Black History Month Spotlight: Account Manager, Membership Services William Ursery
How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?
My current role with the Sacramento Kings is in membership sales and service, as an account manager of our partial ticket membership packages. I give our members dedicated year-round service during the season and off-season to assist and answer any question about their account and make sure they have a first in class memorable experience every time they enter the Golden 1 Center.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy getting to know my members and hearing about all their favorite Sacramento Kings memories and seeing the excitement on their faces on game night. For my members, I also assist with birthday messages on the video screen, player meet-and-greets, and many pre-and post-game fan experiences. To see the little kids light up when they get up close to their favorite players and get autographs makes the whole job so exciting, especially when you help organize it.
Who have been your biggest role models?
My biggest role model is my uncle, Sacramento City Councilman Rick Jennings. His life mission has always been to give back and serve in his community and along with his generosity and strong work ethic. He is an excellent example of how I want to continue to put people first. In addition to this, I appreciate how he is so confident in himself and his decision-making.
Many of his projects give back to his community. He is also the CEO of the Center for Fathers and Families, a Sacramento-based non-profit agency with a strong history of responding to the needs of fathers and their families. This is something that I admire because I believe helping others around you is of utmost importance. By leading with such a strong will and concern for those around him, Rick Jennings taught me how to believe in myself and others around me. Because of his commitment to service, I’m currently involved in giving back to my community through mentorship programs and various outreaches in Sacramento.
How would you define Black culture, and why it’s important to celebrate?
Black Culture is something incredible! Black Culture is taking pride in who you are and where you come from, we’ve made such progress over the years. We’ve gone from shackles to owning our own banks, real estate companies, restaurants, and many other thriving businesses. We as a culture must continue stepping out and creating a successful blueprint for the next generation to follow and to make bigger and better. We must celebrate our progress as a culture because 55 years ago we had to fight for civil rights, not to mention that our first 400 or so years in the Western World were spent in chains. Just think for a second. Black culture in America was established and continued for almost a half-millennium in bondage. We have been free from slavery for only 155 years. So, we need to continue to blaze the trail so we can look back 150+ years from now and not only embrace our roots but embrace our incredible progress.
What advice would you give to fellow African Americans who are striving to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry?
The most important piece of advice is to be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table. Never stop working hard. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You MUST be dependable and willing to always go the extra mile. The sports and entertainment industry is fast-paced and very exciting. So, come willing to work and be organized and the sky is the limit. We’re waiting on you.
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?
It is common to think that an inclusive model of behavior has to do with others. Instead, it is important to start with ourselves and our own level of awareness, openness, and information on the subject. The more we work on ourselves, it is easier to be sensitive to others and it is more natural to operate more inclusively.
Why is it important to continue to encourage diversity in the workplace?
Decisive and collective action is needed to build a workplace that promotes cohesion, embraces diversity, nurtures talent, offers opportunities for everyone which helps to improve livelihoods and workplaces. Every company should and must adopt progressive policies and practices which eliminate bias and discrimination to create a culture that’s equitable for everyone.