Former Rockets executive finds her little piece of Eden
Seliece Caldwell has joined The Eden Club as the vice president of business development for the Texas region. Earlier in her career she was with the Houston Rockets for four years, and before that got her start in hospitality as senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Eden Club is a private members club that provides a high-end golf experience in Scotland and elsewhere abroad. Caldwell spoke with staff writer Molly Hogan about what she describes as her fantasy job.
• Previous titles: Vice president of sales, marketing and public relations, Houston Oaks Country Club; vice president of ticket sales and business communications, Houston Rockets
• First job: Bread girl at Piccadilly Cafeteria; sang and danced in the Southern Palace show at Six Flags Over Texas.
• College education: Communications, Baylor University (1983)
• Resides: Houston, with children Ali, 23, and Kirk, 20
• Grew up: Euless, Texas
• Brand most admired: CBS Sports. Great production of the games, but they also bring in the human elements of the players and teams.
• Favorite vacation spot: Italy
• Last book read: “Spoken From the Heart,” by Laura Bush
• Favorite musician/band: Southern rock, Los Lonely Boys and Tim McGraw
• What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
To me it’s selling a club that instead of it having a home course, it really has this worldwide attraction. So it’s just making a transition from a domestic or even local sale to something that is truly for people who have an international interest.
• What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
It might have been my foray into basketball, although I was hired because of my Rolodex with high-end people. The Rockets were really looking for someone that could take their premium inventory and their luxury inventory to the next level. It was a risk because I didn’t know the industry as well as, of course, I knew the hospitality and club industry. It was a risk because that knowledge wasn’t there of just simple things like yielding inventory in an arena compared to yielding inventory in a hotel.
• What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Best Practice Award by the NBA for a premium sales process that we put together, I was very proud of that.
• What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
The entry point is usually in sales. So if you’re good at something and have a passion for it, it’ll translate to sports. … However you go into it, make sure that passion you have for it is something that’s genuine.
• What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
Final Four is coming up and it’s in Houston, so we’re going to have a hundred thousand people and that’s huge for our economy.