A native of Athens, Ohio, Rick Walls became a Reds fan at a young age watching the Big Red Machine on television and making the yearly trek to Cincinnati to see his favorite team. Walls previously worked for The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, where from April 2005 to July 2007 he was the executive director of the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. Responsible for the $15 million, 58,000-square foot facility with a budget of $1.7 million, he oversaw operations that included more than 200 annual events, the annual Enshrinement Festival and Legends Luncheon Series. From 1997-2005, he worked for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in Morristown, N.J., first as east region and special projects coordinator, then as director of public relations and awards and finally as director of operations. In his most recent position there, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the foundation, including its national membership and chapter network, educational programs, and the tabulation and dissemination of the Bowl Championship Series Standings. When the College Hall of Fame was located next to Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati, Walls was the assistant director of the traveling hall of fame and then collections manager. When the hall moved to South Bend in 1993, he was instrumental in the design and planning stages for the construction of the new facility. Prior to that, he was an intern for WLWT-TV 5 in Cincinnati. Walls majored in sport industry at Ohio University and graduated from there in 1990 with a bachelor's degree of science in sports sciences.
Born and raised on Cincinnati's West Side, Chris Eckes has been a Reds fan since he attended his first Reds game in 1978 at the age of six. Chris graduated summa cum laude with a degree in history from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 2000. He interned at the Andrew Jergens Company for a year assisting in the establishment of the company's corporate archive. Concurrent to attending school, Chris worked as a manager in the Visitor Services department at the Cincinnati Museum Center where he was employed from 1996-2004. Hired one month before the opening of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum in August of 2004, Chris established the museum's Visitor Services department and assisted in the creation of the museum's membership program. Over the years his responsibilities have expanded to include daily management of all museum operations, oversight and care of the museum's artifact collection and the design of museum exhibits including "Edd Roush and the 1919 World Series" and PETE: The Exhibit, which explored the playing career of baseball's all-time hit leader, Pete Rose.
Ken Freeman grew up in Okeana, Ohio, and earned zoology degrees from The Ohio State University and Miami University. Before joining the Reds, Ken worked as a program coordinator in the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's Education Department, taught biology at the University of Cincinnati, and conducted aquatic research at Lake Erie. Some of his earliest childhood memories come from Riverfront Stadium, beginning with George Foster tipping his cap to him from left field. He was in attendance for hit No. 4192, saw Eric Davis hit for the cycle, and screamed with 55,000-plus fans as Billy Bates scored the winning run in Game 2 of the 1990 World Series.
A native of South Bend, Ind., Colin Ethier graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in English. He served as the public relations intern for eight months at the College Football Hall of Fame, where he was responsible for creating press releases and coordinating interviews between the media and Hall of Fame inductees. Colin then went on to earn a master's of education in sport administration from Xavier University. For the past 18 months, Colin has served as both an intern and part-time employee with the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum assisting in special events.
A Mansfield, Ohio native, Chelsea Theaker graduated from Miami University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. While at Miami, she was a member of the varsity dive team for two years and studied abroad in Italy for a summer. Prior to joining the Reds Hall of Fame as the assistant visitor services manager in 2008, she interned with the Reds Community Fund and worked for Clear Channel Radio, where she was responsible for coordinating events and promotions for eight radio stations.
A native of Richmond, Ind., Greg Rhodes is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up rooting for the Reds of the 1950s and 1960s, listening to the play-by-play and stories of former Reds announcer Waite Hoyt. Rhodes was named the executive director of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum when it opened in 2004 and served in that capacity until retiring from the position in July 2007. Rhodes has continued to serve as team historian and remains active in speaking engagements regarding the history of Reds baseball. He is the host of the Reds Hall of Fame highlight moments heard prior to each Reds game on the Reds Radio Network pregame show. He has co-authored six books on the Cincinnati Reds, including Redleg Journal and Reds in Black and White, both winners of the The Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. A former social studies teacher, Rhodes worked for the Cincinnati Historical Society from 1987-'92, helped plan the creation of the new history museum at the Museum Center, served as a former president of the board of Historic Southwest Ohio, been the chairman of the local chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and is past-president of the Cincinnati Red Stockings vintage baseball team.