Category Archives: Michelle Marciniak
Michelle Marciniak on “Why Athletes Need to Start Planning Now for their Second Career” (FOX Business)
By Kate Rogers
Published March 13, 2013
| FOX Business
Donna de Varona has an Olympic gold medal and holds two world swimming records. Yet she went an entire summer without electricity at age 17 because she couldn’t afford it.
Like many athletes, de Varona struggled with establishing a career for herself outside of the sports world. Professional athletes dedicate a good portion of their young adult lives in gyms working out, training and competing to become the best in their sport while their peers are just entering the workforce and logging hours behind a desk to climb the corporate ladder. But that doesn’t mean athletes aren’t also gaining valuable work experience that would enhance and bring value to an office.
After she retired, de Varona moved to New York City and appeared as one of the first women sportscasters on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the 1960s.
“In sports, you deal with setbacks and acquire skills that are applicable to the workplace,” de Varona says. “I felt if I could be visible, after I retired, that I could make a difference. It was convincing a male-dominated field that a woman’s voice could work on sports beyond swimming.” She says it was hard for to gain traction in the corporate world because she lacked the network and resources most workers establish at their first jobs.
Today, de Varona has teamed up with accounting firm Ernst & Young to offer a three-part initiative to help elite women athletes and Olympians transition to meaningful careers after retiring from sports. The initiative was announced this week during a panel discussion on “Women in Sports” at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Brazil.
Beth Brooke, global vice chair of Public Policy at Ernst & Young and a Title IX scholarship recipient, says leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the initiative will create a Women Athletes Global Leadership Network to connect athletes with mentors. It will also incorporate multi-media platforms to tell stories of how women have impacted the world of sports, and also commission new research about the connections between sports and leadership.
“We need more women in leadership across all sectors,” Brooke says. “For many Olympians, their story stops when they lose their medal, so this is all about how they pivot and transition.”
The Post- Career Challenge
The power of a name can only take a former athlete so far when it comes to job hunting, says Daniel Casteel, president of Gone Pro, a company that works with former collegiate and professional athletes transitioning out of the sports world. Casteel, a former University of Alabama football player, says super star athletes can use their name and brand recognition to their advantage—but they have a short window and the foundation must be set.
“They attract recognition because of that ‘name-sex appeal’ but is there an underlying structure that helps to train and prepare you for success in that field?” Casteel says. Athletes must also show they are hard workers, team players and dedicated. “In three or four years, when that name recognition fails, things are not in place to aid your success.”
While they may be exposed within their sports, too often athletes lack role models and exposure post- career, especially women, says Brook. Many have entrepreneurial skills they may not even recognize because they have been so focused on athletics their entire lives. “We are trying to create an expanded network of senior business leaders, political leaders and more, and connect them to elite athletes so they can see the realm of possibilities outside the world of sports.”
Michelle Marciniak knows a thing or two about making a successful transition from sports to entrepreneurship. The 11-yearUSA Basketball veteran co-founded SHEEX, a line of functional bedding focusing on sleep and recovery, and is also a part of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. She said she faced a big gap in her Rolodex and had to learn how to quickly network and establish industry contacts to make up for lost time after leaving basketball.
However, she says her biggest challenge was not knowing where to start. “As an athlete, you are an entrepreneur and there is a huge link between all of the characteristics you have from your work ethic to drive to self confidence. You have to use that sports culture and attitude as an athlete to become an entrepreneur.”
What Athletes Should Do Now
Athletes still in the game should consider taking a career assessment test and listing potential industries that fit with their strengths to move into for a post-sports career, says Jim Arnold, vice president P of Business Development at Gone Pro.
“Go through an assessment at different career points,” says Arnold, who played in the NFL for 12 years. “Identify other areas and know that football, for example, is not a lifetime career.”
Identifying interests and skills before leaving the sports market is important, Arnold says. Current athletes should also create a resume and work on interviewing skills and learning how to translate skills learned in the sport to an office setting.
Casteel advises athletes use their status to start networking with people of all walks of life, and to learn from coaches, business owners and entrepreneurs.
“Too often players are concentrated on playing only, with their heads down,” he says. “They miss so many networking opportunities.”
The original article can be found here.
Article from Pennlive.com, written by Eric F. Epler
The year was 1991 when Michelle Marciniak was properly introduced to basketball fans across the nation. Two pages in Sports Illustrated documented the 17-year-old’s passion for the game, her love of Michael Jordan’s drive to be the best and, of course, that signature ponytail, the one Allentown Central Catholic opponents were caught staring at 9.9 times out of 10.
There was no question Marciniak was a gifted player, that rare combination of talent and nerve that turned the 3,000-point scorer into perhaps the most recognizable girls basketball player in Pennsylvania history.
In a career defined by competition, Marciniak still relishes in reaching that lofty number.
“Scoring 3,000 points was a huge milestone for me in high school and something that I, to this day, mention in the speeches I give,” said Marciniak, away from basketball these days but still in heated competition.
Marciniak and former University of South Carolina head coach Susan Walvius co-founded SHEEX, Inc., the world’s first performance fabric bedding company, in 2008.
