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And So She Goes
And So She Goes

Episode 18 · 1 year ago

17. Savannah Foster, NFL Agent & VP Client Relations, Athletes First

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After moving to the west coast from Kentucky to try law school years ago, Savannah Foster decided to take a receptionist position at a full service agency representing professional athletes and coaches, called Athletes First. Year after year, she worked hard to prove she could do more. She grew into several roles in the company and now serves as the VP of Client Relations. She's also a certified NFL Agent who can hold her own in a negotiation room, even when visibly pregnant (yes, that actually happened).

Conversations with real women who makesports happen, this is, and so she goes, here's your host, Amanda Borgis, pay there thanks portuning in, I hope,you're doing well, I'm going to dive right in today, because I'm reallyexcited for you to hear from Savannah. So first things, first, my and so shegoes award this week goes to Oleanibalo. I hope I'm saying that correctly whenOlea became a mom, she found it hard to find clothes that were warm but alsolight and allowed her kids to be active, and so she founded Mila, Christina itsa clothing line inspired by her daughter, it's for kids and babiesusing cashmere, which we all know as extremely soft and amazing, to wear,but it colds warm for the winter and then it also keeps the body cool in thesummer which I didn't know. I have a couple of babies due to come into theworld and my family very soon, so it just felt special to highlight someonelike Olia this week. You can shop and support this black owned woman, ownedbusiness at Mila, Christina, do com, and now, for this week's guest, SyvannaThauster is an NFL agent and vice president of client relations forathletes, first she's also a wife and a mom athletes. First is a full serviceagency representing professional athletes, and coapes savannah grew upin a small town. In Kentucky and years ago she moved out West to California togo to law school to pursue a career as a sports agent. Well, things didn'texactly go was planned and she ended up taking a receptionist position atathletes. First, in hopes of just getting a foot in the door. Her planworked, and after years and years of proving herself, she moved her way upto her current role as a VP and she's also a certified contract advisor,which we will get into. If you aren't familiar with, why that's important inour chat? We talk about why there aren't very many women and F L agentswhat it's like to sit in a negotiation room pregnant and how she's navigatedCova nineteen with her clients. We also talk about the black lives mattermovement, how she's supporting her black husband during this time and whatthis all means for her vibratial kids. She tells them really great storiesabout the relationships she's formed with her clients and it's clear she wasmade to be successful in this line of work without further ado. Here is myconversation with NFL agent and VP at athletes. First SAVANNA FOSTER HE SAVANNAH. How are you hey, I'm doinggreat? How about you I'm good. Thank you for asking thank you for joining me.I know that there's a lot going on in our world right now and I'm surethere's always a lot going on in your world as a mom who just had anotherbaby, but also being a wife and a N F L agent and Vice President of clientrelations for athletes. First, there's so much going on M. I want Ta dive inso first tell me where you grew up and how you got into sports yeah. So I'mfrom a really small town in Western Kentucky called Bitton and after Ifinished high school, I moved to Lowville went to the University ofLouville and that's where I really kind of started my love of sports and justbecame obsessed with it and trying to get into it anyway that I could,whenever I was in school, so I actually worked for the President's office atthe university and I was able to go and help the president host his officialparty at the College World Series that Orange Bowl and c double a final fourtournament. It was just a really too time to be at Loville when we were sogood at sports during that little period, but that's kindof where Istarted my love of sports and decided that's what I wanted to do long termfor my career. So then I moved to...

