Vanessa and Lauren and granddaughter Abigail.
RYAN SWANIGANBroadcast Team: Studio Host
Ryan joins the Saltdogs as a studio host for his third season. He is currently the voice of Lincoln’s Superior HyVee, and is also a camera operator for the Omaha Storm Chasers. In his free time, Ryan works hard in supporting Lincoln Fire & Rescue when it comes to the department’s needs. Born and raised in Papillion, Nebraska, Ryan is a graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism in May of 2015.