Meeting NASSM Series: Diversity Committee Co-Chairs

In the Spring of 2020, the NASSM Blog will be highlighting different individuals with NASSM leadership roles. We hope you enjoy getting to know them and learning more about NASSM. This week, we asked the co-chairs of the Diversity Committee to answer some questions about their role: (Note: These interviews were conducted in early February.)

Current faculty position: Trevor Bopp (Co-Chair), Assistant Professor, Department of Sport Management, University of Florida & Drew Pickett (Co-Chair), Assistant Professor, Division of Kinesiology & Sport Management, University of South Dakota

How long have you been at this institution? Bopp: I am in my 9th year & Pickett: I am in my 4th year.

Where are you from? Bopp: Alexandria, VA & Pickett: Tampa, FL

What are the primary responsibilities of the Diversity Committee (DC)? The Diversity Committee is charged with advising the Executive Council on all things related to equity and inclusion in NASSM. For example, this year we’ve undertaken a full review of the NASSM Constitution and Operating Codes, looking for potential areas of improvement to help the organization become more inclusive. During the annual conference, we host the Diversity Breakfast event, which aims to welcome attendees from all walks of life and help make connections with others. We also hold a workshop at the conference related to some aspect of diversity and inclusion. For example, last year the DC held a session on the unique needs of NASSM members from teaching institutions. From these sessions, we hope to gain feedback from members that can help us in our advisory role to the organization. As a shameless plug, this year we will host a session on Barriers to diversity and inclusion in NASSM leadership. In this session, we will explore obstacles faced by underrepresented groups in becoming part of the NASSM leadership. Through these and other activities, the DC is committed to serving as a liaison between members and the EC on all diversity-related issues.

What made you want to get involved with NASSM? Bopp: I thought it would be a good way to connect with scholars with similar interests. Additionally, I wanted to be a part of helping advance NASSM in this space. It also serves as an annual reunion with friends and academic acquaintances.  Pickett: I joined NASSM as a graduate student and have been a member ever since. As such, I consider NASSM my ‘conference home’ and I wanted to have a say in its future. My research work focuses on diversity and inclusion, so applying to join the DC seemed a natural fit.

How do you hope to contribute to NASSM through serving? Obviously, as a committee, our goal is see a more inclusive, equitable organization. This means constantly seeking input from a variety of organizational stakeholders and working with the EC to address members’ concerns and meet their needs.

What do you think are the biggest challenges NASSM faces? This year, the DC has honed in on two primary areas of concern, both of which are important for the continued growth of the organization.

First, we have a race problem at NASSM. In its history, NASSM has had very few people of color among its leadership ranks. Not surprisingly, at the most recent conference, concerns were raised about the under-representation of people of color and racial inclusivity of NASSM in comparison to other conferences in our field. As an organization, we must address the lack of racial diversity in leadership and better engage with scholars of color to make NASSM their “home conference”.

Secondly, we must also work to better address the needs of NASSM members at teaching-intensive institutions. As we have grown as a research organization, we have seen declining membership from pedagogically-focused institutions. In the most recent Climate Survey, one common theme suggested NASSM is failing to provide adequate value and meet the needs of individuals from teaching intensive schools. New ideas and initiatives to drive value for these individuals, such as an expanded Teaching & Learning Fair, are needed to (re)engage this group.

Addressing the needs of NASSM’s many varied stakeholder groups is vital for our continued growth and success as an organization. NASSM relies on conference attendance and professional membership as primary revenue sources. Therefore, to continue to be successful, we must continue to look for ways to reduce barriers to entry and better represent all of our members.

Dream NASSM destination: Bopp: As long as I have funding, I will go anywhere. Pickett: I’m from Florida and live in South Dakota (often still below freezing in May/ June), so anywhere warmer works for me!

Meeting NASSM Series: Marketing & Communications Committee Chair

(Note: These interviews were conducted in February.)

