NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Bees announced on Tuesday that Brad Smith has been named their new general manager, replacing Gerry Berthiaume, who has retired from baseball, effective immediately, according to a press release.
“I want to thank Gerry for his tireless work with the Bees and wish him well in retirement,” Bees majority owner Anthony Iacovone said in the release.
“At the same time we are excited about the future with Brad Smith and how his leadership will shape this organization in the seasons to come.”
Smith was previously vice president of business development for the organization.
Berthiaume, 62, joined the Bees after spending nine years as an executive at Capital Workforce Partners in Hartford, and helped the club surpass their sponsorship totals from the 2016 season in his first three months, the team said.
During the 2017 season, the Bees welcomed their largest crowd in franchise history on April 27, donated more than $15,000 to local charities through sponsors and promotions, and had seven local Connecticut players suit up for the team, including Torrington’s Conor Bierfeldt (23 HR), all under Berthiaume’s direction, according to the release.
Berthiaume retires after spending 19 of the 35 seasons of baseball in New Britain with the city’s teams, first working for the Bristol Red Sox in 1982.
Across the New Britain franchises, Berthiaume has overseen more than two million fans attend baseball games at Beehive Field and New Britain Stadium, as well as helping with the design and building process of New Britain Stadium.
During Berthiaume’s tenure as general manager, he oversaw the development of several top MLB prospects, including Roger Clemens, Jeff Bagwell, Torii Hunter, David Ortiz and most recently Berlin native Anthony Marzi.
Berthiaume plans to spend his retirement rooting for the Bees while fishing and spending time with his family in Berlin.
New GM Smith takes over with considerable experience in minor league baseball, starting as a 21-year old concessions intern in 1995 with the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA, Minnesota Twins) and working his way into a president/GM/ownership role from 2005-2015 with the Kannapolis Intimidators (A, Chicago White Sox).
While with Kannapolis, Smith negotiated the team’s stadium lease and naming rights, as well as managed the day-to-day operations of the team and facility.
A graduate and former baseball captain at Middlebury College, Smith also has experience as the owner and president of the Wilmington Sharks, a summer collegiate team in the Coastal Plain League, from 2014-2016.
Smith joins the Bees full-time after working with both New Britain and the Bridgeport Bluefish during the 2017 season.
“Brad has a wealth of experience in professional baseball, and brings a unique perspective as a former franchise owner to the general manager’s position,” Iacovone said. “I’m excited to have him lead the Bees front office as we look towards 2018 and beyond.”
“I look forward to building upon the foundation that Gerry helped establish with the New Britain Bees,” Smith said. “I eagerly accept the challenge to make the Bees a leader for affordable, family entertainment in Central Connecticut.”