Vanderbilt Magazine

Michele Ivey Frazier, MBA’93, takes a swing at bringing MLB to Nashville

Michele Ivey Frazier, MBA’93 (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

Michele Ivey Frazier believes everyone has a baseball story, and for the Vanderbilt Owen alumna, finding commonality through listening to others is key to creating successful organizations. Now listening to baseball stories has offered her a new opportunity.

In April, Frazier joined Music City Baseball as director of operations and leader of the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for the organization. MCB quickly realized Michele’s passion for DEI, and now her work is centered around the company’s goal to be diverse, equitable and inclusive in its efforts to bring a Major League Baseball team to Nashville.

“I am pleasantly surprised at how you can relate almost anything to sports,” Frazier says.“In an industry like this, people always have a story to learn and grow from, allowing for deeper connections with individuals you may not have spoken with before. It is an exhilarating experience speaking with numerous organizations as we try to bring this sport to Music City.”

Frazier graduated from Owen with a dual concentration in marketing and human resources and feels that her education, exposure and experiences have prepared her well for this influential role with MCB.

“Owen provided me with a strong foundation and gave me a core skill set that I was able to apply to a variety of industries throughout my career,” Frazier says. “I learned to pause and be present while also focusing on the people and consumers who believe in you and your goals, and that is what I want to bring to the Nashville Stars.”

Baseball was the first organized sport played in Nashville. From the 1940s Negro League teams that graced diamonds in the city to cheering on the VandyBoys in the College World Series, Frazier feels everyone in town can relate to this beloved sport.

If MLB approves the plan, the Nashville Stars will become the first franchise to honor the Negro League by bringing back the historic Stars moniker.

Frazier, a Nashville native, says this chance fuels her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, and she is excited about bringing this vital piece of history home.

“To have the opportunity to highlight the significant contributions of the Negro League and to think of a Major League team donning the moniker of the Nashville Stars gives me goosebumps,” Frazier says. “I applaud Music City Baseball for recognizing the Negro League influence on the modern-day sport, but it signifies that this is so much bigger than just baseball.”

—Celeste Malone