NetWorks Sports: In Their Own Words with Olympic Gold Medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Chief of Sport Performance – USA Track & Field

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Benita Fitzgerald Mosley

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley - Chief of Sport Performance, USA Track & Field

A native of Northern Virginia, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley has leveraged her success in the classroom (majored in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee) and on the track (as a student-athlete at Tennessee in addition to being a Gold Medalist in the 1984 Summer Olympics) to launch quite an impressive career where she has had widespread influence on a global platform.

Benita has always been a leader and influential voice amongst her peers, so it wasn’t a surprise that after participant on a committee aimed at assessing the current state of USA Track & Field, she was called to take the lead in helping to bring back the sport to the level of success we all had witness when she was wearing the red, white, and blue in Los Angeles back in 1984.

Her career now comes full-circle as she takes on a newly created role with USA Track & Field as Chief of Sports Performance.  A role that will undoubtedly play a huge role in the performance of the track & field team as we approach the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am the Chief of Sport Performance for USA Track & Field and have been in this position with USATF for two years.

Specifically what do you do in this role with your organization?
Lead innovation, strategy, programs and policy to boost the performance of the World’s #1 track and field team. Manage $10 million budget for all national teams and high performance programs to support the USA’s elite track and field athletes. Reporting directly to the CEO, areas of responsibility include: athlete services, coaching education, sports science and medicine, anti-doping, Team USA management, grants, domestic and international competitive opportunities, National Championships, training centers, and U.S. Olympic Committee and sponsor partnership liaison. Lead Team USA to the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, and other major international competitons.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Interacting with the athletes and knowing my hard work (and that of my staff) pays great dividends for Team USA at major international competitions like the World Championships and Olympic Games. 

What was your first “REAL” job?
I worked part-time as an Industrial Engineer for Tracor Aerospace in Austin, Texas while I was training for the 1988 Olympic Games.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
My ability to set high goals and focus on achieving them has been a great asset to me in my career. In my current role, my experience as a world-class athlete allows me to have an innate knowledge of what it takes to help our athletes reach their own goals and have successful careers.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I definitely miss that rockin’ body!!! I took it all for granted when I had it, and now as a middle-aged mom of two, it’s hard to believe I ever looked like that. I certainly don’t miss the difficult workouts, and the ice baths…yikes!!

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Winning the Olympic gold medal was definitely my most cherished moment. My most embarrassing moment was in high school. Let’s just say I left it all out on the track at the end of a race at the state championships!

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I work out two to four times a week, and I mostly power walk or jog. I like to feel the sun and breathe the fresh air…all those years running outside around that track spoiled me, so I don’t like to go to the gym.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) who has helped you along the way?
Yes, my parents first and foremost, my husband of 15 years, my coaches, and my bosses at various jobs. There have also been people like Anita DeFrantz (Olympic medalist and IOC member), Gerry Laybourne (Founder of Oxygen and Nickleodeon), Decker Anstrom (former CEO of Weather Channel), Dr. Carole Stovall (Executive Coach) and many more that have taken a strong interest in me and have shared a lot of great wisdom and advice along the way. I also take advice from books, my pastor’s sermons, leadership seminars, etc.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I think that my career has been guided by divine intervention and a lot of great mentors, and I’m blessed to have had a varied and fulfilling career path. Even the mistakes I’ve made and the difficult times I’ve endured have somehow better prepared me for the next challenge or opportunity.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
My parents. They’re amazing human beings and I love them dearly for laying such a solid foundation for my sister and me and for always being there to provide their support and encouragement.

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Student athletes should take advantage of the rare access they have to prominent alumni, school officials, community leaders, and the media and use it to their advantage. They should always represent themselves and their school in the most positive light so that when the need or opportunity arises, you can always count on their support. I call my gold medal “the gift that keeps on giving” because many of the good things in my life can somehow be traced back to my participation in sports. I was blessed with the talent to run fast, but it was hard work and good decisions along the way that have helped me achieve success both on and off the track.

Favorite Book: Too many to name, but the latest is “The Help”

Favorite Movie: The Game

Hobbies: Spending time with my family and friends, Reading

Favorite Place to Vacation: Hawaii, Outer Banks, any place warm

What’s playing on your iPod? Mostly R&B…I’m old school. I also like a bit of gospel, and some of the more popular songs by female artists like Beyonce, Adele, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, etc.

Android or iPhone? Definitely, iPhone

Mac or PC? Both…PC for work, Mac at home

Favorite TV Show: The Good Wife, The Sing Off

Favorite Restaurant: PF Chang’s

Favorite Quote: Ecclesiastes 3:1. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

 

Find out more about Benita and USA Track & Field at the USATF website www.usatf.org

To read more “In Their Own Words” on student-athletes doing great things after graduation, sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

Follow NetWorks Sports Consulting on Twitter at @NetWorks_Sports

In Their Own Words with Romone Penny, National Tax Associate Rotator @Ernst_and_Young

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Romone Penny

Romone Penny - National Tax Associate Rotator, Ernst & Young

Another success story from John Rice’s Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) program, Romone Penny grew up in Minneapolis and as a result of his academic & athletic success now runs with the elite in Washington, DC.