California and the rest is history, sothey say so there's a big difference betweenLowville Kentucky and California. was that sort of like a shock for you orwere you prepared for a big change like that and sort of doing whatever ittakes for your career? Oh yeah, I it was a huge shock. I'd never been toCalifornia period much less considered living there. So you know I moved tocompletely blind. I came out one time to find an apartment and then moved out,and so it would e took me honestly. I've been here, I guess eleven years orso now, and I'm still not a hundred percent used to the latstyle. You knowit's completely different, then Kentucky obviously night and day, but I'm so thankful that I took that leap.An that was incredibly scary and you know especially the first couple ofyears. I thought about moving back many times, I'm so glad I stuck it out.'cause T it was very challeging, you know, being a young woman completelyabout myself was really tough, but it was all worth it in the end of course.So what was that job that you moved out to California for? Well? I thought tobe an n FL agent that she needed to go to law school. So whenever I left theUniversity of Louville, I moved to California to start law school at Thi,Ol School, called cow Western in San Diego and about three weeks into law.School knew that that's o what I needed to do anymore, so my mom, of course,being here in Kentucky and my sounding board was like you know, give it littlebit longer. If you still hate it I'll support your decision to quit, but youneed to figure out what you're going to do so I stuck through my whole firstyear and then just God has been so good to me in so many different ways and theuniversus kind of aligned itself to where the summer after my first year oflaw school, which I plan to quit, anyways but m a door open for me hereat athletes first and I was able to take in an entry level position at thattime. So, while the law school route ended up not being the best path for me,I found another way into the sports industry and am so thankful that youknow. Let me down that path. That's true like once. You say that out loud,like it kind of does make sense that you maybe would need a law degree to bean NFL agent, but I'm sure that as an agent now, like you, use things thatyou used even just going to law school for one year. Oh absolutely- and youknow I mean if I had realized the actual path to being an agent, doesn'tnecessarily require that you have a law degree. I definitely wouldn't have doneit, but now everything happens how it should rights like the butterfly effect.So if I hadn't taken that leave and moved to California, I would have hadthis opportunity at athletes. First, I wouldn't be an agent today, most likely,so I did end up going to USC and getting my master's degree wiches. Whatenabled me to be able to sit for the agent exam a couple of years later, sothat was my path just a little bit more indurect than most people but yeah. Iended up getting my masters in communication management at USC, whichis much more. My Cup of tea than a law school root was very cool, and I likethat. You bring up your path because even in the sports industry, andactually especially in thisports enstry, no one's path is the same and you'r aperfect example of that Yesi'm thankful. For that too, now I was able to see theagency from all sides. Before I became an agent. I think it's been reallyhelpful to me. You know long term. For Short, oh absolutely and it's helpfulfor your clients. It's helpful for your coworkers M diversity in general. People comingfrom all over the place, all different backgrounds. Um is extremely beneficialfor everyone who tell us about athletes first and the services that you guysprovide for your clients Yeh. So we are a full service agency. So obviously youknow the main thing that we do is negotiate contracts with the respectiveand, if l teams for the players that you know our bread and butter, what wedo and what we're really good at. But we also have an in house marketingdepartment, which is incredible and does really great marketing off thefield opportunities for our players. We...

...have a legal team in house. We have adesign and graphic team that handles all sorts, are really cool initiatives,firour players, an their individual flanpees when they're interested indoing things like that, they're really really talented, and then we have theclient relations department which I'm actually the head of, and we handlepretty much anything off the field that isn't marketing. So you name it. We doit all day. Every day M, it's always difficult to really articulate exactlywhat we do, because it comes off like a Highen concier service and we do handlea lot of those same responsibilities. But I think what makes our departmentdifferent in that regard is that we're much more proactive in our approach toall those services, so knowing our players and what interest them andtheir families too? You know we help out all the players and their familiesand their friends. You know even one extends to that level, but being ableto proactively reach out to our players and help them with things before theyeven know that their issues has been really really rewarding. So anythingfrom helping you know, prepare for vacations or flight accommodationstravel. Any of that woe do that all day every day, I'm helping players whenthey move when they sign to a new team. Maybe you're picked up. You know in theoff season by somebody else. We help negotiate all their their travel forthat and also they're moving quotes and anything along. Those lines should becars, all that sort of thing, but yeah it s just really getting to knowthe players and what level of Serviceis that they really need and making surethat we just exeue those expectations, it's cool because, as you said, thereare so many different things that you do for your clients, but they're allextremely important. So it seems like building strong relationships withthese players is of utmost importance for you absolutely I mean, I think you knowwith anything really it's all about the relationships and how you really managethose and I'm just so glad to be a part of an agency that takes that soseriously a you know. It's funny. I actually had a conversation yesterdaywhich an all Charles who no longer client, officially ou, know he's aretired player now, but he still leavs on me for advice, and you know I'm asounding board for him in a lot of different ways and it so cool that wejust developed that relationship over the years know. I still talk with hiswife and Yeu'll help him out with you know: Kid's birthday, gifts and thingsalong the line. If he ever needs any sort of support, and for me you know,he's become family and that's the whole goal. You know treating these playerslike their family because to me they really are and you ow. Hopefully theyall feel the same way. I think they do. I would imagine so if, if someone likedo als kept in touch for this long yeah, so you've worked there for a long time,but you obviously didn't start out as VP of client relations. So what hasyour journey been like moving up in the company yeah? Well, thanks for askinghim 'cause it's something that you know, I'm really passionate about everyone. Iget calls and emails and DMS all the time asking how to break into theindustry an I know, you'L aluded to it a little bit earlier, but the path isreally different for everybody. So for me you know, I found an opportunitywhen I was flirting with the idea of quitting law school. I found thisopportunity to work athletes first, as a receptionist and at the time you knowit certainly wasn't a sexyposition by any means, but- and I I truly felt like-maybe it was a little bit below my Um. I must go level- I guess at that point,but I found it. You know to be a cool opportunity to at least get my foot inthe door and prove what I can do and who I am- and you know hopefully behere for the long term which it worked out for me. So I started off as areceptionist and assistant to our president Brie Murphy WHOs stillpresident today and I did that role for several years and J st over the timeMurph was we affectionately. Call Hem Brimurphy saw that I was very talentedand very skilled in working with the players and their families directly, sohe flipped giving the opportunity to flip mascill, set over to a differentarea and kind of created apartment...