“I think any basketball player who is extremely competitive and successful will tell you that it’s not something you set out to do, scoring 3,000 points, but rather it comes from working hard and focusing on getting your team Ws and playing your best night in and night out.”
Building her reputation through hard work and a willingness to sacrifice is all Marciniak has ever known. And here is the payoff.
Named the Naismith National Player of the Year as a senior in 1991, Marciniak also garnered national player of the year honors by Parade Magazine and Gatorade finishing her illustrious career under coach Mike Copp with 3,025 points and two PIAA championship appearances, both losses.
“The only regret I have in my high school career was not being able to win the state final for my school,” Marciniak said. “Getting there and winning while there are two different animals.”
No matter, Marciniak made up for those near-misses shortly after the Notre Dame freshman decided to transfer to the University of Tennessee, where legendary coach Pat Summitt was assembling the greatest collection of talent in the women’s game. Marciniak fit like a glove.
Drawing the nickname “Spinderella” for her brash ball-handling skills and fearless demeanor, Marciniak led the Lady Vols to the 1996 NCAA title, banking tournament MVP honors along the way.
Always a fan favorite through her 11-year run with USA Basketball and six-year professional career in both the American Basketball League and WNBA where she starred for the Seattle Storm, Marciniak later became an assistant coach under Walvius at USC.
While today her focus is building SHEEX, which specializes in sheets and pillowcases constructed of athletic-performance fabrics, Marciniak was quick to point out those teammates and fans that helped her those many years ago.
“I was fortunate to play for one of the best high schools in Allentown Central Catholic and played for the best HS coach in the country,” said Marciniak, who had her Vikings No. 23 jersey retired.
“I played in a state and local area who supported girls basketball like no other state or city in the country. In addition, I had talented teammates who played the game at such a level where opposing teams could not focus so much on me and my scoring. If they did, my teammates would step up and score.”
Michelle Marciniak talks about what her induction into the Lady Vols Hall of Fame means to her and how proud she is to be inducted alongside coach Pat Summitt. Marciniak and Summitt were inducted alongside two other University of Tennessee athletes that represent the universities rich athletic history and a tradition of outstanding women’s athletics.
Watch the official Lady Vols Hall of Fame Induction!
This week it was announced that SHEEX’s Michelle Marciniak and her collegiate coach Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA Basketball history, were inducted into the 2012 Lady Vols Hall of Fame at the University of Tennessee where they will join an incredible legacy of sports women and coaches. Below is the official Press Release.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 12th group of inductees for inclusion in the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame has been announced by University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dave Hart.
“We are pleased and excited to announce the 2012 class of the Lady Vol Hall of Fame,” Hart said. “This distinguished group includes a legendary coach and three former student-athletes whose participation in athletics runs the gamut from the early days of varsity women’s athletics competition at Tennessee to an inductee who is being enshrined in her first year of eligibility. It is our pleasure to welcome them into an elite circle of people who have represented the University of Tennessee at the highest level.”
The four inductees in the Class of 2012 represent three different teams. The honorees include: Jane Haist (track & field), Michelle Marciniak (basketball), Pat Summitt (basketball-coach) and Young-A Yang (golf). Athletes are eligible for inclusion 10 years after they have graduated from the University, while administrators may be admitted to the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame five years following their last service to UT.
The Lady Vol Hall of Fame selection committee made a recommendation to waive the five-year “last service requirement” for coach Summitt, making her eligible immediately for consideration. That recommendation was approved.
Enshrinement activities are scheduled for Friday evening, Nov. 2, at the Downtown Hilton, where a private induction ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Nov. 3, the inductees will be introduced during an on-field presentation at the Tennessee versus Troy football game at Neyland Stadium.
Throughout the 36-year history of Lady Vol student-athletes, 1,881 women have donned the Orange and White Tennessee uniform. With the addition of the four individuals in the 2012 class of the Lady Vol Hall of Fame, membership now has reached 71 in this very elite Hall.
A native of Macungie, Pa., Michelle Marciniak began her career at Notre Dame before transferring to Tennessee and establishing herself as one of the program’s most beloved players during her 1993-96 tenure. The 1995 graduate and psychology major, known as “Spinderella” for her patented spin moves to the hoop, Marciniak capped her collegiate career by leading the Lady Vols to the 1996 NCAA title and earning NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player accolades. Also a 1996 Naismith All-American and a two-time All-SEC selection (1st team in 1995, 2nd team in 1996) on the court, Marciniak was recognized on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1994 and 1996 for her work in the classroom. The two-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament selection continues to rank first in single season three throw percentage (79%) and single game steals (11 vs. Kentucky, 1996), stands third in single season assists (204, 1994-95) and is one of 36 players to score 1,000 or more points in her UT career (1,004). Marciniak, whose in-home recruiting visit by a pregnant-Pat Summitt is the stuff of Lady Vol lore, continues to rank in the top 10 in eight other statistical categories.
