SBJ/October 8-14, 2012/Game Changers

Game Changers: Kelli Hilliard

Photo: ZOOMWORKS
Hilliard, who directs IMG College’s award-winning training,
is a devoted Dawgs fan.
Kelli Hilliard
IMG College
SVP, Events, Entertainment and Development

IMG College has been formed over the past five years through the merger of three different companies. That’s a lot of culture shock for any business and its employees. As IMG College President Ben Sutton brought these groups together, he turned to one person specifically to smooth out the rough edges: Kelli Hilliard. Sutton worked with Hilliard for more than 15 years at ISP Sports, where Hilliard carried the unique title of chief people officer. Now, working at IMG College as a senior vice president, she has only added to those responsibilities. Not only does she lead the company’s award-winning training, but she’s also taking on an evolving events and entertainment division that runs client-facing hospitality.

“Kelli has been an extraordinary proponent of our professional development that literally touches every IMG College employee,” said Roger VanDerSnick, the company’s chief marketing and sales officer.

IMG College this year has hired 188 employees and will bring on close to 150 more next year. In the first year of working at IMG College, each employee receives 340 hours of training from the program Hilliard oversees. These boot camps and sales combines are the kind of executive coaching that has helped the University of Georgia fanatic win several awards from Training magazine.
— Michael Smith
  • What is the best advice youve ever received?: Don’t waste time on what could have been.
  • What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?: Surround yourself with good, honest people and never forget to keep family, faith and friends close to your heart.
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Not having unlimited access to premium tickets, sideline passes and parking passes for our corporate clients.
  • Outside of work and family, Im spending a lot of my time on …: Running, reading, serving my community and church family, and a newfound interest in cooking.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“She is one of the most creative people I’ve ever been around. She’s got an idea a minute.”

  • Ben Sutton, president, IMG College
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