...which didn't exist at that point intime, and so I started helping the players and their families with theirday to day needs instead of helping him with his day to day d need as hisassistant and it just kind of evolved from there. So when I first started,you know the agents kind of picked up these little task and things as theycome off. You know come up and being able to do those sorts of things fulltime and hone in on exactly what it takes to be able to realy service.These players, in he absolute Hais level, has been really really rewardingfor me over the year. So you know what started off is kind of just shufflingaround dinner reservations and making flight plans and Mak making somefrequent flyer accounts for some of the players. You know eight or nine yearsago to now being able to have this fully developed department, that's verystrategic and organized able to really detect whet our players.You know where their interests are, how we can help propel them to other levels.You know outside even of their career. If there's it something that they'rereally interested in you know we help caterd to that too. So, just growingthat over time has been really really incredibly rewarding for me, so I'vebeen kindo doing that ever since and you know probably three years ago, Idecided that I wanted to go ahead and take my personal skillset to the nextlevel and sit for the Agen Exan, which I did so. I'm currently doing bothroles as BP clant relations and also is certified in a callagion which has beenreally really interesting and a cool Patto see. So I'm glad you mentionedthat because I wanted to ask what that process is like getting certifiedthrough the N Flpa. I know that there are some things required to staycertified right, yeah there are, and you know for me in particular'Sben. Iwas so thankful that I've been able to sit here at this agency and havevarious roles within the company for such a long period of time, becauseeven througho smosis, I was very familiar with most of the terminologyand kind of knew, a lot of the CBA before even deciding to sit for the AGant exam. So you know I started off in an advantage in my opinion, because Iwas already very familiar with a lot of these terms and had seen firsthandthese contract negotiations and heard the conversations down the hall formany years before it was my turn to do it. You know so yeah you do have to have a graduatedegree, or I think it's seven years of relevant negotiation experience in thesports industry to actually take the exam. It's a two day, seminar in DC andat the end of it you take the Asian exam, a d. Then you find out a month orso later. If you pass the exam, then you have to have insurance and makesure your paper works in order every year and then now they've started doingit. where I think, every two years you actually have to reup your reup, your your certification and takekind of a little brushup Corse online and then take another little exam tomake sure you're up to date on all the policies, not that, then you also haveto negotiate a contract every three years to maintain your agent status wow.So you're the VP of client relations and then you become a certifiedcontract adviser what Wa? Why was that important to you?Why? Why was it important to you to become an agent in addition to yourcurrent role? Ou Kn, I think for me it was just kind of a natural progressionof things and it just honestly gave me a little bit more validity in myopinion, because you know I've been here for a very long time and I viewwhat I do at the highest level. You know, and I think I do a really goodjob, but one thing that I didn't have is the official title to put on it tohave these conversations at a really high level with the players ind theirfamilies. You know so it kind o gave me a little bit of validation, but I think,as a woman, it also helped me in particular for me personally to feelthat I was able to bring something else to the table. You know theseconversations and everything that I...