After a standout playing career at UT Martin, Pat Summitt came to Knoxville in 1974 to be an assistant coach and attend graduate school at UT Knoxville. When Margaret Hutson went on a sabbatical, Summitt accepted the head coaching position, and the rest is women’s basketball history. During a legendary 38-year career as head coach that transitioned to head coach emeritus on April 18, 2012, Summitt became the winningest coach in NCAA women’s or men’s basketball history with a record of 1,098 and 208 and a winning percentage of 84 percent. She accomplished that while running her program with integrity and assuring that all 122 players who completed their eligibility at UT graduated. Along the way, Summitt led her teams to eight NCAA Championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours, 31-straight NCAA Tournament appearances,16 SEC Championships and 16 SEC Tournament Championships. She coached 21 WBCA/State Farm/Kodak All-Americans to 36 honors, 39 All-SEC players to 82 accolades, 12 Olympians and 34 WNBA players, including 15 drafted in the first round and three picked number one overall. Named the Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000, Summitt was a five-time Naismith Coach of the Year and eight-time SEC Coach of the Year among an endless list of career distinctions that also included head coach of the gold-medal-winning 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team.
Michelle Marciniak and Susan Walvius Named Winners of 2012 Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program
SHEEX Co-Founders Michelle Marciniak and Susan Walvius have been both named winners of the 2012 Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. The duo have been selected alongside a network of 11 of the U.S.’s elite female entrepreneurs from high-growth companies and will participate in a leadership program that connects them with advisors, resources and insights to scale their business.
The recipients were chosen by an independently selected panel of women who own their own businesses across a variety of sectors.
According to Ernst and Young revenues of program participants have grown 50% annually on average which is right in line with their goal to help support talented women in business “access capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to rapidly expand their companies.”
Full Press release can be found here.
On October 8th, Michelle accepted the ‘Award of Distinction’ from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators on behalf of Pat Summitt , which Michelle included sharing a poem tribute that she wrote for Pat. The SHEEX presence was felt at this convention as they also sponsored the farewell reception with a few giveaways as highlights.
Photo: Michelle and Brenda VanLengen (President and CEO of BVonTV etc, INC)
To see more about the event go to:
By Michelle Marciniak
The first thing that struck me about the WICT panel was the incredible professional diversity among the highly accomplished, exclusively under-40 panelists. It was an amazing group of women whose backgrounds and stories all inspired me in their own ways.
The second thing that struck me was a common thread that ran among all the participants, and one I found fascinating. My experience as an entrepreneur has been similar to what each of the other trail-blazing women described. Every panelist, myself included, has faced immense challenges and setbacks along our professional journeys, and from our personal experiences a common story of strength and perseverance emerged: There will be people in your life who say you are crazy for trying something new; who tell you that you shouldn’t do it this way but rather should do it that way; who tell you you are doomed to fail; who look at you and say nice things then back stab you when you turn to walk away. However, the common thread is: put a smile on your face; believe in yourself; have the confidence that got you where you are to even have the nerve to go out on your own; and when someone says you shouldn’t do something, do it anyway. If you believe in yourself and in your vision for what you want to accomplish, don’t let one single person get in your way.
There was a lot of positive energy and spirit on my panel and that was exciting to be a part of. I loved it. Our moderator, Cindy McConkey, was a rockstar! The stories of persistence, strength and success that each woman shared were such an inspiration to me, something I will take with me as I continue on my entrepreneurial journey in hopes to always inspire others every step of the way.
August 26th marked the biggest and liveliest night that the Bed Bath and Beyond on 6th Ave in New York City has ever seen. Every year, in honor of the back-to-school shopping frenzy, Bed Bath and Beyond throws a party for NYU students. Yes party–as in DJ, ballpark snacks, a photo booth and lots of games. They even go so far as to transport huge bus loads of students to and from campus until midnight!
The SHEEX team was very excited to take part of such a unique and fun event. We set up games and carnival-like activities such as “Build a Better Bed,” in which two students would each empty a sack of SHEEX products and see who could make the bed the fastest. Who knew bed-making was so competitive! We also encouraged students to play the equally exciting game of “Pillow Stack” where students raced to cover 5 SHEEX pillows with 5 SHEEX cases and then neatly stack them back on the bed. Only the winners won SHEEX travel pillows, but no one walked away empty handed. We gave everyone SHEEX swag such as koozies and pens. We were shocked to find out the “koozie” is completely and totally a foreign object to the average New Yorker…safe to say we realized that we were not in Kansas anymore.
Michelle joined in the fun and even wore some of her party spirit!
We also launched our SHEEXover contest! On September 10th we will announce one lucky winner who will receive 1 set of University of SHEEX, 1 pillow, 1 comfortor and 1 gel topper. It’s not too late to enter the contest: sheex.com/backtoschool. Good luck!
Michelle and Susan attended the ESPYs once again this year so naturally there were some fabulous SHEEX giveaways. 150 lucky attendees received a pewter or black SHEEX travel pillow and a King or Queen set of SHEEX! Kaye and Chris put a lot of love and effort into packaging the gifts, all of which was done at the SHEEX office in South Carolina.
The glamorous night was spent amongst the biggest stars in sports and was followed by exclusive cocktail and dinner parties.
Michelle alongside another WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw.
Get a sneak peak at SHEEX in the ESPY goodie bags at the beginning of this clip from ESPN Sportsnation: