Stefanie Brown has stepped down from her role as the general manager of the Quad-Cities River Bandits, allowing her to be with family members in a time of need.

River Bandits owner Dave Heller said Tuesday that Brown will remain with the Midwest League club in an undetermined role, but will have the ability to split time between the Quad-Cities and her native Ohio as needed in upcoming months.

“Stefanie is such a wonderful, compassionate person and she wants to be with her family at a very difficult time,” Heller said. “When she asked for the chance to do that, we were more than willing to make that work. We also wanted to let the community know so they can keep Stefanie and her family in their thoughts and prayers.”

Heller currently is working out of the River Bandits’ offices at Modern Woodmen Park, assisting assistant general manager Andrew Chesser and club vice-president of sales Shawn Brown as they work toward the start of the 2013 season on April 4.

“Everybody is rolling up their sleeves, pitching in and helping out while Stef’s away,” Heller said. “She will continue to be very much involved with our operation, and others in our office will assume some of her responsibilities as needed.”

Brown, a three-time recipient of the Midwest League female executive of the year award, has worked for the River Bandits since joining the club in 2007 as director of community and client relations from the Double-A Jacksonville Suns.

Before moving into the general manager’s role in the fall of 2011 after Kirk Goodman left the club, Brown served as the organization’s assistant general manager, a role which included overseeing organization of the 2011 Midwest League All-Star Game hosted by the River Bandits.

In her first season as the general manager, the River Bandits attracted 240,008 fans to Modern Woodmen Park, the highest attendance total for the team since 1995.

“Stef did a superb job last season and I have a great deal of respect for what she has done for our organization,” Heller said.

In a statement, Brown thanked the club’s ownership and staff for their support “during this challenging time.”

Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

“I am especially grateful to Dave Heller and Bob Herrfeldt for allowing me time to be with my family and still remain in an important role with the River Bandits,” Brown said.

A search for a new general manager is underway. Heller said the club is looking for an individual to lead both the River Bandits organization and oversee operations of Main Street Baseball’s California League team, the High Desert Mavericks.

“We’ll collect resumés over the next few days and proceed as quickly as we can, but Stephanie Brown will be hard to replace,” Heller said. “I’ve said this before and I still feel like she was the best general manager in the Midwest League.”

In Brown’s absence, Heller said Main Street Baseball will continue to work to fill several staff vacancies on the Quad-Cities staff, including the hiring of a business manager, an inside sales position and a head groundskeeper position for the 2013 season.