...learned through the agent process hasbeen really really helpful for me and being able to even you know when aplayecalls ifh the question, I don't have to direct him anywere else,because I know those answers because you know it's I've become kind of a gotoo for a lot of these guys along the way. You know. Obviously they havetheir agent, whoever that may be me for some of the guys, but they have theiragent, whoever that is, you know to lean on for big questions, but forsmall day to day things a lot of the time those came to mee, and I still doso. I woun' to be able to have a really solid M, articulate well developedanswer ind having my Agen cerifications really helps me to find that a lotbetter, that's so cool! I love that you did that it's it's funny 'cause. Ithink a lot of US maybe would assume that like as soon as we get a VP titleor something if that's a goal of ours will be happy, but but really it's it'snot about the title. It's about being the best you can be for the people thatyou serve and and that's exactly what you've done. So that's amazing and I'mI'm glad you brought up being m an agent who is a woman Um. There is asports business journal, article written by Lizmell and it's about ayear old, so these exact numbers may have fluctuated, but they still applyto this conversation. There are about eight hundred NFL agents. Thirty fourof those eight hundred are women. Thirty Poour and apparently thosenembers are down because there were a handful more just a few years ago. WhyR NFL agents, predominantly men? You know, I think a lot of it is jist.What you see you know what I mean like. I mean that in the way like when you'regrowing up, I think a lot of people didn't even realize it was trulyattainable. tonuntettainable goal to be in if ellagent, perhaps being a womanand I'll, be honest with you. Whenever I first started, I the industry- thatwas really always my goal, but through the years sometimes I had thesereservations like. Maybe I don't have it. You know. Society always tries toknock you down too I'll. Never forget this happened probably three years ago,two years ago, maybe now, but we received a phone call on our mainlineat the office and the receptions picked up. There was a gentleman on the phoneand he said I'd like to speak with NFL agyt, so I happen to be the only personhere at the time with my agent certification and the receptionistdirected him to me. I picked up the line and he said. Oh, I think I wasdirected to you by mistake. I'm looking for to speak with NFL agent, and I wasincredibly offended, of course, because he assumed, since I was a woman thatthat wasn't who I was, but you know, I've really used that to kind of Idon't know, give me a little bit of extra grit. You know a little chip onmy shoulder because you know not only are we capable, I feel like I'm doingit at a very high level, and I know I'm not the only one out there, of course.So I think for me, it's been really important to try and navigate this newworld as anielagent for as a female I've tried to find ways to use my voice,so other women who are interested can see that they can do it too. 'cause, Imean, obviously you know we're in a new world right now right and it's twentytwenty and there are all these opportunities. But until you seesomebody do it before you, I think at least as far as I'm concerned, there'salways a little bit of a doubt within yourself like it cannot really do this,but hopefully peoplell see that it is possible. You know, and I'm hopingit'll lead the way for other women who might be interested to take this samepat too. Absolutely and there's no reason why awoman can't be in this position, but you're absolutely right a lot of timeswhen you're growing up. If you don't see that, then it's hard to imagineyourself doing something that you haven't seen someone else do before you. I imagine that being a female NFL agenthas some difficulties. You obviously just explained an example. Have you experienced certaindifficulties either getting clients or just being around, maybe other athletesthat don't even really know what you...

