SBD/May 22, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With RSE Ventures General Counsel Jennifer O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan stresses the importance of networking and relationship building
It has been just over a year since Women's Professional Soccer shut down, and former Commissioner & CEO JENNIFER O'SULLIVAN has returned to her legal roots as she settles into her new role as General Counsel for RSE Ventures. She said of the transition, "There's definitely a lot of juggling here, but there was a lot of juggling at WPS too. Both are very similar in that they are start-up environments. So you're not always operating with a ton of resources at hand." O'Sullivan was intrigued by the opportunity to help build a business from the ground up. "That was one of the things that was attractive to me about WPS, and certainly something that was attractive here at RSE," she said. O'Sullivan spoke to THE DAILY this week about the future of women's professional sports, why she can never let go of her iPhone, and the importance of staying true to one's self.

The sports industry needs more of...
Maybe it’s because it’s something I was intimately involved with in women’s sports, but I really feel like the industry needs a little bit more support of, or more professional opportunities for, women in sports. Right now, we have the WNBA and the new women’s professional (soccer) league, but I would love to see more opportunities for young women to be able to play sports professionally. That may be decades and decades away, but I’m convinced that we’ll get there.

Keeping an eye on the National Women's Soccer League...
I’ve been following it pretty closely, because it’s something that is pretty near and dear to my heart. The WPS was an unfortunate ending, and a path that I wish we had not had to go down. But for the sake of the players and all of the young women that are playing the sport now, either as kids or high school players or college players, who aspire to something more, I truly hope that it does succeed for them, and that it blossoms into something even greater. I think U.S. Soccer getting behind it is a great thing, and providing that financial support is something that the owners at a team level desperately need.

Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
What we need to focus on in terms of value to the company -- looking at potential risks, liabilities, figuring out the best strategies moving forward. Since I’ve come on board a lot of it has been going through a daily task sheet of what do we need to button up. ... Kind of helping (RSE President & CEO) MATT HIGGINS and (RSE Chair and Dolphins Owner) STEVE ROSS and the rest of our folks evaluate future investments and future plans for the company and growth and strategizing.

Best advice I've ever received...
To really be yourself, because I think in this industry it’s easy to get lost. It’s easy to get caught up in the sort of fanfare of the industry, the excitement of it, and people become a little bit too big for the britches sometimes. I think it’s important to remember where we all started from and where we all came from, and just know where you are and be a genuine person. There’s a lot of networking that goes on in this industry, and networking can be a dirty word, but I think it’s really all about building relationships. And if you are true to who you are, and you’re a good person and have a good reputation and realize that your name in this industry sort of means everything -- that carries you a long way.

First media I consume each day...
Facebook. I go on to kind of check in and keep tabs on family and friends who live further away that I don’t necessarily get to see or talk to all the time. So I check those updates, and then as far as news, MSNBC, Yahoo. I’ll check in just to kind of see what’s going on during the day. I probably should pay more attention to Twitter and things like that, but I find that I don’t really have the time, so it’s just getting quick snippets of the news and seeing what’s going on.

iPhone vs. BlackBerry...
I used to be a heavy, heavy BlackBerry user and I never thought I could make the change. But it was like a whole new world when I switched over to the iPhone. I just feel like if I didn’t have that on me, I would not be connected to the real world at all.

Best business lunch in the Big Apple...
DB Bistro is always good. Two other spots that come to mind are Landmarc and Gotham Bar & Grill. I love to order fish for business lunches or meetings because it’s not something I normally cook at home and I feel like it’s a good, healthy meal. I love to cook and my husband is just not a big fish eater, and my three-year-old certainly is not a fish eater. So it’s not something I get to cook at home often so when I’m out I try to take advantage of the opportunity.

Best way to relax...
Yoga. I would like to say that I go all the time, but I’m currently nine months pregnant so I have not, other than prenatal yoga once a week, I have not a whole lot of time to go. But normally I try to go at least twice a week.

Latest music download...
I think it was ADELE, her last album, "21." Which you’re probably thinking, 'That came out so long ago, what have you been doing?' But I have a three-year-old, so it actually was probably some sort of "SESAME STREET" soundtrack.
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