MANAGER, MEMBER PROGRAMS
U.S. Soccer Federation
Could you share a little bit of background about yourself?
I’m the Manager of Member Programs at U.S. Soccer, which means I’m the main point of contact for all of our 113 Organization Members. It’s a hard to explain exactly what I do, but as a positive, there is no “typical day.” Outside of work, I’m a devout runner (specifically marathons), and I love spending time with my family, and finding/watching new TV shows.
All pathways are different; how did you get to where you are?
After law school, I knew I wanted to work in sports, but also wanted to use my degree, so I started in NCAA Compliance. I did that for five years and realized I wanted to do more than review phone logs and monitor recruiting visits and was very fortunate that a colleague at another university suggested I look at a job opportunity with U.S. Soccer. I’ve been here for five years and had opportunities I never would’ve guessed: from learning about event planning and operations, to using my legal education and even found myself in a ticker-tape parade!
What do you love about your current job?
I love the people I work with; our staff is world-class. I’m consistently amazed at the work we do and how we motivate and inspire each other every day. I’ve learned so much from my colleagues.
And I love that I’m giving back to this game that I love so much. Soccer has given me so much and I recognize how fortunate I am to have soccer be a part of my life every day. I was never skilled enough as a player to be anywhere close to playing for a Youth National Team (let alone the full National Team), but I’m proud to be able to represent the crest as part of my job.
What skills do you use every day?
Communication, collaboration and compromise.
What advice would you give to women seeking a position in the sports industry?
Don’t be intimidated. Believe in yourself and your skills/abilities. You may be the youngest person in the room, or the only female (or other minority) but don’t let those circumstances dictate your contribution. Share your knowledge, toss out the idea, and express your opinion.
Have fun! Laugh and enjoy yourself. There is a time to be serious, but don’t lose the joy you find both in your work and sport. We aren’t saving lives (per se), but we’re bringing joy to life.
What is one piece of advice you wished someone had told you before starting this career path?
There’s no set path or consistent trajectory. There will be ups and downs, and how you adjust and adapt to the ebbs and flows will help.