Meet Michelle Skinner, 2020 Philanthropist of the Year Finalist

Michelle Skinner

Michelle Skinner serves as the Assistant General Manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Minor League Affiliate of the Houston Astros.  Skinner has been with the team for 10 seasons, after beginning as the Administrative Assistant in 2010.  Among many duties, Michelle oversees the ValleyCats ‘Cats Care campaign which has an annual community impact of over $500,000, including financial contributions, in-kind donations, charitable partnerships, and fundraisers at the stadium.  Under Michelle’s leadership, the ValleyCats staff attends nearly 200 community activities a year and donates to over 400 fundraising events. In 2014 and 2018, Michelle was recognized for her work within Minor League Baseball with the New York-Penn League Joann Weber Female Executive of the Year Award.  Michelle was a member of the 2019 Class of The Leadership Institute and recognized with the Business Review’s 40 Under Forty

A native of Twelve Mile, IN, Skinner received a Bachelors Degree from Ball State University in Sport Administration in 2007. Prior to moving to the Capital Region, Michelle was the Operations Assistant for the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, TN.  

In addition to the community involvement with the ValleyCats, Michelle serves on the board of the Troy Kiwanis Club and Troy Salvation Army.  Michelle volunteers as a committee member for the Make-A-Wish Walk for Wishes and Make-A-Wish Gala and is a member of Women United and the Women’s Business Council, serving on the WBC Adopted Nonprofit Committee. Committed to advancing women in the sport industry, Skinner participates in the Ball State University Sport Administration Alumni Mentor program and MiLB’s Women in Baseball Leadership LIFT program. Throughout the year you can find Michelle sorting food at the Regional Food Bank, cooking lunch for Joseph’s House & Shelter, running with Girls on the Run Capital Region, and Wrapping Up Cancer with the American Cancer Society. In 2019, Michelle joined the Make-A-Wish Wish Jump team, raising money and skydiving to fund local wishes! 

Having been involved for 17 years, the cause that Michelle is most passionate about supporting is St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Skinner volunteers for events and runs as a St Jude Hero, raising money and awareness for the hospital. Having completed twelve marathons as a Hero, her sights are set on completing all six World Major Marathons for St Jude. With Chicago, New York, and Berlin complete and London this year, only Tokyo and Boston will remain.  Since joining the St Jude Heroes program, Michelle has raised over $40,000 and has committed to raising $20,000 in 2020. 

United Way's Capital Region Philanthropist of the Year award recognizes an individual who has positively impacted our community. 

Join us on June 24th when we reveal this year’s Philanthropist of the Year! 

Learn more about United Way's Annual Awards