Current faculty position: Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

How long have you been at this institution? 5 years

Where are you from? Oswego, New York

What are your primary responsibilities in your role as M&C Chair? I oversee strategic marketing and communications initiatives for NASSM, including this blog, social media, an affiliated podcast, and the Google Group list. As Chair of the committee, I also manage all email communications to society members, which requires me to liaise with EC members and other NASSM committees.

What made you want to get involved with NASSM? I first got involved with NASSM as a student representative in 2014 as a way to serve and network with others. As Chair of the M&C Committee, I would say the same is true—I have had the opportunity to get to know other people serving NASSM, who would otherwise just be familiar faces I see each May/June. In addition, as a woman in a male-dominated field, I think it is important to be involved and have a voice in matters.

How do you hope to contribute to NASSM through serving? Since becoming Chair of the M&C Committee, I think I have helped to improve strategic efforts to grow NASSM via multiple communication platforms, as others have done in this role before me. Last year, we conducted a survey with NASSM members on communication preferences, which allowed us to make informed recommendations to the EC on the direction of NASSM’s marketing and communication efforts moving forward.

What do you think are the biggest challenges NASSM faces? I will speak specifically to marketing and communications, since that is where my experience with NASSM has focused. Given rapid technological changes and evolving preferences for communication in general, our committee has been challenged with adapting to promote NASSM in ways that will connect with members. For example, a few years ago, we phased out our seasonal newsletter in favor of more frequent news updates via email and social media. On social media (particularly Twitter, where we are most active given our members’ presence), we have worked to establish a voice, allowing us to better engage with followers. More recently, we were able to partner with Dr. Matt Huml and his State of Sport Management podcast as an additional resource for NASSM members. Looking to the future, I can only assume it will be just as important for NASSM to monitor and adapt to changes in communication preferences to connect with and stay relevant to its members. Adding complexity to this challenge is the diversity of NASSM’s membership (demographically as well as the range in our professional roles), in that not everything we do will appeal to all members.

Dream NASSM destination: Hawaii every 4 years

Meeting NASSM Series: The NASSM business office

In the Spring of 2020, the NASSM Blog will be highlighting different individuals with NASSM leadership roles. We hope you enjoy getting to know them and learning more about NASSM. (Note: These interviews were conducted in early February.)

Robin Ammon is the Business Office Manager for NASSM and the Chair of Kinesiology and Sport Management at the University of South Dakota.

The Business Office Manager for the North American Society for Sport Management is one of the oldest positions in our organization. Since NASSM’s inception in 1986 there have only been two individuals in this position. The first was Garth Paton, from the University of Brunswick, who was the Business Office Manager from 1986-2002. I have held the position since 2002 and at the current time it is housed on the campus of the University of South Dakota. The Business Office Manager has a number of responsibilities, but they fall into three general categories: membership, financial and legal issues.

Membership
The duties pertaining to membership issues are far and away the largest and most complex of my responsibilities. Processing membership dues and conference registration for each attendee, as well as producing receipts for both, takes up the majority of my time. Once the membership registrations have been processed, membership information is forwarded to Human Kinetics, the publisher of the Journal of Sport Management and Sport Management Education Journal for members to receive access to their included copies. The relationship between Human Kinetics and NASSM dates back to the organization’s inception, so nurturing that relationship is vital. Membership information is also sent to TeamWork online, which provides a weekly industry update for current members. Finally, I produce membership lists and figures, as well as contact information, for the NASSM Executive Council as needed.

Since I am the only Executive Council (EC) member with almost 18 years of service, it is often my duty to provide a historical perspective regarding past decisions and background information about the society to current EC members. In addition, I am continuously communicating with NASSM members, prospective students, industry contacts as well as other interested parties to ensure that they receive accurate information pertaining to all matters related to the organization. The majority of member questions pertain to their membership, conference matters that include conference receipts and disputed charges, universities requesting membership information, plus other miscellaneous questions received by telephone, email, and surface mail (yes, I do receive at least one letter every month!) that is directed to the Business Office.

