SBD/April 16, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Steelers Dir Of Corporate Sales Ryan Huzjak

Name: Ryan Huzjak

Age: 40

Where I'm from: Chicago, by way of Denver

Where I call home: Pittsburgh

Position: Steelers Director of Corporate Partnerships & Sales

Focusing on right now: Challenging an experienced staff to dig deeper and hone in on their core competencies.

Huzjak spends his downtime with his wife and their four young children
Best advice
: Focus on the job you’re doing now, and the best that you could do to drive your career is to do a great job in the job that you’re in. A lot of us have aspirations and we’re ambitious people, but unless you do a really great job and take a lot of pride in what we’re doing right here and now, you’ll never get the opportunity to go on to the next level. When I was getting started and I felt like I was capable of contributing more to an organization, I really had to discipline myself to focus on doing the core task very, very well, because that’s truly what opens up opportunities going forward.

A must for a new hire: The right attitude, the right mentality to get along and to enhance our team environment. There definitely is a very, very collaborative, unselfish, very team-first mentality around here, so we definitely would need someone to fit within that culture.

Exec I admire the most: I always respected the way a guy like (EPL club Arsenal Chief Commerical Officer) TOM FOX carried himself, and the type of professionalism he brought to the industry. I didn’t get real close to him, but I got to know him and followed his career and where he is now. He was willing to be a mentor to me the few times I asked him for his input, even though I wasn’t really all that important to what he had to get done in his professional life.That has stuck with me, being willing to give a guy like me some time when I was young and early in my career.

Best book I've read this year: I love "Good To Great," by JIM COLLINS. I think that’s a classic and one that I actually refer to. I really enjoyed when they went into details on the styles of leadership. There are different ways to lead. Ones that stood out to me are folks that have proven to drive more long-term sustainable growth versus those styles that support a quick turnaround.

First thing in the morning: After checking our team sites, I read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the local flavor. I’m a big fan of the CNN app on my iPhone, as well. I like the notifications, I’m able to stay in touch with more of the world news.

Talking tech: I might have a bit of guilty pleasure in that I spend a good amount of time on Instagram. I’m a big fan of Instagram probably because I have an almost-12-year-old daughter who spends a lot of time on there, so I wanna make sure I can keep pulse of what’s going on in her life, as well.

Must have music: My favorite band would definitely be PEARL JAM, and JACK JOHNSON is my number two. But I've got four kids under the age of 11, so when they're in the car I tend to listen to little bit more of the Top 40 stuff. 

Food for thought: Every Friday night is a pizza night for my family, but we’re still in search of that perfect Pittsburgh pizza. We’re spoiled with the options we had in Chicago, so we’re still looking for our favorite Pittsburgh-style pizza.

How I unwind: I spend a ton of time with my kids, coaching them. They’re very, very active in sports: soccer, basketball, lacrosse. So most nights if I’m not on the field watching them play, we’re in the basement kicking the ball around or out in the yard playing lacrosse or basketball or something. When I am able to break away, I love to play golf.

Day in the life: Working for an MLB team -- such as when I worked for the Whit Sox -- you’re talking about selling transactional or tangible assets because of the frequency of the events. You’re focusing more of the discussion around impressions and around metrics and reaching eyeballs. In the NFL, I find myself focusing more on finding a connection from a higher level from the brand perspective, from the strategy perspective, and the tangible assets tend to be supportive of that overall connection, rather than maybe in the reverse where the assets, the signage kind of drive the discussion on the front end. 

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