Category Archives: Alumni Spotlight

Former baseball captain honored by national healtchare magazine

When Ben Breier C’93, W’93 was asked by Modern Healthcare magazine about his professional accomplishments, he related them to his four years as a catcher on the Penn baseball team.

“One thing I take pride in is my ability to relate to people,” said Breier, who earlier this month was named by the magazine to their 2010 “Up & Comers” list, which honors young leaders aged 40 and under who are making a difference in the healthcare industry. “A lot of that stems from athletics and baseball in particular.”

In March, Breier, a member of the Penn Baseball Hall of Fame, was named the chief operating office at Kindred Healthcare in Louisville, Ky. Before that, he served as president of the company’s hospital division, helping revenues grow approximately $2 billion. From 2005-2008, he served as president of Peoplefirst Rehabilitation.

Winning awards is nothing new to Breier, who was a first team all-Ivy selection in 1990 and 1992 and a Penn captain in 1991, 1992 and 1993, sharing the captainship with future Major Leaguer Doug Glanville in ’91. And he’s remained faithful to Penn baseball, having hired the last two executive fellows at Kindred from the ranks of graduating Quakers and also serving on the program’s board of directors.

Any current Penn baseball player might want to network with him. Breier’s Forbes profile shows he’s making slightly more than most bloggers.

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Voice of Penn hoops lands job with Reading Phillies

Brian Selzter has a confession to make. Prior to his meteoric rise up the broadcast ladder, he had a voice that, let’s just say, wasn’t made for radio.

“Before my voice changed, people would call my house and mistake me for my mom,” Seltzer said. “There was a time when I was mistaken for Kate Seltzer on a very regular basis. Thankfully those days are in the past.”

These days, Seltzer is not only a terrific play-by-play man for Penn basketball and football broadcasts, but also the Eagles beat reporter for 97.5 The Fanatic.

And most recently, the 2007 Penn grad was named play-by-play man for the minor league Reading Phillies.

“I feel very lucky,” Seltzer said. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, for my age, some pretty incredible opportunities have come my way.”

Seltzer knows a lot of his success has to do with a voice so deep and rhythmic that people expect him to be a lot older when they first meet him. (His “pipes,” as they’re called in the radio business, were featured in a 2006 DP article.) But he’s also a workhorse that takes pride in preparing many hours prior to broadcasts. And he’s been interested in sports broadcasting for as long as he can remember.

After working for a cable access channel throughout his time at Cheltenham High School, Seltzer came to Penn mainly because he knew the school’s radio station, XPN, encouraged student involvement. He contacted XPN even before getting to school, and started calling basketball games his junior year – just in time to catch the team’s last two Ivy League championships in 2006 and 2007.

Seltzer, left, and former radio partner Vince Curran share a laugh with Maury Povich.

He says even with his new responsibility with the Phillies’ AA affiliate, he’ll still be able to work for Penn. (He also hopes to be able to keep reporting for 97.5, though at the very least he’ll have to miss Eagles’ minicamp because of a conflicting Reading schedule.)

“I wanted to make sure when I took this on that I’d be still be doing (Penn) football and men’s basketball games,” Seltzer said. “They took a chance on someone who was going into their junior year when they didn’t have to. I owe Penn a lot.”

Like a true professional, Selzter didn’t want to look too far ahead. But from an outsider looking in, it’s pretty clear the young Penn alum has forged a promising path for himself that may one day lead to a plum job as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, or any other professional team.

Not bad for a kid who used to sound like his mom.

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