In 2002 & in partnership with the MLT Program, NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett (then with the Minnesota Timberwolves), handpicked Romone to take part in the inaugural program under his 4XL initiative.  Penny was one of two students who participated in a weekend-long immersion into the business aspects of the NBA.  That experience, coupled with his stint playing on the hoops squads at Florida State and American University, has served as a strong foundation for his current success as a finance executive with Ernst & Young.

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am currently a National Tax Associate Rotator at Ernst & Young in Washington, DC. I transferred to EY’s National Tax Division in November in 2010. I interned with E&Y in 2007 and had worked with the organization in Business Tax Compliance since 2008 prior to moving into my current position.

Tell us what your specific role is with the organization?
I assist the National Tax office with Accounting Methods and Inventory. In this division, we focus on what is currently impacting business operations, and we’re asked to anticipate future political, legislative and regulatory changes. We help companies prepare for the issues that are likely to have an impact in the future. We provide our national EY offices and clients with a deeper analysis of congressional and IRS actions. A normal day for me includes extensive research and formulating advice on complex technical issues, and reviewing to EY’s national practice offices, and reviewing tax accounting methods applications.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Meeting every other Tuesday for our Federal Tax Services (FTS) Knowledge Sharing lunch meetings. Some of the country’s top practicioners share what they are working on and we chime in to help solve issues, ask questions, and also share what we have learned in the previous weeks, all while enjoying free lunch. Sometimes a few of the partners (that are attorneys) get into deep discussion and small debates as if they were in court….it gets pretty intense lol, but more importantly makes me want to step my game up so I can be able to do that in the near future…

What was your first “REAL” job?
My first “REAL” job was with Ernst & Young. I started in 2008 shortly after college. I accepted the position during my internship with the firm in 2007. I am still with the firm, just in a different position/role. One lesson that I learned was to always be proactive and get your work done asap, never procrastinate because more work will pile up quickly.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
As my mentor, John Rice says, you can tell the type of person that someone is by the way they play. I believe that is true for me. I am very passionate and competitive. I like to share the basketball and I am a considerate individual off the court. Most importantly I am a solid team player that tries to have good communication skills, adapting to unfamiliar situations, and never giving up. I feel like there is a direct correlation to my skill set on the court and my approach with my career. I am always willing to help others out, I am proactive, and always asking questions at work becuase you can always learn from others – just like in sports.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I miss listening to the fans/crowds. I miss practicing and traveling with my teammates. I miss coming up with songs or a motivational saying to get my teammates pumped up!..I miss talking trash…I do not miss sitting on the bench haha…

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Playing in the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament vs Tenn Vols. The game was on national television and everyone at my barber shop (Eddies, Washington, D.C.) was cheering for me/us!….My mentor and old coach flew out to make the game so that was a great experience. We lost, but at the end of the day I was happy becuase that was my dream to play in the NCAA tournament as a D-1 student-athlete.

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I play bball 2-3 times a week…try to lift 2-3 times a week…do pushups almost everyday. During the summers, I practice with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. When I am not doing that, I am playing with my friends in local gymanaisums in NW Washington, D.C. I also train kids for a program called “1 on 1 basketball” so I try to do drills with them.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) who has helped you along the way?
Yes, Rex Holland – a father figure, mentor, and good friend. Took me under his wings since I was about 11. He is a very successful business man, hard worker, and trustworthy.

John Rice – like an older brother, a mentor, and friend. Helped me realize my talents and potential. Introduced me to so many successful individuals that support me in all of my endeavors. Created a home away from home while I was in college. Gives me adice on various issues from sports, to business, to women…

Martin Gruenberg – friend and mentor. Fairly new relationship, but has been extremely supportive and made me feel like family. I coach his son, Paul in basketball, and Marty and I have conversations about sports, life, and family. Gives me advice on careers and keeps me grounded. I also learn from him by his characteristics of being personable and patient.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
Yes, I would have watched more film including practice and games. I would have saved money instead of spending it on stupid things when I was in college. I would have reached out and stayed connected to more Alumni and donors from my schoools…..

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Rex Holland, John Rice, Phyllis Tines (mom)

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
START NOW!!!! and use your resources/contacts…

Favorite Book: The Blind Side and The Alchemist

Favorite Movie: Tombstone

Hobbies: Reading, Swimming, Coaching, Writing, searching for underground music, dancing, laughing

Favorite Place to Vacation: Florida

What’s playing on your iPod? J. Cole, Jay-Z & Kanye “Watch the Throne”, Big Sean

Android or iPhone? Blackberry

Mac or PC? Mac

Favorite TV Show: ESPN

Favorite Restaurant: Bonaparte Washington DC

Favorite Quote: “Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind” ~ unknown

 

To read more “In Their Own Words” on student-athletes doing great things after graduation, sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

Follow NetWorks Sports Consulting on Twitter at @NetWorks_Sports


In Their Own Words – Monica Wiley

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with the Honorable Monica Wiley

As fans wait to find out the outcome of the NFL labor disputes that are taking place in the courtrooms, we caught up with a former point guard on the UC Berkeley Women’s Basketball Team who spends the majority of her days in her own courtroom. The Honorable Monica Wiley, the Judge of the Superior Court in San Francisco, tells us how her days as a student-athlete have impacted her life in the judicial system.

