CSL Daily

February 28, 2017

Hat Tip Tuesday

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities.


Jenna Orner (’17) has been hired as an assistant volleyball coach at Middle Tennessee State. Most recently, Jenna was a graduate assistant with VCU Women’s Volleyball while enrolled in the full-time, on-campus cohort. Jenna will transition to our Distance Learning program to complete her master’s degree.

Taleah Scott (’16) has been hired as an Events Coordinator and Coach for Beyond Sticks 
an organization whose mission is to “empower young people through sport”, specifically field hockey. Taleah wiIl be leading some of their programs and overall administration which is based in Northern Virginia.

John Krikorian (’18) was named CAC Coach of the Year for leading Christopher Newport Men’s basketball to the regular season and conference tournament championships. John becomes just the 7th coach in conference history to win the award in back-to-back years. The Captains are 25-2 and will ride a 19 game winning streak into the NCAA Division 3 Tournament which starts Friday. John is currently enrolled in our Distance Learning Program, working towards his master’s degree.


February 24, 2017

CSL’s Charles Featured by Service Learning Office

As part of her Leadership in Sport class in the Fall, Dr. LeCrom institutes a service learning project. Our graduate students are part of hundreds across campus that participate in service learning. The VCU Division of Community Engagement Service Learning Office asked those students to fill out a survey the Service-Learning Impact Measure (SLIM) evaluation. The SLIM evaluations help service-learning staff understand the service students participate in, measure the unique learning benefits of service-learning and improve the service-learning program at VCU. to get a clear picture of the experience and impact.

Of the 314 students that filled out the survey, current CSL student Evan Charles had his story highlighted by SLO.

“For me the experience was very impactful,” Charles said. “I think the athletes I worked with were very inspiring and provided a whole different perspective on day-to-day life. I’m really glad I was a part of the project, and I plan to continue to work with them in the future.”

You can read the entire article here

February 24, 2017

Brown (’10) Shares Sales Experience

Everyone had the same questions but no one wanted to ask it.  Doren Brown (’10) is the Manager for Suite Sales for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home for the Atlanta Falcons, which opens next Fall.

Brown didn’t wait for the questions to be asked. “The Super Bowl experience was incredible…until the fourth quarter.” He was referencing the unprecedented comeback by the New England Patriots who defeated the Falcons in overtime to win Super Bowl LI earlier this month. “It hurts. I feel terrible for the players. Still, making that Super Bowl run has been great for what we are trying to accomplish with the new stadium. Winning certainly drives sales.”

For most of the last five years, Brown has worked for Legends, a leading sales & hospitality company that specializes in Ticket Sales & Marketing, Merchandising Sales, Tours, Catered Events, Financial Market Feasibility, and Concessions. Brown worked for Legends in Dallas, selling premium seats for the Cowboys, before moving to Atlanta to work with the Falcons and their new stadium.

He admitted he didn’t want to work in sales when he graduated from the CSL. He was working in operations for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he realized, in the NFL, there was many more job opportunities in sales than ops. He switched to sales and hasn’t looked back.

“I realized many of the skills that I had and developed through my ops job transferred to sales. It made for an easier transition.”

The final piece of sales advice he shared mirrored what other guest speaker in this class have said: be resilient. “You will hear “no” a lot but you have to keep moving ahead. Stay positive and stay enthusiastic.”

February 24, 2017

Collaborative Spirit in Action

We have always valued our partnership with VCU Athletics. More than half of our cohort has graduate assistantships with the athletic department, offering them practical, real-world industry experience.

On Thursday, we saw a perfect example of how our partnership extends beyond the  GA experience.  VCU Deputy AD Jon Palumbo spoke to our Sport Business class about budgeting in college athletics. A few hours later, CSL Executive Director Carrie LeCrom spoke to the Rams Women’s Basketball team about best practices for job interviews.

“We are extremely lucky to have this type of connection with our athletic department. It doesn’t exist for many sports management programs across the country,” said LeCrom. “Collaborative is one of our core values and we strive to connect and work with groups across VCU’s campus.”


