Summit Keynote Announced: Dr. Charles Steinberg

Posted in: CFF News

The Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) is excited to announce that Dr. Charles Steinberg will be the keynote speaker at the Third Annual College and Career Pathways Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 25th.

Dr. Charles Steinberg is the current President of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. Dr. Steinberg served in the front office for the San Diego Padres during the 1998 National League Championship season and was instrumental in the campaign to build PETCO Park. His 40+ year career in Major League Baseball started with an internship with the Baltimore Orioles, which changed the trajectory of his life. Dr. Steinberg’s keynote will address the importance of work-based learning experiences for all students.

Tickets for the summit to see this keynote address will go quickly! Register today

Dr. Charles Steinberg: Biography

Dr. Charles Steinberg joined the Pawtucket Red Sox as President on November 5, 2015 after many years as Executive Vice President of the Boston Red Sox.   In a vast career in which he has also worked with the Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, “Dr. Charles” has helped revamp and re-energize the PawSox while leading their effort to aggressively reach out to the community to restore and enhance bonds of connection.

Under his leadership, the PawSox and their foundation established the PawSox Scholars program to provide college scholarships to area middle school students, the “In Debt to a Vet” program to recognize veterans between innings at each game, and the PawSox Mentoring program with Mentor Rhode Island.

The club has augmented its support of the Tomorrow Fund, which helps Rhode Island families with children battling cancer, and introduced its Academic All-Stars program to recognize deserving middle schoolers from each of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns.

With innovative outreach to children, the PawSox in 2017 introduced the PawSox Lunch Box program, in which two children have lunch with a player in the owners’ box on the afternoon of a night game. They also created the Junior PawSox Announcer program, in which a young person does play by play for an inning on a PawSox radio broadcast.

The PawSox have now created events at holidays, including Groundhog Day (when staff members “see their shadows,” high school students who learn about careers in baseball); Valentine’s Day, when polar bear mascots Paws and Sox deliver flowers to seniors; and Halloween, when the club turns its Hall of History into a “den of mystery.” The club has now established annual steak dinners for Veterans Day, as well as luncheons at Thanksgiving for elementary school students and at Christmastime for middle school students.

Steinberg spent 11 seasons with the Boston Red Sox (2002 through 2007 and 2012 through 2016), with his primary areas of responsibility in Public Relations, Community Relations, Ballpark Entertainment, Advertising, and various aspects of Marketing. He spent four years away–two with the Los Angeles Dodgers as Chief Marketing Officer and two with the Commissioner of Baseball as Senior Advisor for Public Affairs.

Dr. Charles has been instrumental in the creation and writing of ceremonies at Fenway Park, ranging from Opening Days to World Series parades. Together with colleague Sarah McKenna and their staff, they have produced ceremonies for the retiring of the numbers for Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, the unveiling of statues for Carl Yastrzemski and “The Teammates,” as well as the honoring of the New England Patriots at Fenway Park after each of their Super Bowl championships.

In 2015, they orchestrated the ceremonial signing of a Red Sox contract by Pete Frates, the Boston College baseball star behind the phenomenal Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds and awareness for ALS. That day also included an inspiring National Anthem featuring Jane Richard, who lost her leg–and who lost her brother Martin–in the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013.

Steinberg was also instrumental in Fenway Park beginning a tradition of “Going Gold” to raise awareness each September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The inaugural ceremony, created in 2015 in partnership with G1ve-A-Buck Fund and the Jimmy Fund, helped lead Major League Baseball to establish Childhood Cancer Awareness Days throughout MLB each year thereafter.

In 2014, a farewell tribute September 27 to outgoing Commissioner of Baseball Allan H. (Bud) Selig was followed by a tribute September 28 to Derek Jeter before the Yankee legend’s final game of his career.

Perhaps the most important ceremony of his career was April 20, 2013, in which Boston’s largest community convocation gathered at Fenway Park following the Boston Marathon tragedy of April 15. The emotional ceremony culminated with David Ortiz’s unforgettable–and unrepeatable–exhortation. Thereafter, the club continued to embrace the heroes, survivors, and bereaved families, with the remarkable season culminating in a World Series Parade that paused at the Marathon Finish Line for a brief, tender tribute.

In February of 2014, the New England Region of the Anti-Defamation League honored Steinberg and the Red Sox with its Distinguished Community Service Award for helping Boston heal from the wounds of the Boston Marathon tragedy and for the community programs they have created.

In July of 2014, the Information Display and Entertainment Association, the organizing body of all sports venue entertainment officials, enshrined Dr. Charles into their IDEA Hall of Fame.

Before leaving the Red Sox for the Dodgers in 2008, Steinberg spent six seasons (’02 through ’07) in Boston as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, helping to launch a new fan-friendly attitude, revamped community outreach, and innovative communication. He was responsible for orchestrating ceremonies throughout the year, and was instrumental in players greeting fans at the gates, fans having Father’s Day Catches on the Fenway Park grass, and celebrating the lives of Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky when each passed away.

Steinberg was a key force in establishing the Fenway Ambassadors, the Red Sox/Jimmy Fund Radiotelethon, the annual September 11 Red Cross Blood Drive, as well as community events on Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the birthdays of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson, and Valentine’s Day.

