Lessons Fellows and Young Ambassadors Learn from Georgetown Sports Leadership Panel

Leadership In Sports and Beyond, |  Written by: Olivia Chang, 2016 ILF Fellow

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L-R: Ray Wu, Jimmy Lynn, Coach Rob Sgarlata, Jo’el Kimpela, Erica Lee, and Chiling Tong

July 9, 2016

The Georgetown Sports panel unexpectedly rose to the top as one of my favorite panels. We were fortunate to have Jimmy Lynn, Rob Sgarlata, Ray Wu, and Jo’el Kimpela as our panelists and Erica Lee as the moderator. Sitting together in an intimate circle, the ILF fellows as well as the Young Ambassadors were fully engaged as the panelists shared their stories and advice for the future.

Erica Lee shared some of her accomplishments since her time as an ILF Fellow in 2005 with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Her passion for her work lies in sports, entertainment, and nonprofit sectors. It was inspiring to hear about her desire to give back to younger generations through education and technology.

Jimmy Lynn, a special advisor at Georgetown as well as managing partner of Lynn associates, talked about the importance of mentors. He emphasizes that he would not be where he is today, without the support and guidance from his mentors. He touches on his belief of giving back and providing that same support for other young students. Mr. Lynn will choose about ten students every year from the football team to mentor and support. Helping them build connections and provide them with experiences they will hopefully utilize throughout their lives. With all his achievements and successes in his career, it was nice to learn about his efforts to give back. Jo’el Kimpela shared his experience at Georgetown as an athlete, student, and mentee of Mr. Lynn’s. Jo’el shared his opportunities and experiences that he has had since attending Georgetown and his future plans.

Coach Rob Sgarlata’s story was inspiring as well as empowering. His dedication to Georgetown University, both on and off the football field. His devotion to the success of his team and his players, academically and athletically. Explaining the college career of a student athlete which include waking up early for morning practices, conditioning or weight training during on and off season, traveling for games, and finding time to study. As a coach, he strives to create an environment for his athletes succeed in all areas. He emphasizes the importance of education and instills this belief within his team. His efforts as well as his teams have not gone unrecognized as the Georgetown Hoyas have received a perfect APR score of 1,000, the highest in the program’s history.

Ray Wu, an entrepreneur, trusted advisor, and arbiter talked to us about his career and some of his current projects. He shared with us his journey, some tough decisions he had made along the way, and advice to keep in mind when making decisions in regards to your career. One of his current projects he mentioned was the partnership with NBA and Disney, working together to create an NBA experience in Downtown Disney. This is a idea utilizing newly designed technology creating a unique interactive experience for customers.

The panel was unlike other ones in the aspect that it felt more personal. We had the opportunity to get to know the panelists and hear about their background more extensively. It was interesting to hear about the path the panelists started on, where they ended up, if they chose a career path completely different, and what were contributing factors to the change. As we, ILF fellows and Young Ambassadors, are thinking about our future and preparing to make important life decisions it is helpful to hear from others. Having this opportunity to gain a larger perspective and valuable lessons is undoubtedly beneficial to our future. Thank you to everyone who helped put this together event together, this was an experience to remember!
After the Georgetown Panel, some of the ILF fellows hopped on a bus with the Young Ambassadors to tour the monuments on the National mall. This was a great chance to bond and get to know each other. Many of the Ambassadors were amazed by the detail and size of the monuments. Although it was hot outside, the young ambassadors explored the National Mall taking in the history and culture the monuments represent. All the while, sharing stories of childhood memories, college experiences, or future plans. Even though the Young Ambassadors are only here for a short period of time, the monument tour hopefully provided them with a sense of American pride, culture, history, and patriotism. Additionally, I hope they enjoyed the tour and exploring the National Mall.