Tara Gutkowski Schwartz, National Basketball Association
Tara Gutkowski Schwartz is nearing the two-decade mark at the NBA, and her work with the league’s social responsibility efforts has never been more prevalent.
Starting with the inception of NBA Cares in 2005, Schwartz has helped the league stay socially conscious of issues not just in the U.S., but across the globe. In the past two years alone stateside, she has led more than 65 leaguewide community event efforts in Los Angeles and Charlotte, respectively, for All-Star Weekend. Those include physical and mental wellness initiatives, basketball clinics and community forums with league executives and former players.
But it is her work with NBA Cares, specifically Basketball Without Borders, that Schwartz is most proud of during her time with the league. She visits Africa every summer as part of the initiative, and players and league executives have bought into her mission to grow the NBA’s global footprint through philanthropy.
“The challenge in the work that we do is always making sure that we’re being mindful of what’s going on around us,” Schwartz said. “Our programs are reflective to what’s happening in the U.S. and the world. It’s a challenge, and it’s something that we don’t take lightly.” — Thomas Leary