For many State College Spikes fans, Terree Michel is the first person who greets them as they walk through the gate at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
As the head usher, Michel has been involved with the Spikes in some capacity since the team’s inception in 2006. To all who have worked with Michel since, her contributions to the team’s success on and off the field are evident.
“Terree is one of those people who forms a foundation of an organization,” said Spikes play-by-play announcer Joe Putnam. “When people come to a game, the first people they see are our game day employees, ushers and ticket takers. Terree has been overseeing them since day one.”
Beyond her role as head usher, Michel has lent all other talents to the Spikes, as she also irons and sews the nameplates on the backs of jerseys for new players and fixes the mascot suits when they need mending.
“Any sewing things, I help with,” Michel said.
Michel’s propensity for customer service helps her not only in her role as an usher, but also inspired her to volunteer to host Spikes coaches at her home during the season.
The first coach Michel hosted was Darwin Marrero, who now works with the Springfield Cardinals as a pitching coach.
“(The house) was kind of chaotic at the time (when Marrero moved in). He told me about three weeks later he said to his wife that ‘this is kind of crazy here, I’m going to give it two weeks and we’ll see how it goes,’ “ she recalled. “He ended up staying with me for three years.”
Michel said she now visits Marrero every winter at his home in Tampa, Florida.
With the Spikes playing a short season, it can be difficult for staff members to form much of a bond, but Michel puts in the effort to keep the employees coming back.
Michel organizes a potluck dinner at the beginning of the year and a picnic at the end. She also tries to keep her employees enjoying their work.
“I think it’s very important from my standpoint to make sure they come back so when they come to work, I want them to have fun,” Michel said. “I want them to enjoy what they’re doing, so I make sure I do everything I possibly can to make sure they are having a good time.”