In the community, Steinberg was instrumental in creating the Red Sox Scholars program (college scholarships for Boston middle schoolers), the Boston Area Church League (Saturday double headers with pastors as coaches, police as umpires, and district attorneys as volunteers), Red Sox Children’s Retreats (weekends at the Ron Burton Training Village), and the Lindos Sueños program (Boston-area teens play baseball and render community service with Dominican teens in the Dominican Republic).

In 2008 and 2009, Steinberg was Executive Vice-President/Marketing & Public Relations (Chief Marketing Officer) for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He led the creation of the Dodgers Ambassadors, orchestrated the 2008 Opening Day Ceremonies that paid tribute to the club’s 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles, helped execute the club’s historic trip to China in March, 2008, and produced the ceremonies and events for the best-attended game in professional baseball history–a Guinness World Record of 115,300 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to benefit cancer research.

Celebrating the L.A. Dodgers’ 50th Anniversary, he created and produced a three-day musical tribute at the Hollywood Bowl before more than 50,000 people. He also wrote the copy immortalized on the Dodgers’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and instituted an annual tribute to Jackie Robinson, as he had done in Boston, each January 31, the pioneering Hall of Famer’s birthday and the eve of Black History Month.   The Dodgers led the major leagues in attendance in 2009.

In 2010 and 2011, Steinberg worked directly for Commissioner Selig, serving as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Baseball for Public Affairs. Since April of 2015, Steinberg has been helping Selig, now Commissioner Emeritus, with his memoirs (in addition to fulfilling his responsibilities with the Red Sox and the PawSox).

Before joining the Red Sox in 2002, he was Executive Vice-President/Public Affairs for the San Diego Padres, for whom he worked from 1995 through 2001. In San Diego, he helped revive a moribund fan base with new approaches to ballpark entertainment and community outreach. He created the Pad Squad, the Swinging Friar mascot, and television shows and documentaries. He created the Padres Scholars (similar to the Red Sox Scholars), oversaw the planting of 116 trees in San Diego, helped establish 20 Little Padres Parks, and the helped create the Cindy Matters Fund for pediatric cancer research. He was a key contributor to the city’s successful campaign to build Petco Park, which enabled the Padres to remain in San Diego. The Padres established franchise records in attendance during his tenure.

He started his career spending 19 years with his hometown Baltimore Orioles, rising from intern to head of Public Relations. The Baltimore native’s baseball career began at age 17 with an internship from Gilman School, arranged with the Orioles’ Jack Dunn III, grandson and namesake of the man who first signed Babe Ruth. He was Hall of Fame Manager Earl Weaver’s statistician for six years and continued in that position with manager Joe Altobelli through the Orioles’ World Championship season of 1983. He then created Orioles Productions, the club’s first video department, in 1985, and its first customer service department in 1993.

He worked for the Orioles while earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and his doctorate from Maryland’s dental school, and continued his front office work while also assuming the role of team dentist. In 1982, Steinberg became a founding and charter member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. It was with the Orioles in 1979 that he first worked with his longtime friend and mentor, Larry Lucchino, whom he followed to San Diego, Boston, and Pawtucket.

With all four major league clubs, Steinberg has been responsible for the fan experience in the ballpark and in the community. He has headed the clubs’ public relations and outbound marketing, ballpark entertainment and special events, community relations and advertising, television and video production, and in each case, created innovative fan services departments. Each of the four franchises established attendance records during his tenure.

Steinberg won an Emmy Award for the television production of the 1998 National League Champion Padres, and a Telly Award for the video production of the remarkable “Why Not?” season of the 1989 Baltimore Orioles.

On the field, Steinberg helped orchestrate the finale of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in 1991, the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, and the ceremonies for All-Star Week in 1993. He also started the planning of Cal Ripken’s “Streak Week” festivities in 1995 and created the celebration of the career of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in 2001. He was instrumental in the creation of Rick Dempsey’s video performance of “Old Time Rock and Roll” in Baltimore, the playing of “Hells Bells” heralding Trevor Hoffman’s entrance in San Diego, the daily playing of “Sweet Caroline” in Boston, and the playing of “Don’t Stop Believing” in Los Angeles. He was also instrumental in the development of the Dropkick Murphys’ “Tessie” and “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” as Fenway Park anthems.

He has earned six championship rings: Four World Championships with Baltimore (1983) and Boston (2004, 2007, and 2013), and two league championships with the ’79 Orioles and ’98 Padres. In his two years in Los Angeles, the Dodgers reached the National League Championship Series both years. He has helped produce Postseason Play events and entertainment 13 seasons.

A teacher by nature, Steinberg has been affiliated with Emerson College since September 2015, and in 2017 was named Emerson’s Director of Sports Communication. The college is among the first to offer a Sports Communication major.

A musician and songwriter, Steinberg’s compositions have been recorded by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr, former Chicago lead singer Bill Champlin, Bob Cowsill (of The Cowsills), the Parkington Sisters, and others.  He wrote the words and music for theme songs for Wally the Green Monster as well as for “PawSox Baseball.” He served on the board of the San Diego Symphony and performed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the Fenway Park organ during Jimmy Buffett’s concerts in 2004. He was part of a group that sang on the Dropkick Murphys’ hit song, “Tessie,” and had a cameo with Drew Barrymore in the Farrelly Brothers’ hit film, “Fever Pitch.”

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