. CEFMA Monthly Membership Spotlight - Keisha Dunlap, Nate Cash :: NACDA :: Official Athletic Site
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CEFMA Monthly Membership Spotlight - Keisha Dunlap, Nate Cash

Feb. 5, 2018

In an effort to showcase our members, each month we will be featuring one new CEFMA member and one CEFMA veteran member.  

For January, we will highlight Keisha Dunlap, senior associate commissioner and chief operating officer at Conference USA and Nate Cash, athletic facilities and operations assistant at Centre College


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Keisha Dunlap, Senior Associate Commissioner/Chief Operating Officer, Conference USA
Alma Mater
Eastern Illinois University

How many years have you worked in athletics/what are your previous experiences?
13 years at Conference USA 
- Senior Associate Commissioner/COO 
- Senior Associate Commissioner 
- Associate Commissioner for Sports Services 
- Assistant Commissioner for Sports Services 
- Director of Sports Services 
- Assistant Director of Championships 

2 1/2 years at University of Arkansas 
- Director of Compliance/Financial Aid Officer 
- Assistant Director of Compliance and NCAA CHAMPS Life Skills Coordinator 

1 year at Loyola College in MD 
- Compliance Assistant 

1 year at Eastern Illinois University 
- Graduate Assistant Track & Field Coach

What is your favorite part about your job?
I enjoy being a resource to our 14 member schools and staffs.  I also like being heavily involved in the overall day to day operations of the Conference office.  Executing successful conference events (fall, winter and spring meetings, championships, media day events). 

I like that no day is like the other.  There are always new challenges popping up and I enjoy working with the staff and member schools to solve any issues. 

Why did you join CEFMA?
I joined CEFMA because I think it is important for conference event administrators to network and learn from others in the industry.  Although some of the subject matter is not on my day to day responsibility list, we work very closely with institutional facilities and events personnel so it’s important to establish those relationships and have a general understanding of the hot topics within the industry.

As someone working in facilities and event management, how does CEFMA help you?
CEFMA helps to connect me with my peers while also keeping me informed on the new and exciting trends within facilities and event management.  I've enjoyed forming relationships with our different vendors and sponsors and am able to take that information back to my conference as a resource to our member schools in executing successful championships and events.

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment since joining the field?
Honestly my proudest moment has been having the opportunity to grow and elevate within intercollegiate athletics.  We are very lucky to work in this industry and I take great pride it moving into my most recent position as COO.  I think in order to work in this field, you have to have a passion for sports and love what you do.  I'm blessed to be where I am.

What's the best event that you've worked on or participated in thus far in your career?
The best event is an upcoming event in March where our conference will host our basketball championships at The Star in Frisco, TX (Dallas Cowboys practice facility).  It is a new, innovative and exciting venture for our league and it’s been very exciting to plan the event from scratch.  I have utilized many CEFMA connections in the planning process.


When you're not spending time on campus or at athletics events, where/how do you like to spend your time?
I enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. I am lucky to have a lot of my immediate family in the same city so it’s great to spend time with them.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don't know.
Most people probably don't think that I am a sucker for the bad reality television.  I refuse to name any shows as I don't want you to judge me.  :)

Do you have any advice for administrators that are young in their careers?
My advice to young administrators would be to treat people the right way.  You never know how one interaction could affect you in the future (good or bad).  It’s so important to be authentic and be nice to people.  It goes a long way!

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Nate Cash, Athletic Facilities and Operations Assistant, Centre College  
Alma Mater
Roanoke College / Currently pursuing Master’s at Southern New Hampshire University

How many years have you worked in athletics/what (if any) are your previous experiences?
Nearly two years.  I began my career as an Athletic Facilities and Events Intern at University of Maryland Baltimore County following my graduation from Roanoke College in 2016.  I accepted my current role at Centre College in march of 2017.

What is your favorite part about your job?
Having the opportunity to work with every team, and be involved in the operations of every sport.  The variety of experiences from season to season, and even week to week, are my favorite part of the job.

What are your long-term goals in this industry?
I hope to stay in college athletics and move into administration, one day becoming an Athletic Director or Associate AD.

What is one thing you wish you would've known when starting your career in facilities and event management?
Looking back, I wish I had a better grasp on the many aspects and facets involved in event management.  Athletic event managers often find themselves coordinating the operations of at least three or four departments within athletics (marketing, sports information, security, game ops, equipment, etc.) on game days.  I spent the first several months as an intern at UMBC wrapping my head around the wide scope of responsibility.  I now find this to be one of my favorite parts of athletic event management, but I wish I had a more full understanding from the beginning.

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment since joining the field?
My proudest moment was accepting my current job, which is my first full-time role in college athletics.  After spending my senior year of college and first several months after graduation searching for the right fit to begin to my professional career, I was proud and thrilled to receive this full-time opportunity with Centre College.

What's the best event that you've worked on or participated in thus far in your career?
During my senior year of college I had the opportunity to intern at the Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championship in Baltimore.  Aside from getting to see some great basketball, it was an enlightening experience that played a significant role in my choice of college athletics as a career path.

Why did you join CEFMA?
CEFMA offered an opportunity to network with others within this specific field of work.


As someone working in facilities and event management, how does CEFMA help you?
CEFMA puts me in contact with many others in my field who have both similar and differing experiences to me.  The input of others is valuable in any situation.

When you're not spending time on campus or at athletics events, where/how do you like to spend your time?
I like to run, though I don't as often as I would like to.  I spend most of my time outside of away from campus working on my Master’s degree which I hope to complete within the next year.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don't know.
I attended the same high school as Michael Phelps, making the past several Summer Olympic games particularly thrilling.


About CEFMA: CEFMA is dedicated to the needs of collegiate level event and facility professionals and the challenges that exist within the scope of their responsibilities. CEFMA will seek to promote the growth, leadership, integrity and success of administrators and professional staff in collegiate athletics. For more information about CEFMA, please visitwww.cefma.netCEFMA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 53rd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.