Executive Stories

Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.

Executive Spotlight - July 28, 2008

Marian Rhodes


Vice President Human Resources, Arizona Diamondbacks


Follow me where I go
What I do and who I know
Make it a part of you to be a part of me
Follow me up and down
All the way and all around
Take my hand and I will follow too.

- Mary Travers

I'm one of many who took her hand and followed her.

Nearly five years ago this fall, Marian Rhodes I approached a number of Major League Baseball clubs with the idea of creating an online job board. Marian got on board first and fast. Whether she could tell that it would benefit MLB's human resources managers or she had the vision that wonderful people from all walks of life would profit by being able to apply, be interviewed and be hired for jobs in her sport, I don't know. But in no time, the human resources executives of many MLB teams followed her and signed on. Five years later, over 2,000 people followed her lead and those of the other MLB human resources executives and found jobs with the teams. MLB's job board is our most popular.

So appreciative of life as opportunities, Marian credits her mom and dad and her faith for giving her the foundation to achieve and encourage others. Her mother was a math professor and her father was a business executive who focused on community. It was a combination of them instilling morals, values and work ethics that made her the kind of leader she has become.

Like many in our business, she excelled in sports and in the classroom. A standout athlete in high school, a 5'8" center on the basketball team and a spiker in volleyball she had the opportunity to play volleyball on a scholarship at Florida A&M University. Drawn by her mother's attention to the numbers, Marian majored in accounting. After receiving her BS, in Accounting she joined Anheuser- Busch as a Corporate Internal Auditor. Because the position of auditor is faceless and most times nameless, Marian set out to become known throughout the organization in other ways. She initially was asked to become a trainer for Anheuser-Busch and this is where her love of Human Resources began. The course she taught involved helping others take the necessary steps in developing and achieving their career goals. After several years as an auditor, she joined the Cardinals as a financial analyst. During the time that she was performing her duties as an analyst her people skills, abilities and enthusiasm she had to make a difference in others' lives was noticed by senior management, and Marian was asked to create the human resources/human development function of the Cardinals and was named its head. She said she learned human resources on the job, but with her interest in helping others, much like her standout athletic performance, it came easily. She networked within the company, across the community and served on multiple boards and volunteered at non-profits all around town. In 2002 the Cardinals decided they wanted to build a new stadium and wanted to obtain community support to fund the project. Marian was called upon by the President to join him in this task. With this she was promoted to Vice President of Public Affairs and Human Resources the Cardinals and the end result is that the new Busch Stadium was completed and opened in 2006.

Baseball has given her much both in terms of opportunities and unforgettable moments. What a thrill it has been for her to meet the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Buck O'Neal, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Tony Perez, Eddie Murray, Willie McGee and Albert Puljos just to name a few. She also was with the Cardinals when they won the World Series in 2006. All of these moments give her chills when she stops to think about them.

Over the years Marian has also had a true commitment to community. She believes in the verse which says: "too much is given much is required". Her hard work throughout her career has also been recognized through several awards she has received and the boards on which she has served. She wants to take the time to give back to others as so many have given to her.

While working for the Cardinals, Marian was a part of the St. Louis Mentorship Program. One of her mentees was a young man named Anthony. His career goal was to become a pro athlete. At less than Marian's height, she stressed to him that it was okay to strive to become a pro athlete but always have a Plan B and based on his excellent grades that college should be his Plan B. She encouraged him to apply to any colleges he would like and told him she would pay the application fees. He went on to attend and graduate from college. Marian would speak to Anthony from time to time but years later when she was asked to speak to a group of young, up and coming business executives at Citigroup, she looked out in the crowd and recognized a familiar face. It was Anthony was sitting there smiling in the front row. After the speak they greeted and he explained to some of the attendee that she had a great influence in his life and he was truly thankful.

"I'd like to share my life with you and show you things I've seen, Places where I'm going to, Places where I've been"

Last June, Marian decided that she wanted to try and create the magic she had built in St. Louis in a new venue. She took her talents and skills and joined the Arizona Diamondbacks. With this new opportunity she is charged with re-developing the Arizona Diamondbacks human resources functions while also reinforcing a workplace culture where the best and brightest in the sports industry want to work.

Since joining the club, she implemented new training and development strategies as well as created new employee programs with the executive management team, such as the D-backs' Employee of the Month program and President's Council, to invest in the employees throughout the organization. Her determination and the organization's investment into its employees resulted in the D-backs being named one of the "Best Places to Work" in Phoenix by the Phoenix Business Journal and BestCompanies AZ in 2007, becoming the first sports organization to win such an honor.

Follow me up and down, all the way around,

Take our hands, Marian and we will follow too!

- Buffy Filippell


"We are very fortunate to have someone with Marian's skills and experiences here at the Diamondbacks. We had an intense and aggressive search for the ideal Human Resources executive who could bring expertise in benefits and compensation, employee evaluations and appraisals, diversity in the workplace, and overall company culture. She is a dynamic leader with tremendous vision and passion, and is creating what is quickly becoming an industry standard for her colleagues."

--Derrick Hall, Team President, Arizona Diamondbacks


What I do...

Marian's responsibility for all of human resources at the Arizona Diamondbacks including hiring, benefits, career counseling, and development.

HOW I GOT HERE...

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS; Phoenix, AZ; 2007 - present
Vice President of Human Resources

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS; St. Louis, MO; 1987 - 2006
Vice President of Public Affairs and Human Resources
Director of Human Resources and Office Administration
Manager of Human Resources
Executive Assistant to VP Finance and Administration
Financial Analyst

ANHEUSER BUSCH; St. Louis, MO; 1984 - 1987
Corporate Internal Auditor

ERNST & WHINNEY; 1983
Intern - Staff Accountant

TeamWork Innovators

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Learn more

Others Say

"Morey is the whiz-kid stats analyst who made news last month when he was hired from the Celtics, where he worked on the business side, to take over as (GM) Dawson's eventual replacement. With his background as a Bill James disciple, Morey's hiring was hailed as the NBA's first venture into "Moneyball."

- Marty Burns, Sports Illustrated