Designing and purchasing the main conference honors such as the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award, the Garth Paton Distinguish Service Award, the Distinguished Sport Management Educator Award, the Diversity Award and the Research Fellow Awards is part of the services provided by the Business Office Manager. Finally, I am responsible for providing payment to the Student Research competition winner, the NASSM Service Learning award winner as well as the Janet B. Parks NASSM Research Grant and the NASSM Doctoral Research Grant awardees.

Finally, in order to ensure seamless transition of member benefits as well as questions regarding the NASSM web site I communicate with the Web Administrator on a continuous basis.

Financial
The Business Office Manager pays all NASSM bills (membership and conference) and acts as the liaison between the society’s bank and the organization. I am responsible for reconciling NASSM’s accounts and consult with the NASSM Treasurer regarding our investment portfolio (certificates of deposit). I provide any financial information requested by the NASSM Treasurer or other Executive Council members. Another duty of the Business Office Manager is to deposit all NASSM revenues from members, outside agencies and conference sponsors.

Legal
Finally, the Business Office Manager serves as the liaison with NASSM’s intellectual property attorney and work to ensure the viability of NASSM’s name, trademark, and logo in the US and Canada. I provide support for the efficient operation and payments for NASSM’s General Liability, as well as Directors and Operators insurance policies.

The North American Society for Sport Management has evolved tremendously over its almost 34 years of existence and the Business Office Manager’s duties and responsibilities have evolved as well.

Meeting NASSM Series: Executive Committee Student Member

In the Spring of 2020, the NASSM Blog will be highlighting different individuals with NASSM leadership roles. We hope you enjoy getting to know them and learning more about NASSM. This week, we asked Dominique Kropp to answer some questions about her role as NASSM Student Representative:

My name is Dominique Kropp and I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Sport Management at the University of Kansas. I am from Kearney, Nebraska. As the student representative on the NASSM executive council, I am the voice of NASSM students. As a voting member, I do my best to represent the interests of the students as we are an integral part of the society and annual conference. I also oversee the student initiatives committee, which plans the student events at the conference. In the coming months we will be sending out some information about the exciting plans for NASSM 2020 in San Diego!

I wanted to get involved with NASSM because of the society’s prominence in the field of sport management. I love planning and organizing initiatives, so I applied to be a student initiatives member in charge of the student social for the 2019 New Orleans conference. Because I enjoyed the process and learning about the inner workings of the conference, I decided to run for student representative on the executive council during the 2019-2020 year and I was elected!

By serving on the NASSM executive council, I hope to contribute by providing input from a student perspective and developing exciting opportunities for students at the conference and throughout the year. Perhaps the biggest challenge students face regarding NASSM is the cost of membership and conference attendance. I hope to encourage students to continue attending the annual conference because it is an important investment in each of our futures.

My dream NASSM destination is Hawaii!

Be sure to say “Hi!” when you see Dominique in San Diego!

Meeting NASSM Series: Member-At-Large Part 2

In the Spring of 2020, the NASSM Blog will be highlighting different individuals with NASSM leadership roles. We hope you enjoy getting to know them and learning more about NASSM. This week, we asked Dr. Jon Welty Peachey, Executive Committee Member-At-Large (MAL) to answer some questions about his role:

Current faculty position: Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

How long have you been at this institution? 7 years

Where are you from? I’m originally from a small town in the mountains near Pittsburgh, PA.

What are your primary responsibilities in your role as an EC Member-at-Large? In this capacity, my primary responsibilities are to oversee the Garth Paton Distinguished Service Award and the Diversity Award. I also have responsibility for updating the journal impact factor list on the NASSM website.

What made you want to get involved with NASSM? NASSM has been instrumental in my career development, and the friends and networks I’ve developed through NASSM have been very rewarding. I wanted to give back to the organization and help to create change as needed to help us meet the needs of all members.

How do you hope to contribute to NASSM through serving? I’d like to help make NASSM more inviting and welcoming to all.

What do you think are the biggest challenges NASSM faces? I believe the biggest challenge continues to be creating a welcoming and inviting climate and organization that equally values diverse perspectives and backgrounds of our members.

Dream NASSM destination: If we are shooting for the stars, let’s go to Fiji.