...can bring to the table? Yeah. You know,I think the only negative really would be that sometimes ou, no I' out inpublic with a player in appearance or whatnot people see me and automaticallyassume that I'm a sister, a friend or an assistant or something along thoselines and not knocking anme that 'cause alwaysly. Those are all very importantroles, but I think it's just making sure that people know who I am and whenI'm capable of. But for those who know me, I think they would definitelyrecommend me to their friends and colleagues and and all that sort ofthing for representation, because you know, like you mentioned outwardly yeah,it's a little bit unique having a woman representative, but I found, ifanything has really been helpful because sitting in these recruitingmeetings, I can bring a completely different perspective to the table andanswer a lot of questions that some of my male colleagues haven't been able toanswer just ecause. They haven't been in that position right, so you knowtalking about if a player is going to have to miss a game because his wife'sexpecting a baby or something along those lines, I can very intimatelyspeak to that 'cause. I know those timelines very, very well. You KnowHawin navigating that myself, so I think if anything, overall, it's reallybeen a positive being in a woman, because I'm able to a lot of timesbetter relate to the players and their fealilings, because I really listen towhat they need and I think, as a woman, I'm more in tune with a lot of thosethings. Absolutely I'm I'm having fun picturingyou in a room as this sweet blond, southern girl and someone questions youand your knowledge, and and maybe your role in that situation- and I justimagine you being like- look I'm sweet, but I know exactly what I'm talkingabout, especially when it comes to negotiation, so I'm sure that I'm sure you get to prove people wrongall the time, and I love that Oh, I do too and it's funny last year. Well,actually I've I've done this a couple of times, but I've sat in recruitingmeetings well, very visibly pregnant, a lis love seeing people's faces 'cause!That's just not at anybody expects you. No! We wanteim like EP ner. We are annow. I do think it's been really coolfor me to see that, though you know like you mentiond, I I welcome thedoubters because it really just helps me level at my performance. It's sofunny bringing up the pregnancy thing like women have been working and beingpregnant on the job for so many years like. Why is it still a Tabo thing? Ijust I've. I've never been pregnant. I just imagine like, like we still havebrains like we're still Functioni G, like what is what's the deal. What'sthe big problem here right and I I mean I do think it's becoming much morenormalized, absolutely as it should be, but I think you know, especially inwhat we do or what I do is such a male dominated industry. It's just notexactly what you'd expect you know just something a little bit different isdefinitely a conversation starter, you know, and U I think it's it's very. It's been veryfun for me to see yeah and I I do like how you brought upthat it makes you more relatable, because a lot of your clients have kidsat home, and you know you are dealing with m wives and and Partners and Um.It's it's easy for you to relate to family life because you have one ofyour own. So that's that's, really huge um you get to attend. Typically in anoncove nineteen world, you get to attend some pretty awesome. Events tosupport your clients like the probal and the SPS and superbowls and so muchmore. What is your favorite football event? Oh man annually my favoriteevent would probably be the probal. I love the probl ecause, it's so cool tosee all the players and their families all together in one place. We reallyhave a blast down there n. Now they take everybody to Disneyworld. You canhave a little private tores, the Disneyworld and Universal Studios, andall F that hat really haveitg everybody in one pl one place in a Lai backatmosphere is really cool too. You know 'cause the season's already over. Theplayers are just genuinely having a...

...good time, winh their love ones. So Ilove seeing that but specific memory wise and my favorite football memory-and this comes to mind really clearly now, because Iwase just asked us acouple of days ago. So my very favorite football memory that I neverexperienced myself was right. After superbowl fifty, I was working withVonn Miller at the time and he won a superbowl NBP so getting to go down onthe field with him and his family at that point and being able to supportthem in a completely different level and seeing the beginning of the Crazioff season, I'm sure in his entire life was incredibly memorable and rewardingand exciting and couldn't be happier to be apart, just a very, very small partof that. For him that was really cool to see. That is really cool M. also,speaking of the Probal, I don't know how laid back it will be in twentytwenty one because they just announced it will be in Vegas. So that should befun. We were just talking about that. Obviously, the family element might bea little bit missing ISO, the Differente of going to Disney, but I'mso excited that it's going to Bate US 'cause, I'e e Isun, to get back. Youknow with the draft supposed to be there this year m right above that wehad to miss it all, but itsound like there, then, if Iwas trying to make upfor it, MHM yeah that'll be fun, especially at the new stadium ellegianstadium. THAT'S GOING TO BE PRETTY INTERESTING! Yes, so we talked a littlebit about your two sweet cute little babies. I just want to know what it waslike adjusting to mom life and having to juggle a demanding career. What wasthat adjustment like for you? Well, everyone in my entire office gives me areally rea hard time. 'cause I never shut off. I never really turn off everand is funny. We had this little fake Aword show at the holiday time, and myword was most likely to be on slack during delivery 'cause. I I at theoerstime is so funny. This time I told myself thes second P delivery. I toldmetself. I was going to take a little bit more time away and I literally wasin the hospital bed getting ready to deliver my baby and was face timingwhen Derwin James and I was Amemb- I oll never forget I actually rote at thebaby boot and somebody asked me ike what was so important that you had totake his face. Towm during you know that particular moment in Your Life Mi.It wasn't anything at all that he needed. I just e w ways like family tome. We were just Chitchat and then the doctor walked in like O. I have to go.You knows, go time, herehe still Goe Ara like what will you do when you'recrazy? So but yeah I mean oisterious. Note like it is very it's a verydelicate balance, of course, right to make sure that I'm very present andanamazing, hopefully, and amazing, mom and wife at all times, but I feel likefor me anyways having so much passion and really love in what I do. It neverreally feels like work, so um be able to really keep on and not really skip.A beat has been so important for me, but surprisingly, not so difficult. Youknow, because I mean obviously players understand like Durne completely got itwhen I had to step away for a moment. Go have a baby O, but you know TheliIeo have a baby like if Theyo Azy to just go have a baby. I know I'msuperblessed and thankfull. I've had very grs move experiences all around,but it really has't been nearly as difficult s as I expected. It would be,and I think part of it too, is just the daynames that we live in rightinformation so accessible. You know I have my phone with me all the time. Soeven when I'm laying down and the kids are napping and sleep on my arm, I canpretty easily get to my phone and shoot off a text or, or you know anythingthat I need to do at that moment. But it's also the second part of it ishaving great support and help here. You know at the office, so you know in myclient relations role. I have a very, very strong team. Four other women onthe team who help me out all day every day, so knowing that our clies arestill going to get the same level of service, whether it's me or someoneelse Tepenen to help me has been a huge weight off my shoulders, something f'Ben Able to kind of develop and build that out in over the years to have ateam that I'm really proud of. So I...

