July 31, 2018
#NAADD25th: In honor of NAADD's 25 years of commitment to the development of collegiate athletics, NAADD will be featuring the full testimonials of Past Presidents throughout 2018.
Here is the full testimonial from Jane (Myers) Zwierlein, NAADD President for 2007-08 and retired director of the Bowling Green State University Falcon Club.
Over 28 years in collegiate athletics development, Zwierlein enjoyed remarkable success and achievement. Through athletics development and fundraising, Zwierlein helped elevate the Falcons to new heights. While at BGSU, one of Zwierlein's greatest achievements was her direct involvement in the Bring Back the Glory Campaign, aimed at restoring BGSU ice hockey as one of the nation's elite programs. She played an integral role in BGSU athletics fundraising during her tenure, and was a key figure in securing a $20 million leadership gift meant to raise the profile of the BGSU men's basketball program.
Zwierlein made a tremendous impact on BGSU athletics by creating engagement, passion and interest from its fans, community members, alumni and supporters. Her work undoubtedly improved the BGSU student-athlete experience, and the increased the visibility of BGSU athletics on the national stage. In the summer of 2007, Zwierlein took over the reins from June's featured Past President, Ross Bjork and became just the third women preside over the Association. Through her tireless efforts and dedication at Bowling Green and within NAADD, Zwierlein was awarded the prestigious NAADD Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, cementing her legacy as a stalwart in the collegiate athletics development industry.
Here is what Jane had to say about NAADD:
Why should someone become a NAADD member?
I think that being associated with NAADD enhances ones' professional career by providing an association that grows with them through their career in athletics development and beyond.
What has NAADD meant to you?
NAADD has been most meaningful to me as I spent my entire career at the same institution. The Association allowed me to meet and get to know colleagues from across the country and to share best practices in an effort to add value to my work at my institution. It also gave me a network of not only colleagues but longtime friends that I felt comfortable calling on throughout my career.
What impact did your time as NAADD President have on you as a professional?
It totally enhanced my career as a development professional and personally as well. As President of such an illustrious association, it propelled me onto a much larger stage than I would have ever experienced otherwise. It provided me the opportunity to learn and put into practice leadership skills. The experience took my craft to another level.
What is your fondest memory of serving as NAADD President?
I have always loved the mentoring sessions at Convention. Having arrived at my development position through the volunteer ranks and without an identified mentor, it has been rewarding to share career experiences, both positive and negative, with others entering the profession. While I enjoyed "giving back" and being open to discussing and sharing strategies with those new to the profession it also was tremendously beneficial to me to "re-energize" in my profession.
How do you see NAADD progressing in the next five years? Next ten years?
While we give considerable time to those new to the profession, I think there is also a great need for more programming for those wanting to take steps to manage their own development "shops". It is one thing to lead yourself and have success but it is another to lead and manage a staff to be at their peak performance.
As more and more unfortunate issues hit the collegiate athletics front, I think that there may a larger group of athletics professionals who make the conscious choice to not "climb the ladder" of athletics administration and rather choose to find their niche of expertise in areas that they have more control and autonomy. I think we will then see that more may be content to make a career out of athletics development as a lifelong career choice rather than the step to the athletics director role.
Check @NAADDevelopment on Thursday as NAADD features 2008-09 President, Matt Donovan, associate director of athletics for development at the University of Indianapolis as August's Past President Testimonial.
Stay up-to-date on the 25th Anniversary celebration and all things NAADD related by following @NAADDevelopment on Twitter by using the hashtag #NAADD25th and #PastPresidentTestimonial.
About NAADD: NAADD is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of athletics development and fund raising. For more information about NAADD, please visit www.naadd.com. NAADD is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 54th year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.