Morane Kerek, U.S. Olympic Committee
Kerek, one of four women on the executive team at Team USA, credits her success as CFO — and before that, managing director for internal audit and controller — to “not being a traditional accountant.”
“I can relate to agents, and event people, and comms people, and I can bring the accounting to a creative mind,” she said. “I can explain contracts and accounting to nonfinancial people. That’s always been one of my strengths. Fitting into the sports world was a natural because you deal with a lot of people without that background.”
After starting her career at Ernst & Young, she got a job at IMG, specifically because she wanted to work in finance and not be an agent, she suspects. There, she learned the sports business as a controller for IMG’s Trans World International, then later as finance director for tennis. She credits her career success to a frame of mind, one she looks for in her staff, too: “We are trying to get to a yes answer, not a no answer. There are rules and laws we need to follow, but how do you help the group do what the organization’s trying to achieve?”
- Where born: Wheeling, W.Va.
- Education: Miami (Ohio) University, B.S. in accountancy.
- Attributes I look for when hiring: Curiosity and attitude. Just about everything else is teachable.
- Networking tip I’ve learned: Try to find one common trait to make an authentic connection with someone you meet for the first time.
- Best advice I’ve received for career development: Volunteer for lots of different roles, jobs and experiences. Fill in for a co-worker on leave. Take that crazy temporary assignment that seems out of your career path. Volunteer to help with a project in a different department. You never know when those experiences will come in handy in the future.
- Sports business industry can foster a healthier work-life balance by: The industry is full of highly ambitious, very hardworking people. At the organizational level, making balance a priority is important but as individuals we are responsible for embracing opportunities.
- Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? We, as a society, still have both conscious and unconscious biases that negatively impact women’s careers, and the sport industry is no different. But it’s getting better, slowly but surely.
- Cause supported: I work with a local nonprofit that provides environmental education for kids. Even in Colorado, too many kids don’t have the opportunity to get outside and play in nature.