Pam Gardner Resigns as Astros President of Business Operations

The Houston Astros and Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane announced today that Pam Gardner has voluntarily resigned from her role as President of Business Operations and will become a special advisor to Jim Crane.

“The Astros have been a very important part of my life for more than 23 years,” Gardner said.  “It truly has been a joyful and rewarding experience.  I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish as an organization and the important role the Astros play in the life of our city and region. 

“With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the club and the 2013 move to the American League, this is an ideal time for a fresh start.  The Astros are in very good hands with Jim Crane and his impressive ownership group.  The best is yet to come.” 

“Pam’s leadership has been instrumental to the Astros success and reputation for many years,” Crane said. “She is an invaluable resource and we look forward to her continued service to the Astros in her new role.”

Gardner has been with the Astros for 23 years, served as president for 11 years and held the honor of the longest tenured female executive in Major League Baseball. She has been recognized professionally on several occasions over the years, most recently being named one of 20 women listed as “Game Changers” by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal in 2011.  She received the prestigious Marguerite Ross Barnett leadership award from the Houston Area Urban League in 2008 and was also named one of the “Women on the Move” by Texas Executive Women and the Houston Chronicle.

In November of 2006, Gardner became the first female executive inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.  In April of 2005, Gardner was recognized by the Sports Business Journal as one of the 20 Most Influential Women in Sports.  She was also included in a special exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, saluting women in baseball.

Under Gardner’s leadership, Comcast Sports Net Houston was formed in the fall of 2010 and will televise Astros and Rockets games beginning in 2012-13, as well as ancillary team programming.  She also played a major role in the building of Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field), and oversaw the completion of the Urban Youth Academy in northwest Houston.  In 2011, she helped plan and implement two new HD video scoreboards at Minute Maid Park and the private Insperity Club behind the home plate area.  During her tenure, she led the Astros business group in hosting playoff events at Minute Maid Park including the 2004 All-Star Game and the first World Series game played in the state of Texas in 2005.

Gardner originally joined the Astros in 1989 as director of communications, developing advertising and marketing campaigns for the club.  In 1994, she was named director of marketing, where her role expanded to include more strategic planning.  Gardner became vice president of marketing in 1996, overseeing advertising, marketing and ticket sales for the Astros, with emphasis on growing general revenue areas.

Gardner was named senior vice president of sales and marketing in 1999, and added sponsorship sales and marketing operations to her responsibilities.  She spearheaded the advertising and marketing efforts for both the team and the new ballpark in its inaugural season and led the development of the new logo and uniform design that the team currently utilizes.  The club also set franchise attendance records in two consecutive seasons (1998-1999) in the Astrodome, in addition to the current franchise standard set in 2004 at Minute Maid Park.

Gardner currently serves on the board of the Astros in Action Foundation, the board and Executive Committee of Central Houston, Inc., which she will chair in 2012 and is a member of Texas Executive Women and the Greater Houston Partnership.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of Newfield Exploration Company.