The Rays – Then, Now and the Women Behind Them

The Rays – Then, Now and the Women Behind Them

Please join us on Thursday, May 21, 2015 as we welcome Melanie Lenz, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development and Rafaela Amador, Senior Director for Corporate Communications to BPW St. Pete/Pinellas.

Talk about tough jobs at a time when the City and the Team can’t come to an agreement regarding a new stadium or even the search for a location for a new stadium. Attendance continues to be the lowest in the league, even when the Rays are playing well, the fans don’t come to the stadium. Women continue to be a minority in Major League Baseball (and all other major league sports). Let’s find out how these talented women have made it work for them when they come to talk about the Rays – then, Now and the Women Behind Them.


About our speakers

lenz_melanie_90x135Melanie Lenz was named senior vice president of strategy and development in December 2014.

Lenz joined the Rays in November 2006 and was responsible for managing the design and construction of the Rays spring training facility in Charlotte County. In 2014, Charlotte Sports Park was voted the favorite spring training destination by the readers of USA Today.

Most recently at Tropicana Field, Lenz oversaw the creation of the 360-degree pedestrian circulation around the lower seating bowl and a reimagined batter’s eye gathering point called The Porch. This project builds on the more than $20 million the Rays have invested in Tropicana Field since 2006, all with the goal of enhancing the fan experience.

In addition to the management of capital projects for the Rays, she currently oversees the organization’s key strategic initiatives including the Rays brand extension within the television market, management of essential business relationships, business analytics activities and long-term facilities planning.

Lenz came to the Rays from the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she had served as vice president, real estate development since 2000. During that period, she directed many real estate transactions within the five boroughs of New York City, resulting in over 15 million square feet of new development and several billion dollars in investment.

Lenz attended the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and received her master’s degree in urban and regional planning in 1999. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University in 1995.

She serves on the board of directors of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, as well as the United Way of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

Lenz is a native of Grampian, Pa. She and her husband, Kurt, live in St. Petersburg with their two sons.



Rafaela AmadorRafaela A. Amador was named senior director for corporate communications in June 2014. In her role, Amador seeks to increase the visibility and enhance the business image and reputation of the organization locally through effective and strategic communications. She works across departments to ensure consistency and quality throughout the organization’s communications efforts.

Amador most recently served as an account director at Tucker/Hall, a public relations and public affairs firm, where she led client teams in the areas of public affairs, issues management and strategic communications. Most notably, she was one of the chief architects of the Greenlight Pinellas public education campaign. Prior to Tucker/Hall, she was vice president of public affairs and communications at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Amador received a 2009 Ford Foundation Fellowship for Regional Sustainable Development through the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The fellowship was a year-long program that took her to various cities as part of her course study. In March 2010, she travelled to China to better understand international sustainability issues. Throughout this endeavor, she studied ways to support sustainable development efforts through political leadership, regional collaboration and by establishing regional goals and objectives for sustainable development in the Tampa Bay area. Prior to joining the Chamber, Amador taught high school English in Hillsborough County, Fla., where she sponsored and mentored the Ophelia Project, which teaches empowerment to young women. Amador has also served as an aide to a Florida House elected official earlier in her career.

Amador holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a Spanish minor and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of South Florida. She is currently the Dean of Awesomeness for the Awesome Foundation Tampa Bay Chapter, member of the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations and Honorary Commander at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. She lives in Tampa with her son, Maddox.