Throughout the month of February, Hornets.com will be highlighting employees across different departments within the organization in celebration of Black History Month
Describe what you do with the Charlotte Hornets organization.
“I am a Senior Human Resources Coordinator. My role involves helping to develop the training processes, the recruiting and employer relations. I support the recruiting process, so bringing in all of our staff, including full-time, part-time and interns. Without them – especially our part-time employees and interns – our organization wouldn’t run as well as it does. I work and help support programs like Buzz City U, which is a series of internal developmental classes and workshops for our employees. I also assist with different projects like onboarding, employee engagement, developing handbooks and making sure our policies and procedures are in place.”
What experience(s) have had the most significant impact on your career in sports?
“A few years ago, I had some family struggles with my sister and my niece, which led to them being homeless. My sister is completely self-sufficient now, but watching the non-profit organizations help her get to the point of sustainability had a huge impact on me. I knew from that point on that I wanted to be one of those people who helped others. I went into that field for a bit after studying non-profit management in graduate school before I realized there were little opportunities for growth at the nonprofit that I was working for at the time. That’s when I started to think about what I could do and still be able to help people in my career. That’s when I landed in Human Resources.”
What does Black History Month mean to you?
“For me, Black History Month is just a small time period in the year where we get to recognize changes in not only the Black community, but in the world that were inspired by those in the Black community. We recognize the bigger leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and people like that, but also the smaller names of people we don’t hear about as much or ever. If that one random woman in the grocery store that one day started a whole movement, then we can be a part of it as well no matter what color we are.”
How do you see yourself as a role model in the Black community?
“Coming from the non-profit background especially, one thing that is huge for me is generational wealth. I teach that to my friends, family members, little cousins, siblings, anyone and everyone who will listen. I explain the importance of retirement, a budget, working more than just a part-time job because you don’t want to work for the rest of your life. I try to spread my knowledge and show people if I can manage my budget and pay my bills on time, others can as well.”
“For example, saving for larger purchases and rainy days is a huge factor in ending this vicious cycle of poverty. Things like comparing benefit plans when picking a job is something a lot of people (not just in the Black community) don’t know how to do or realize they don’t know how to do it. Making them aware and giving them the resources and knowledge to make an informed decision is critical whenever the time comes to get a job offer, prepare for a child that’s on the way or buy a home in the future.”
Who are the most influential Black role models in your life?
“Personally, it would absolutely be my grandmother, Mary, who I call my Nana. She pretty much raised me and was always the person who said, ‘Don’t say you can’t. You always can. Maybe it’s not working out the way you planned, but there’s a reason for that. Go after whatever you want and figure it out along the way. Don’t be afraid to take chances if it’s what you want to do.’ Those simple words were such a big deal to me because I’ve seen parents discourage their children from going after what they want, even something beneficial like going across the country to attend college or doing a study abroad program. Things like that would broaden your experiences in life, but sometimes parents keep their children from doing that because of their own fears. My grandmother is a fearless woman and she instilled that in me. I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am today without her.”