Black History Month Spotlight: Vice President of Security Operations Timothy Lea

In honor of Black History Month, the Kings organization is highlighting members of the team who have made an impact in their field while also representing their African American heritage.

How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?

As the Vice President of Security Operations, I’m responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of enterprise-wide security and crisis management strategies for the Sacramento Kings organization, to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. 

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

What I most enjoy about my job is the opportunity to create unique and seamless security protocols across an array of diverse events. Working with my team to ensure a best in class guest experience is very fulfilling. 

Who have been your biggest role models?

There’s been so many dear friends, national figures, and family members who have inspired me and served as role models. However, my mother has been my biggest role model. Growing up in the Jim Crow south, she was not afforded the opportunity to achieve some of the basic successes many enjoy in life. Nevertheless, she was steadfast in her determination to guide her family towards a better life. She taught me how to be resilient when faced with challenges, strength when I felt dismayed, and most importantly, humbleness and appreciation. Like many Black mothers, she sacrificed so much without consideration for herself. She had a vision of a better future for her family. 

How would you define Black culture, and why it’s important to celebrate?

Black culture is very unique and defines the beauty and richness of our heritage. It derives from generations of experiences prior to slavery, through slavery, and modern-day successes and challenges.

I feel it’s important to celebrate Black culture because it’s woven into the fabric of American culture. It’s also very important that younger generations learn about their culture and the extraordinary contributions Blacks have made to this country. Celebrating Black culture should be embraced with an equal amount of pride and joy as other cultural traditions and events.

What advice would you give to fellow African Americans who are striving to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry?

There are so many great opportunities in the sports and entertainment industry. I would advise fellow African Americans to be curious and explore the opportunities that you feel a connection to. Leverage your skills and experiences, and most importantly, be present and hold yourself accountable to be your best.

As we learn from the past and honor the legacy and contributions of Black leaders from history, how can each take action in the present to build a more just, equal, and inclusive future? 

I believe the gravitational pull towards a more just, equal, and inclusive society is right in front of us. The challenge is breaking the stigma of fear that many feel in regards to their own personal loss in an equality driven society. Breaking the generational cycle of learned racism and stereotypes aimed at others different from yourself are also significant barriers.

All generations must challenge themselves to be more thoughtful and willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Just as important, non-Blacks should not be made to feel totally responsible for the actions of past generations within their culture. Consistent and meaningful actions are key to continued progress. 

Why is it important to continue to encourage diversity in the workplace?

Diversity in the workplace simply makes us better. The enrichment of diverse professional and life experiences contributes to more thoughtful and meaningful engagements across all lines of business. Organizations that embrace this type of learning approach, create a more inclusive and productive work environment.