The Honorable Monica Wiley - San Francisco Superior Court

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am currently a Judge for the San Francisco Superior Court, a role that I have been in for 19 months.

Tell us what your specific role is with the organization?
Currently, I have a family law assignment. I handle dissolution proceedings, motions for custody and visitation, and domestic violence restraining orders.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Being able to help people in tangible ways.

What was your first “REAL” job?
Working as a researcher for NASA. Seriously.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
Being a competitive athlete was certainly helpful when I was an attorney practicing in the area of civil litigation. Being a litigator requires not only a sense of focus and a dedication to hard work, but also requires you to engage with others in an adversarial manner.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I miss the perfection of my body. I do not miss working out to ensure the perfection of my body.

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Most memorable was definitely when my Cal women’s basketball team beat then No. 1 ranked Stanford (they were 10-0 at the time) in the first game of the Pac-10 season in 1991. Of course Stanford did go on to win the National Championship in 1992, but for one night we were victorious. I’ve never had an embarrassing moment. Or at least not one that I am about to share.

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
Please refer to Question 4 above (“I do not miss working out”). I play basketball every 3-4 months just to make sure that I can, and practice yoga.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
No – my career has worked out perfectly for me.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have had several mentors in my life, but the one with the most lasting imprint is my high school basketball coach, Mary Brown. She expected excellence each and every day from her players and taught me to expect no less from myself.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
My parents – Paul and Shirley Wiley

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Find a profession and not a career – something that you are passionate about and that excites you each and every day. And always, at whatever stage you are in your profession – always find time to enjoy yourself.

Favorite Book
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

Favorite Movie
To Kill a Mockingbird

Hobbies
Reading, movies

Favorite Place to Vacation
Clovis, CA

What’s playing on your iPod?
Nothing anyone would recognize starting with Simon and Garfunkel

Android or iPhone?
iPhone

Mac or PC?
Mac

Favorite TV Show
The Wire

Favorite Restaurant
Le Cheval

Favorite Quote
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill



 

In Their Own Words – Bryant Pfeiffer

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Bryant Pfeiffer

As the MLS season roars ahead, we are grateful to Bryant for taking a few moments to share his journey from the soccer fields at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN to being one of the most innovative executives in the sports industry as he serves as Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Soccer.

Bryant Pfeiffer oversees training process at MLS Sales Center

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am currently the Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Baseball and have been with the MLS for 3 years.

Tell us what your specific role is with the organization?
I work very closely with every MLS team from ownership and senior management to sales and customer service staff to help them reach their local business objectives. This ranges from helping support the development and execution of business plans, best practice sharing, sales and retention, training and benchmarking results between teams.

What is your favorite part of the job?

It is fascinating to have the opportunity to work with 18 different MLS teams all with unique opportunities and challenges. And then, the opportunity to help contribute to their success in achieving their goals. I’ve met and had the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals.

What was your first “REAL” job?
Unpaid intern in the sales department for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wasn’t sure I wanted to be a salesperson but knew I wanted to be in sports. Once I had my foot in the door realized I had to “figure it out”. Eventually went on to have a very successful sales career at the Timberwolves including setting many of their all time sales records.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
I’ve always been extremely competitive in anything I do from varsity competition to playing rock, paper, scissors. I want to win at everything I do and I firmly believe this helps fuel my desire and has separated me from peers in the past. With that said, I’ve always tried to balance that competiveness with humility and teamwork. Never want to show anyone up in the process of reaching your professional goals. Sports, like in the business world, things don’t always go your way so I’ve always practiced winning and losing gracefully.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I miss being assembled with a like-minded group of unselfish teammates who are just as hungry to achieve greatness.

I don’t miss windsprints or ankle injuries.

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Beating one of the top ranked racquetball players in the world in an exhibition match in 2002 or completing my first marathon in 1993.

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I still workout 6-7 days a week. Basketball, racquetball, running, soccer, golf and chasing kids around.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
Take improvisational comedy courses at a younger age. Huge impact into building confidence, being open minded, thinking big, accepting all styles and deferring judgment.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have a “connector’ personality and would say rather than lean on one mentor, I’ve instead tried to absorb a little bit from many, many people over the years at each stop of my journey.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Parents have been very influential.

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ask a ton of questions. Get involved in something that can differentiate you from the thousands of other former student athletes interested in getting into a career after sports.

Favorite Book
The Book of Basketball – Bill Simmons

Favorite Movie
Anything with Will Ferrell

Hobbies
Read & Improv Comedy

Favorite Place to Vacation
Beach with kids – Las Vegas with buddies

What’s playing on your iPod?
Metallica, Rhianna and Doobie Brothers

Android or iPhone?
iPhone

Mac or PC?
PC

Favorite TV Show
Survivor

Favorite Restaurant
Chipotle

Favorite Quote
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders not followers

For more information on the MLS, log on to www.mlsnet.com