Hometown: Locust, North Carolina
Alma Mater: Messiah College
Years in Minor League Baseball: 33
Years with the Flying Squirrels: 14 (2009-present)
Past organizations in MiLB: Reading Phillies, Piedmont Boll Weevils/Kannapolis Intimidators, Altoona Curve, State College Spikes, Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Todd "Parney" Parnell serves as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, overseeing all aspects of the Flying Squirrels' day-to-day operations in Richmond, Va. Additionally, Parney is the President of the Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. In his leadership roles, Parney oversees the operation of both the Richmond and Montgomery franchises.
Thanks to his continued passion and dedication to the Richmond area, the Flying Squirrels brand has become synonymous with community involvement. Under his guidance, the Flying Squirrels have consistently been among the top of the Eastern League in both average and overall attendance during all ten years of existence, including leading the Eastern League in average attendance in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 and in overall attendance in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2022. For the first time in franchise history, the Flying Squirrels led all 30 Double-A clubs in total and average attendance in 2022.
The Squirrels' sustained success has been repeatedly acknowledged by the industry, recently by being nominated for Minor League Baseball's prestigious John H. Johnson President's Award in 2017 and 2019. The Squirrels were also nominated for the 2016 John Henry Moss Community Service Award, and received Baseball America's annual Bob Freitas Award - presented to the best organization at every classification of Minor League Baseball - in 2015. In 2022, the Flying Squirrels were awarded Minor League Baseball's Community Champion Award.
Parney is one of the most recognizable names and faces in Minor League Baseball. He is a three-time Eastern League Executive of the Year, earning the honor with Richmond in 2013 and 2019, and previously in 2004 while serving as the General Manager of the Altoona Curve. His recognition in 2013 marked the second Eastern League Executive of the Year award for the Squirrels' front office since the team's inception in 2010 (Chuck Domino - 2010).
After leading the Flying Squirrels to the 2010 Eastern League overall attendance title, Parney and the Squirrels saw an increase in average attendance during the 2011 regular season and were easily the top-draw during the 2011 Eastern League Postseason. For his efforts, and due to the team's success on and off the field, Parney was honored following the season with Baseball America's "Minor League Executive of the Year" award. He became the second member of the Flying Squirrels front office to earn the recognition, following Chuck Domino, who won the award in 2003 while with the Reading Phillies.
Parney followed his award-winning season in 2011 by guiding the franchise to its second Eastern League title in overall attendance in 2012, the organization's second overall attendance title in three years. With his leadership, the franchise completed a $1.5-million renovation of The Diamond, the home of the Flying Squirrels since their inception in 2010. During their inaugural season, the club quickly established itself as a leader in the community, while surpassing corporate and ticket sales expectations.
With Parney at the helm, the Flying Squirrels led the Eastern League in both overall and average attendance in 2010, welcoming 463,842 (6,626 per game) fans to The Diamond. Through innovative marketing and branding initiatives, the club posted record-breaking merchandise sales, and was awarded the "Logo of the Year" award by Ballpark Digest. Upon the completion of their inaugural season, the franchise was recognized as the Richmond "Business of the Year" by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (GRCC). Parney also currently serves on the Richmond Chapter of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation Board of Trustees, on the Richmond Police Athletic League Board of Directors and on the Board of Directors for the Mascot Hall of Fame.
Due to his exuberant nature and wealth of experience in professional sports, Parney has also become one of the most popular speakers and guest lecturers in the region. Prior to joining the effort to return baseball to Richmond, Parney served as the President of the Greenberg Sports Group (GSG), which provides management, consulting and marketing services to the sports industry across the country. GSG also manages the overall operations of Minor League Baseball's State College (PA) Spikes (Short-A/New York-Penn League) and Myrtle Beach (SC) Pelicans (A/Carolina League). Parney has previously been the president of both franchises.
In addition to his roles with both the State College and Myrtle Beach franchises, he spent seven seasons (2002-08) as the General Manager of the Double-A Eastern League's Altoona Curve. During his time as the Curve's General Manager, the club set numerous single-game and season attendance records, continually re-invested private money into capital improvement projects at Blair County Ballpark, and helped the franchise gain national stature as one of the most creative and innovative teams in professional sports. The Curve won the prestigious Larry MacPhail Promotional Award in 2004, the 2006 Baseball America Bob Freitas Award as the top Double-A franchise and received the John H. Johnson President's Trophy - the highest honor annually bestowed on a Minor League organization - in 2006. Altoona became only the 11th franchise to receive all three major awards, and was the first team to accomplish the feat in less than three years.
Prior to joining the Curve, the North Carolina native was the Vice President and GM of the Single-A Kannapolis (NC) Intimidators (formerly the Piedmont Boll Weevils) in the South Atlantic League from 1997 to 2001. During his tenure in Kannapolis, the club set either overall or average attendance records in each of his first four seasons. For his efforts, Parnell was named the 1999 South Atlantic League "General Manager of the Year."
Parney graduated from Messiah College in 1988 with a degree in physical education and a minor in business. He has three daughters, Lindsay (28) and Samantha (25) and Madison (21). Parney resides in Richmond with his wife, Tonia.
Walk-up song: "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa
Favorite movie: Draft Day
Favorite TV show: The Andy Griffith Show
Favorite vacation spot: Sandbridge, Virginia
Hot take: In Every Difficult Situation is Value.
Favorite Flying Squirrels memory: Opening Night 2010 and clinching playoffs 2022
Best sports memory: 1993 and 2008 World Series trips with my dad, 2014 World Series trip with daughter Sammy
Favorite food: Steak plus red wine
Favorite musical artist: Reckless Kelly
Best concert: Jonas Brothers
Longest road trip: Driggs, Idaho
Spirit animal: Giraffe because I like sticking my neck out for others
Greatest athletic achievement: Not getting fired in MiLB (yet...)
Craziest thing you ever done: Too many to count