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Volume 24 No. 156
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What I Like.... With UNICEF U.S. Fund Exec Dir Caryl Stern

Stern cites the UNICEF TAP project
as an out-of-the-box idea
In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, UNICEF U.S. Fund Exec Dir CARYL STERN.

What I like in an insight: When someone asks you how do you balance your work life with your personal life, just tell them "some days better than others," then smile.

An influential person in my career: MORT CLARKE. He was my professor my freshman year of college for an acting course. He taught me "You don't forget lines, you just don't care to say them," showing me that attitude is everything. I have held this in my mind for over 30 years.

An out-of-the-box idea: The UNICEF TAP Project -- a campaign that has restaurants asking their patrons to pay $1 for the glass of usually free tap water on their table because close to 5,000 children die each day from causes related to lack of access to good, clean healthy drinking water, and when that dollar is given to UNICEF it provides water to a child for 40 days. 40 days!

A timeless idea: Every outfit looks better when you add a scarf to it.

A business deal: Anything where the beneficiary shares his/her "profits" with the world's children ... like the UNICEF partnerships with Gucci, Pampers, American Airlines, Mont Blanc, Hallmark, etc.

A sports facility: Wow, there are a few that immediately come to mind. I loved the old Yankee Stadium, think the new Citi Field is fabulous, can't walk in Madison Square Garden without re-living my first NBA and NHL experiences there, and was wowed by the Devils' new arena in Newark. But, I do love day games at Wrigley Field when I am in Chicago.

A strategy: Put one foot in front of the other.

A hire: I have a senior management team that is amazing. Each one is so different, and collectively the sum is even greater than its parts!

A brand: I am 100 percent loyal to Lipton Tea. I like other teas -- and I know there are fancier teas -- but given the choice, I am a Lipton girl.

A trend: When I was 8 years old, I was willing to give my life for a pair of go-go boots.

An innovation: Was there life before I had a BlackBerry?

A pro league or team business initiative: NBA Cares is phenomenal -- and the MLB response to the earthquake in Japan, using the opening week to raise dollars! And, of course, Barcelona's putting UNICEF on their shirts and the stuff MLS does!
A story that bears watching: The plight of children around the world -- did you know that each and every day, 22,000 children die of causes we already know how to prevent, but don't?

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Suitcases with wheels.

A fantasy job: I'm torn between truly having a position of influence to right the world's injustices and having one that would allow me to sit on my front porch all day...

My job: Absolutely believing in what we do and simultaneously feeling like what I do matters.

Sports: The thrill of the game -- the challenge -- the stretch!

Sports business: It may be work, but it's still fun.

Sports media: The way the action and the passion are captured. And, I especially appreciate when sports media is used to help children. When ESPN put up a picture of me with SAMMY DALEMBERT raising money for Haiti, the response was phenomenal -- they helped us to save lives!

Sports technology: The adaptation of prosthetic devices (especially those for kids) that enable people to still play sports.

Competing: The joy of the win -- the agony of the defeat.

The future of sports business: I am awed by the use of sports for "good" -- the way all of the leagues are giving back.

Sports fans: Their energy, their passion!

What I would like to change: The fact that 22,000 children are dying each day from causes we can prevent -- I want to see that number come down to zero. No child should die from a preventable cause!

Change in what I do: Eat less/exercise more.

See: All three of my sons grown into adulthood, happy, healthy and wise.

See more of in sports: Respect for women's leagues/teams/athletes.

See less of in sports: Athletes who forget that children look up to them as role models.

See less of in sports business: Greediness.

Eliminate: Neonatal Tetanus -- a disease UNICEF has teamed up with Kiwanis International to "eliminate" in the next five years.

What I don't like in general: Stereotypes and those whose bigotry propels them to act on those stereotypes.

Pet peeve: When one of my sons or my husband leaves the seat up.

In sports: My own talent level. In my next life I will be an athlete.

In business: Companies and individuals that forget that business is comprised of people.

About sports fans: Those jerks who sat behind my family's seats last season at baseball games who were so drunk that it ruined it for my kids.

What I like in people: My kids -- of course I love them, but I truly like them, too. They make me laugh, they challenge me, they're my favorite people.

That would surprise those who know me: Trashy novels.

Above all else: Being part of something that matters.

About myself: That I can usually find something to laugh about.

Heroes: My Mom. She's amazing!

Players: The guys and gals who have done so much for UNICEF -- DIKEMBE MUTOMBO, PAU GASOL, PATRICK EWING, DWIGHT HOWARD, Sammy Dalembert, YANI TSENG, DAVID ORTIZ -- I could go on and on!

Teams: My home teams -- Knicks, Yankees, Mets, of course, but also those who've helped UNICEF -- the Celtics, the Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors.

City: I am a true New Yorker -- there is no place like New York.

Possession: I have a bracelet that my dad bought me his last year of work. I wear it every day and remember him as I put it on.

Memento: My office is filled with gifts from kids I've met around the globe -- each is special to me.

Time of year: The fall -- the crisp air, the colors of the leaves, the start of the school season -- Halloween!

Music: I like all music, but the Beatles will always be No. 1 for me. Even the first dance at my wedding was a Beatles song.

Books: I love to read and always have a book in my bag, some sublime, others ridiculous.

Magazines: The Week is my favorite, but I also read Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, More and People religiously.

Gadgets: Those air pump cork screws -- so much easier.

Ipad app: Scrabble.

Hobbies: I cook and love any kind of art project.

Trips: I travel all the time -- my favorite vacation: My honeymoon in New Zealand. Most surprisingly loved: Vietnam (been back numerous times); Sierra Leone (magnificent countryside and people). Most memorable: Darfur. Most at home: Israel.

Movies: Anything that makes me either laugh or cry. This past year: "Get Him to the Greek" and "The King's Speech."

TV: "The Good Wife," "Brothers & Sisters," "The Big Bang Theory" -- I demand the remote for all three.

Concerts: In my college years I never missed a Marshall Tucker Band concert.

Artist: I studied for my doctoral comprehensive exams in the Chicago Art Institute on a bench opposite a MATISSE painting -- he kept me sane through weeks of studying.

Food: Anything chocolate or with mushrooms in it.

Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake.

Drink: Peach Martinis or Diet Coke.

Vacation spot: Our country home in Columbia County, N.Y.

Cars: I love my Prius.

Quote: "If we solve all the problems of the world but fail to solve the problems of education, our children will destroy what we bequeath them. But if we solve only the problems of education, our children will solve the problems of the world" -- THOMAS JEFFERSON.