Black History Month Employee Feature: Meet Ronata Rogers

by Quinton Wash

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 the Communications Assistant. I support all department initiatives, events and activations. My daily responsibilities include travel lists, compiling daily press clippings, assisting the digital team with Xytech submissions, transcribing media availabilities, assisting the Corporate Social Responsibility team with some of its events and activations if needed and any other administrative duties.”

What experience(s) have had the most significant impact on your career in sports?

“When I was an undergraduate student at Winthrop University, I had the opportunity to complete my field experience with Felicia Hall-Allen & Associates. She played basketball at the University of Iowa and went on to get her law degree from the school as well. At the time, I was playing college basketball and I wanted to go to law school, so we had similar backgrounds. She introduced me to Natalie White, who at the time, was working for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. This really helped me get my foot in the door and learn more about the professional sports industry. You see things from more of a business perspective when you’re no longer the athlete, so that was really influential for my sports journey. Felicia has always told me to extend that helping hand back to other students who are looking to you as a role model.”

“Also, when I was in grad school, I had the opportunity to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis. It focused on assisting student-athletes in their transition from competing to getting into their careers. The discussions included career plans, job searches and how to navigate the athletics industry. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the sports industry and I think the forum is vital because it helps student-athletes take that next step, which is really key to developing your own path.”

What does Black History Month mean to you?

“Black History Month is a celebration for young African Americans to understand and be proud of their heritage. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the historic leaders in the Black community. It’s also a time to learn and recognize more leaders that we don’t often hear about. And it gives opportunities to those of other races to learn more about the past and people in Black history.”

How do you see yourself as a role model in the Black community? 

“I don’t only see myself as a role model in the Black community, but for other young girls and boys who are interested in getting a foot in the door and starting their journey in sports. I think it’s important to work hard, continue to push and put your name out there. I want to share my experiences and make an impact and imprint on the world.”

Who are the most influential Black role models in your life?

“I would definitely say my parents, Pam and Ron Rogers. They’ve always pushed me to excel and give everything my best, no matter how challenging something is. They’ve never let me give in. They’ve always preached that when you take on a job, task, responsibility or whatever it may be, you see it all the way through. As public servants, my parents have instilled in me how important it is to lead a life of service. As police officers, they have dedicated their lives to serving others and our community. I'm inspired by their selflessness and I'm thankful for the lifelong lessons."

“I also see Carla Williams as a role model. She is the first Black female Athletic Director in a Power 5 institution at the University of Virginia. It’s powerful because there aren’t many women in decision-making positions, so it’s inspiring to see somebody who looks just like me hold such a high-ranking role.”

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