February 23, 2017

Alumni Profile-Ryan Hall (’09)

Ryan Hall is a shining example of someone who set their sights on a goal and went after it. While enrolled at the CSL, Hall was unsure of what area of sports he wanted to pursue. He always enjoyed coaching and shortly after graduation, took a position as the head soccer coach at Benedictine College Preparatory in Richmond. Soon, he was asked to serve as assistant Athletic Director. It was then that he set his plan to be a high school AD. Little did he think it would be at Benedictine, where is completed his fourth year as AD. He is also the Head Wrestling Coach and just led the Cadets to the fourth straight state championship. This Q & A was conducted by graduate student Vincent Greene


Vincent Greene: How has what you learned during your time as a student in the CSL translated to the current job?

Ryan Hall: When working in groups for CSL projects, learning how to deal with different individuals was a big lesson. It is necessary to have an open frame of mind because you’re going to deal with different types of people and personalities. Also, having the flexibility to be able to work with others for the common good was a skill I also took away from the program.


VG: Who is the most influential person you have met in the industry, and how did they impact you professionally?

RH: At the center of my circle of influence, Dr. LeCrom was the most influential for me. She insisted that I follow what I want to do, but was always there to offer advice on how to do it. She helped give me an open mind on different areas to dive into for job opportunities. Additionally, she helped guide me through the experiences I had and narrow down what was best for me.


VG: What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome working in this industry, and how did you do it?

RH: Getting to where I wanted to be was my hardest obstacle to overcome. I wanted to be Athletic Director at the high school level and build or improve upon an already successful athletic program. I just wanted to get there, but I could not put a time frame on the process. I also wanted a family and to live in a good area. I had all these wants and did not want to wait. However, I took a job in admissions after my assistant AD position, despite not wanting the job. I kept my mind open on the position, and afterward year I was promoted to Head Athletic Director. Had I not taken that position, I may not have the role I have now.


VG: What unique challenges do you face at your position that people may not be aware of or maybe you didn’t anticipate prior to starting there?

RH: Finding that balance between being a coach and the AD is one of the toughest positions I face daily. Being the AD obviously has to come first. Also, dealing with parents that pay tuition for a private school causes a different challenge because they feel they are paying money to the school and their child should be playing. It is hard to explain to parents why their kid is not playing even though their child did not put in the work that another child did. You have to be honest with parents and where their child stands.I did not expect to have to deal with that as much as I do at this level. Communication among kids, colleagues and parents is key to success for any department to be successful.



VG: What is the best advice you would give to a current student in the CSL in reference on how to manage their expectations of trying to get that “dream job” right after graduation?

RH: Bluntly put, you’re not going to get your dream job right after graduation. CSL is the foundation of where you want to go. Through CSL, you will gain the tools to be successful, but then you have to make something of it. Having an open mind, patience, honesty with yourself and those around you, and a good work ethic are essential to get you to your end goal.



February 22, 2017

Doughty Talks Event Logistics

One of our SEED groups got a strong dose of reality a few weeks ago when they learned the facility they were planning to use was no longer available. They quickly learned there was no time to complain or panic. They just needed to work the problem. Their non-profit partner helped them find an alternative location and the planning is back on course.

Today’s guest speaker said that problem is common in the world of event logistics and venue management. Nate Doughty is the Assistant AD for Facilities & Event Management for VCU Athletics. He is the main point of contact for any event held in VCU Athletic facilities, whether it’s a Ram sporting event or an event hosted by an outside group.

For example, Nate and his team will get he Siegel Center ready for a VCU men’s basketball game on Wednesday night. As soon as it’s over, they will convert the Siegel Center for a major VCU Athletics fundraiser on Friday night. As soon as that event concludes, the facility staff will convert the arena back to basketball for the VCU women’s team playing on Sunday.

Doughty told our students planning, preparation and the ability to adapt are key assets to facility management. The five community based sporting events being planned and executed through our SEED class will take place at five different venues.  To maximize the success of the event, each group must understand their venue’s strengths and limitations. They must anticipate potential problems from parking to concessions.

Doughty believes constant evaluation of your plan can detect potential issues before your event day.