Next week in Chicago, five young professionals in the sports and fitness industry will be recognized as the Class of 2014 SFIA Future Industry Leader Scholars. All five of these recipients will be present at SFIA’s Industry Leaders Summit on September 16-17, 2014 at the Drake Hotel.
Each of our scholarship recipients is incredibly talented and display an incredible amount of promise as they rise to the top of their field. This week, SFIAinsider, in collaboration with SFIA Weekly, will be posting exclusive interviews with each of our five winners. We are honored to have the opportunity to put them in the spotlight before the event.
Why did you apply to the Future Industry Leaders Scholarship Program?
As an SFIA member, I have benefited tremendously from the thought leadership, educational programming and industry insights that SFIA has provided MC10 throughout our membership. After learning about the scholarship program and the annual event, I jumped at the chance to apply. A rich and thought-provoking agenda coupled with the opportunity to network with best and brightest minds in the industry was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I am honored to be selected as one of the five scholarship recipients, and look forward to meeting with senior executives and peers who I hope will serve as mentors and advisors for years to come.
What was your very first job, can you tell us more about it?
My very first job was teaching windsurfing at an overnight camp in Southern New Hampshire. Little wind on a shallow lake presented significant challenges when trying to coach 9 and 10 year-olds on how to maneuver an oversized windsurfing board and sail. But I learned that you don’t need to wait for ideal conditions to be effective in your job, and that often, you have to adapt to unforeseen bumps in the road. These are important lessons that I continue to draw on in the professional world.
What made you want to work in the sports and fitness industry?
Prior to joining MC10, I spent significant time in the healthcare industry, where educating patients on how to take the best possible care of themselves is par for the course. Sports and fitness was an area that was well represented in my personal life. I was traveling across the country to compete in half-marathons and marathons, and had also started teaching spin classes part-time. I quickly recognized a blurring of the lines between these two industries, where the patient’s desire to optimize health was not so different from the athlete’s drive to optimize performance. I joined MC10 to bring my two worlds together, combining the language of sports with the concepts underlying healthcare delivery – including striking the right balance between protecting the athlete’s health, while still ensuring that the quality of play and life is unhindered. Given the increasing focus on the health and performance insights that can be generated from the wearables market, MC10 is uniquely positioned to drive value in both categories.
What exactly do you do in your current position?
As the Senior Manager for Marketing & Brand at MC10, I have the unique opportunity to establish and grow a brand centered on empowering people through access to data about their bodies. I am responsible for the planning, development and implementation of all of MC10’s marketing strategies, marketing communications and public relations activities, both externally and internally. Bringing a technology to life for consumers and brands means demonstrating the health insights that are accessible when we dissolve the boundaries between humans and electronics. Whether it be a sports product for maximizing on-field performance, or a remote patient monitoring solution for measuring health outcomes, I am responsible for elevating MC10’s thought leadership on these topics, and helping brands envision and market products that can uniquely provide value to their target consumer.
What do you find the most enjoyable part of your work?
No two days are alike- there are always new challenges that require creative solutions. Collaborating with a team with such an incredibly varied set of skill-sets and experiences makes problem solving a lot of fun.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Industry Leaders Summit?
I am looking forward to learning from and networking with so many talented leaders in the industry. Not only is it a unique privilege to hear from brands and organizations that I respect and admire, it is also energizing to step outside the four walls of MC10 to get a broader industry perspective.
What is your favorite sports memory from your lifetime?
Running in my first marathon. I was hesitant to add it to the bucket list but after participating in my first half marathon, I had caught the bug and wanted a new challenge. Despite my months of preparation and training, I could have never anticipated how much a marathon would push me mentally and physically. As grueling and painful as it was, my brain has tricked me into only focusing on the positives… the high-fives from my friends and family along the course, the inspirational song that came on my iPod at mile 18, the exhilaration I felt when I crossed the finish line. It’s that ‘runner’s high’ that has kept me running ever since.
Do you have a favorite sports movie?
It would have to be Jerry Maguire. The marketer in me loves all of the iconic taglines that came out of that movie – “Show me the money,” “Help me help you,” “You complete me,” and my favorite, “You had me at hello.” But it’s also an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to make your own “mission statement,” course correct, and change your life.