HSE Employee Feature: Meet Director of Group Sales, Theresa Power

by Sam Pereley

Throughout the month of March, Hornets.com will be featuring different employees across multiple departments in the organization in conjunction with Women’s History Month.

Describe what you do with the Charlotte Hornets organization.

“I’m Director of Group Sales, where we wear a lot of different hats within the organization. Our primary function is selling tickets and filling the building with as many people as possible. We create theme nights, activate our fan experiences like high-five tunnels and Court of Dreams and basically bring groups of people out for one or two events a year. I manage a staff of seven who are really creating ideas and selling, while I’m facilitating and activating with other departments and looking for new ways for my team to be successful.”

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

“I had two professors that really took me under their wings – one male, one female. They helped me and a few others develop a Baseball and Softball Operations internship the second half of my senior year since I’d finished school in three-and-a-half years at Coastal Carolina University. That experience really showed me what the sports industry was about.”

“Even before we won the 2016 Men’s College World Series, we had a great baseball and softball program, but nobody in the stands. We tried to figure out how we could change that and we had some good successes with it. We were doing everything that we could to generate interest, which opened the door to sales and marketing for me. I figured that would be a path that I could follow.”

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

“I think it’s a good time for us all to reflect. Since the 1920’s and looking back at women’s history, we’ve made so many great strides, but we also still have a lot of work to do. I think there’s some movements going on that bring that to light, but this is really a time to look at the accomplishments of those who have come before us and equality opportunities when it comes to glass ceilings, pay and different things that we see in corporate America. It’s a great time to reflect on what has been done and the progress that’s been made, but also teach others, especially the next generation, what lies ahead and ideally, where we can get to in the future.”

How do you see yourself as a role model amongst women in sports?

“I do see that I have made strides, especially on the sales front. There aren’t a lot of women in sports, which was especially prominent in New York, where I used to work. If you work hard, it doesn’t have to be a male-dominated industry or management staff. We’re just as capable and with a strong work ethic and perseverance, it all pays off. You obviously have to be dedicated and put in the time. When I have women who start here, come in and sit with me for a little while, I always touch on that notion. I want to make it a comfortable place to say like, ‘Hey, this is the world that we live in and the industry that we’re in, but we’re in this together.’ I think that helps set the tone of being in it with them. I get people that reach out from college or other jobs that I’ve had who have said I’ve been a great example. That’s always great to hear.”

Who are the most influential female role models in your life (personal or non-personal)?

“I think aside from obviously my family and great group of female friends, I’d have to say professional golfer Annika Sörenstam. In 2003, she became the first woman to play on the PGA Tour since 1945 and was one of the first that I looked to in terms of breaking gender barriers. I actually wrote my high school thesis on her and went to see her in a couple tournaments. I’ve played golf my whole life and just the way that she came on the scene was inspiring. She held herself with composure and led by example. She just went out there and played in the men’s tournaments. She got a lot of positive feedback, but way more negative feedback. She just kept going doing what she wanted to do and living the dream that she had set forth for herself. That was the first person that I looked at and was like, ‘Wow, she’s badass.’ She had some male players tearing her apart and others that were like, ‘If you play from the men’s tees and make the scores, let’s go.’ I think there needs to be more of that across the board. What she did was a radical thing for that time, but now, it might not be as much.”

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