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MOAA Member Monday

June 12, 2017

Kevin Williams - Queens College

Why is MOAA so important to you?

MOAA is important to me because it enhances opportunities for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Name something unknown by most about you.

Balancing work and family is paramount. Despite the rigorous demands of the job, I also serve as the President of the Parent Group Association for my kids’ [Ashley (7) & Aiden (5)] school since 2013.  My ability to coordinate and raise funds for events allows me the capacity to hone my skills.  During my tenure, I have implemented Kindles into the classroom, raised over $60,000 as well as sit on the Executive Board implementing marketing and strategic plans for the school.

Why did you choose your chosen profession?

I’m living my dream! I did not take the traditional path to becoming an Assistant Athletic Director at Queens College. Although, I possess over 12 years of experience developing and executing integrated strategic internal and external communication plans to support objectives and shape positive business outcomes. I have only participated in collegiate athletics for two and half years.   As a former Division I football player I have always had a desire to work in sports.  My year's marketing to college universities at Taylor and Francis (academic publisher) coupled with my job as Parent Group President fostered my desire to work with kids building clarity around marketing strategies and staying in-line with MOAA’s mission of promoting and generating a sports culture that supports the values necessary to teach and learn.

What is one of the greatest aspects of being involved in athletics?

The greatest aspect of being involved in athletics is that I get paid to do something I love.  The ability to enhance our game day culture and add to our student-athletes collegiate experiences continue to be incredibly rewarding.

Most unexpected benefit to working in collegiate athletics.

The most unexpected benefit of working in college athletics has been my early success which has opened my eyes to a new career path and has enhanced my pursuit to become a Director of Athletics. I left a comfortable position after ten years to undertake a newly created position. In recognition of my outstanding performance within 12 months of joining the Queens College community, I was awarded the Rookie of the Year. This nomination consisted of all departments at the college and was presented by the President of the college due to my ability to step in and make an immediate impact through my ability to develop strategic marketing platforms for dynamic marketing outreach. Secure sponsorship opportunities which generated revenue, fans and a reduction in overhead cost. Management of the 40th  Anniversary of the 1st  Women’s Basketball game ever played at Madison Square Garden coupled with my ability to enhance the external relations overall performance through mentoring and training staff assuring a comprehensive commercial understanding of marketing industry processes, norms, and expectations.  

What is your favorite vacation spot?

My mother is a travel agent, so I grew up taking cruises with my family in which I have continued the tradition with my wife and kids.  Although, I have visited many beautiful Caribbean Islands. I’m looking forward to our first international cruise in August which departs Rome and set sails across the Western Mediterranean.  

If you could spend one day with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

If I could spend one day with anyone, it would be with Gene Smith, Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University. The ability to serve as a mentee and understand the career paths and experiences needed to succeed in this coveted position would provide me with a tremendous opportunity to grow in this industry.

What is your favorite movie? Why?

My favorite movie is Coming to America which is a timeless classic; Simply because I can write words like “Soul Glo” and “She’s your queen to be.” Are you laughing yet? Or better yet, just remembering?

What advice would you give yourself about the first five years (10 years – depending on where they are) of your career?

The advice I continue to try and give myself is to be patient! Understanding the culture, system, and policies at the university is key to developing and executing integrated strategic plans that shape positive business outcomes.

What would you tell a younger professional about the benefits of being a member of MOAA?

From a minority perspective, there is an unspoken feeling and added pressure we put on ourselves that we have to be better than our counterparts because not many people that look like us have this opportunity. Being a member of MOAA allows you to network and learn from great professionals that look like you and have faced similar challenges in the industry that are excelling in their careers.

What is one of the greatest aspects of being involved in athletics?

The greatest aspect of being involved in athletics is that I get paid to do something I love.  The ability to enhance our game day culture and add to our student-athletes collegiate experiences continue to be incredibly rewarding.

What is one of the best things that being a part of your chosen profession has allowed you to do?

Coming out of college my thoughts on working in sports was doing marketing for ESPN or a professional sports team. The ability to transition into the collegiate world has opened new doors for me.  The capacity to attend professional development conferences such as NACDA and learn from industry leaders and schools faced with the same issues has truly being a great opportunity to enhance my career.

If you hadn’t chosen a profession in athletics, what would your profession be?

I played football my whole life.  Sports is how I learned to make friends and bond with colleagues so it was inevitable that I would eventually work in athletics. After spending 10 years outside of the industry I have different perspective since it’s something I aspired to do for a long time.  The moment I walked onto the Queens College campus it just felt right! After returning to my job after my interview I knew a profession in athletics was the career path for me.

Best thing your mentor told you?

I currently do not have a mentor.  With that said, I was recently selected to the D2ADA Mentoring Program. The program seeks to build a foundation that encourages participants to pursue a long range career in athletics administration with an ultimate career goal of serving as a Division II Director of Athletics.