Van Auken Named Vice President, Executive Director of Little League Museum
Lance Van Auken, Vice President of Communications at Little League International since 2008, has been named Vice President and Executive Director of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, it was announced today by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.
Mr. Van Auken, who has been overseeing the museum’s $4 million renovation project, will transition to the new position in early 2013. He will lead a staff that provides the day-to-day operation of the museum, including promotions, special events, acquisitions of artifacts, curating the existing collection, integrating the museum’s operations into furthering Little League’s mission, as well as documenting and preserving Little League’s rich history for future generations.
“We actually have been searching for an Executive Director for the museum for some time,” Mr. Keener said. “After several months of reviewing resumes and interviewing selected candidates, it became clear to us that the best person for this challenge is already among us. We’re pleased that Lance has accepted the position.”
The Little League Museum, originally opened in 1982, will look the same on the outside. But the inside will be completely transformed into a modern facility that will feature interesting displays and exhibits for children and adults alike.
The “new” museum is scheduled to re-open in June 2013. The design and architectural firm is Cambridge 7 Associates of Cambridge, Mass. Quandel Construction Group, Inc., a Harrisburg construction firm, is the general contractor.
A sports writer for 11 years in Florida, five years with the Tampa Tribune and six with the Clearwater Sun, Mr. Van Auken became Little League’s Assistant Director at the Southern Region Headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1993. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1996 to become Director of Publications and Media Relations at Little League International.
Mr. Van Auken received his journalism training at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Junior College and the U.S. Department of Defense Information School in Indianapolis. He served 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, first as a Military Policeman, and then as a Public Relations Specialist.
After playing at Cross Bayou Little League in Largo, Fla., from age 7 to 18, Mr. Van Auken was a Little League volunteer for 25 years. He has served in various capacities at the local league level, and in 1992 was selected as an umpire for the Little League Baseball World Series.
“I have had the honor of being involved in Little League in so many ways, from player, to coach, to local league Vice President, to World Series umpire, and as a staffer at Little League International,” Mr. Van Auken said. “So I think it’s fair to say that Little League has been a passion of mine for more than four decades. Another of my passions is for history. This new position allows me to combine those two in a way that I hope will help Little League continue to be the largest and most respected youth sports organization on the Earth.”
Mr. Van Auken lives in South Williamsport with his wife, Robin.