Black History Month Spotlight: Director of Event Production, Cicely Nash
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.
This week, we spoke with Director of Event Production Cicely Nash.
How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?
As Director of Event Production for the Sacramento Kings, I oversee the execution of all Kings related events and special events at Golden 1 Center along with managing our dedicated events team.
Who have been your biggest role models?
I have been blessed to have so many role models through my personal life and career. My former supervisors Monique Boyd and Toni Hill are a few of my important mentors that I always look for advice in my career. Growing up in a sports family surrounded by men, my role models have also been amazing men in my family, colleagues, and peers that steered me in the right direction when facing challenges or questions.
In what ways do you celebrate your African American heritage?
I make a conscious effort of being proud and celebrating my heritage as a black woman every day. I strive to be a mentor to young black professionals seeking guidance within the early stages of their careers. African American history is American history so I also try to learn as much history outside of what has been taught in schools through reading literature, visiting museums, and various media platforms.
I also pay close attention in spending my money on local black businesses or entrepreneurs within the community in hope of playing a small part in pushing revenue to those outlets.
What advice would you give to fellow African Americans who are striving to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry?
I would say to anyone that is young and striving to have a career in this business is to continue to be patient and nurture your career. We tend to have falsehoods about quick promotions within our positions when we haven’t taken the time to truly experience and understand if that career falls in line with our passion or goals in life.
Being a minority in the workplace, you are ultimately required to work harder than your colleagues because you will have many situations where you are treated differently but you cannot allow that to deter you from your success. You should also strategically create a network of people both in and out of your culture that are advocates in the growth of your career. Unfortunately, a majority of executives in the room who are making employment decisions will most likely not look like you so you have to ensure that you are creating a community of leaders who can speak on your behalf when opportunities arise.
Your reputation and work ethic in this industry are critical to defining your value within a sports organization. I would not have had the pleasure of working in this industry over the past 11 years without these attributes and awareness of learning from a diverse background of people. Keeping a positive attitude, hard work, networking, and appreciating a diverse community is the formula to being successful in this industry.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy having the opportunity to create memorable experiences for our guests in producing their events. The experiences that we offer allows my typical day to never be the same and I am continually motivated by our guests, who may have never been to Golden 1 Center, leave our events with amazement.
I tend to thrive on stressful moments and managing behind the scenes to ensure our guests have a first-class experience. This has always been the perfect job for me as it combines my love for sports and passion for events!
Why is it important to continue to encourage diversity in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace is vital to the success of businesses in our current climate. Creating a culture within a company that allows a variety of perspectives in making decisions increases profitability, creativity, productivity, and impact.
This type of workplace cultivates a better environment that influences the community of people to believe that they want to be a part of a company that believes in learning and growing among each other. People naturally want to see others that look like them in the workplace among all levels of positions (including leadership roles) to be inspired in ultimately paying it forward for the next generation of employees.