Arizona Diamondbacks Host MLB Business Diversity Summit

Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 5:41pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 5:42pm
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall moderates a session at the MLB Diversity Business Summit.
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Taylor Kinley and Amber Gray attend the MLB Diversity Business Summit at Chase Field in Phoenix.
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Nancy Copeland and Elisabeth Harris prepare to pitch their business to the Chicago White Sox at the MLB Diversity Business Summit in Phoenix.

The Diamond Level features private suites that corporate executives often rent to impress their clients. On Wednesday, it was filled with people hoping to win new clients.

“We can do all the furniture needs they have," said Nancy Copeland as she waited outside a suite.

The Phoenix-based company where Copeland works, Corporate Interior Systems, has been dealing with the Diamondbacks for years. Now, they’d like to add more teams.

“We have the White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and another one -Tampa Bay," she said.

Those are the clubs that have agreed to hear her sales pitch. She is among dozens of vendors who paid hundreds of dollars for the chance to get in front of 30 major-league clubs.

"We had two interviews yesterday and then five today,” she said.

It's a valuable opportunity for Taylor Kinley and Amber Gray. Their hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds, paid for their trip. Both had previous club internships and on the summit’s second day Kinley, who’s in college, was offered another one through the commissioner's office in New York city.

Gray is hoping to land a full-time position. Just a year out of college and she’s already learned that hard work alone isn’t always enough. 

“A lot of it is connections," she said, and knowing how the business game is played. 

General sessions and briefings addressed topics like scouting and umpiring, community affairs and charitable foundations and legal issues.

While Major League Baseball said it’s focused on doing more business with companies owned by women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community, those who’ve already scored deals stressed the bottom line - that after the pitch you need to deliver.

One Source, My Connection!