SBJ/April 10-16, 2017/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40: Gretchen Sheirr


sarah dedmon photography
G retchen Sheirr’s ascent into the senior executive ranks at the Houston Rockets is hardly typical.

In fact, when she speaks to students about her path to her job as chief revenue officer for the Rockets, she advises them to be ready and willing to relocate to wherever the opportunities arise. Career growth may require a move to a new market.

“Except for me,” she said. “I am a bit of a fairy tale.”

Sheirr grew up in the Houston suburbs and landed a job as a season-ticket account executive with the Rockets in 2001, a year after she earned a marketing degree from LSU, where she was a member of the women’s diving team. Prior to the Rockets, she worked briefly in indoor soccer with the Houston Hotshots followed by a short stint with Game Face Inc. in Portland.

After coming back home to join the Rockets, Sheirr has steadily climbed through the front-office ranks where she now oversees the ticket, suite and sponsorship sales efforts for one of the NBA’s top-tier teams.

Sheirr was named to her current job in December. It’s a new role within the front office and comes after she has met every career challenge thrown her way during her 17-year tenure with the team.

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“Every time we were growing or doing something new, it just happened to align with my career path,” she said. “We have an organization where it is easy to make changes.”

The Rockets are riding a wave of success both on and off the court, and Sheirr’s vast experience within the organization has prepared her well to leverage the success.

“Because I have been in one place for an extended period of time, I’ve seen all the ups and downs and I know how to maximize the ups and live through the downs,” she said. “You don’t take anything for granted, ever.”

— John Lombardo

gretchen sheirr

houston rockets | chief revenue officer
Age: 39
Where born: Houma, La.
Education: LSU (B.S., business/marketing)
Family: Husband, Ken; children, twins Zachary and Jordan (9)

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at age 20? How hard “work-life” balance is in this industry. I wish I would have sought out a strong female support system sooner.
Causes supported: Target Hunger, Ronald McDonald House Houston.
Guilty pleasure: Binge-watching tiny house shows.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Lisa Baird.
I am one of the best I know at … : Putting together a strong team with processes in place to allow us to operate efficiently and effectively.
2017 will be a good year if … : The Rockets win a championship, of course!
The sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Making sure the Rockets win a championship!
Most thrilling/adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : 10-meter platform diving was pretty thrilling … or swimming with sharks (albeit nurse sharks) in Belize.
You’d be surprised to know that I …: Have a twin brother.



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