. 20 Questions with Cheryl Cain :: NACDA :: Official Athletic Site
» «
20 Questions with Cheryl Cain

May 22, 2018

Name: Cheryl Cain
Position/Institution: Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Number of years in your position: 2 months / recently left Texas A&M-Kingsville - 20 years
Alma Mater(s): Ithaca College and University of North Texas (MBA)
Hometown: Burley, Idaho

Why did you become involved in ICLA?
My office had just been assigned all the licensing duties, and I was looking for some information to help with our developing program. ICLA looked like a great way to learn more about licensing and the industry.

How has your involvement with ICLA influenced your career?
It has certainly broadened my understanding of collegiate licensing, but more than that, I think it has helped me move beyond just doing the minimum tasks to keep the program afloat. It helped me start building a plan to expand our program.

If you could choose one (1) amenity to add to the workplace, what would it be?
A frozen margarita machine. Just kidding. I’d add a day spa with a margarita machine.

What is the biggest challenge to working in a university environment?
I think people don’t always see the university as a brand since it’s not a corporation. Sometimes they feel a sense of ownership, especially if they’re alumni. That can be great if they understand the brand, but when they think their status as alumni allows them to alter the brand or sell it on their own, it causes some delicate issues.

What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?
Staying calm under pressure or in an emergency situation is an essential skill. Sometimes it’s still an effort not to take that stress home with me, but I’m always trying to be aware of it!

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I might take up sailing. I like being on the water and would enjoy the quiet space.

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
They usually want me to help them write something or find the right words for something they have to say.

Why/when did you decide to pursue a career in collegiate licensing?
I guess it was decided for me! Our campus used to have three different offices involved: one for approving vendors, one for approving art, and one for managing royalties. When that hot mess got cleaned up, my area was tapped to take on everything with great assistance and teaching from Strategic Marketing Affiliates at that time. It made sense to me, and it was fun to take on more than art approvals and actually get to strategize about expanding the program.

Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Our current chief of staff, Randy Hughes, has been the most influential person in my career. He’s been at the university about 35 years and is an alumnus. He has held a variety of roles on campus, and I can easily say he is the most professional, unselfish person I’ve encountered anywhere. He leads by example and knows how to mentor and support people without being intrusive. He also has a great sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously, and I think that’s a great trait.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
This assumes that I sleep, which isn’t always the case! I really like to travel, so I guess that’s what I would do.

Who’s your role model? Why?
My Dad is my role model because he has always worked hard and been honest, and he treats everyone with respect regardless of their role.

What’s your favorite quote?
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." –Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when the pay at the pump function doesn’t work and I have to go inside to pay for my gas.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal a for?
Dropping my cell phone down a flight of stairs.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the field of collegiate licensing?
Best advice: Listen more than you talk.

Advice to someone interested in collegiate licensing: Be prepared to be an ambassador within your organization and outside of it, too.

In your opinion, where is collegiate licensing headed in the future?
I think it will continue growing in importance particularly at the DII level.

What is your favorite family tradition?
We relax on Christmas Eve and just eat our favorite finger foods and assorted snacks and hang out together. We also watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year.

What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you are good at it?
I can name an embarrassing number of songs after hearing the first note (and in several genres). It’s a holdover from my days in the radio business and possibly a misspent youth.

What percentage of your work-week is spent in your office?
25% on a good day!

What are you most looking forward to at the next ICLA Convention or Winter Symposium?
I’m looking forward to continuing to meet people. It’s great to hear what has worked elsewhere and also to learn that other people have the same issues.

About ICLA: ICLA provides educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of collegiate licensing. For more information on ICLA, please visit www.iclanet.com. ICLA 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