...think it's Kindof too fold for me, butI do think it's Y. U know a lot easier in this generation to be able to keepup with things without physically being in the building twenty four seven yeahand I'm sure it also helps to have a supportive husband as well. What kind of home team does it take toget everything done at home and still got important work done honestly? Hecald never get enough credit he's so supportive and ten ow thehead he'sincredibly supportive, and you know what we do is vary demanding, and so Iguess it was probably. A year ago, I kind of got a last minute call that Ihad to go to Houston for a player event like literally five six hours inadvance. I got pretty much SAI to say: Okay, can you pick up beckum and take him you know to where he needs togo, because I have to leave in an hour to go to the airport and I'll be backin two days and he just picks it up and takes it with such grace and care, andyou know he's trying to manage his career too, but I'm just so thankfulthat he supports me and lets me shine how I need to and takes on a lot of exresponsibility around the house to. Let me do what I love every day, so Iveryey much appreciate him for that and it wouldn't work without him being sucha team player. Weould truly, do is like a fifty fifty split at the House andhe's U he's incredible father too, so I love being able to grow with him inthat direction. At's been pretty fun, that's so important, especially becauseyour role is kind of like having multiple kids, because you'reorganizing so many things for so many different people at one time and he hasto sort of understand tha. That's that'sjust your job. You know like He. He can't take anything personally. Hecan't you know be jealous of your time like it truly needs to be a fifty.Fifty split, like you said, and that support is just huge. So I'm so gladthat you have that. Thank you, yeah, and I mean you know, don't get me wrong.It's not always roses absolutely, but I do think it would never have workedmefinding any any partner who wasn't as supportive as he is 'cause. I do youknow. I do work a lot and what I do is very um time consuming work and it's veryintense work, and you know, as a woman having babies, you know sometimes I'mnot as able to be. You know as present n one since or the other as I' like tobe whether it's you know, work meas o take a little bit it hit. For this time,or you know, family be able to take a little bit of hit for this time, buthim helping me navigate through all those waters has been so incredible. SoI can't say ano good things about his support. That's awesome! So Savannahthe black lives matter. Movement that has swept our nation is something thatI assume is near and dear to your heart, because not only do you work with somany incredible black athletes, but your husband is also black and yourkids are by racial. So what? If the recent weeks been like for you and yourfamily, you know I was trying to have this conversation with my husband acouple of days ago. It's been incredibly difficult for me as a whitewoman married to a black man, just because I don't know how to support him.You know what I mean Ou, like obviously you know, there's generations ingeneration of hate and discrimination that we need totry and somehow figure out the solution to, and I think everybody needs to worktowards that right, like it's just crazy that in this day and age thatthere's still those racist people out here- and you know demonstrating allthese really negative behaviors towards a certain group of people, and it'sjust something. That's really. You know a part of me and I only wish that Icould do a better job supporting him and his family and not just that allthe players and their families that I love so much and care so dearly about.So you know I I think it's been really challenging for me, trying to figureout the best way to be a support. You know an ND B, an ear to listen. You Ijust want to listen and learn and know how can be better supportind I'vereally you know at first I put that...

...responsibility on him. Tell me how Ican help you, but I've learned over the past couple of weeks. I've really beenintimately studying all of it and it's on me. You know I have to take moreresponsibility, ind learning how I can be a better support to him. So I takethat on as a great challenge. 'cause it s something that is so important, andhopefully you know I mean as having Ye mentioned mixed babies. I want them togrow up in a wonderful world. You know with a place where they're loved- and you know have all this support and carethat they need, regardless of their color. Absolutely so. I hope that thisis the start of a big conversation that really gets the moment. I'm going andmakes real change in our country. That's been needed for wayway way waytoo long. You know absolutely I I share the same sentiment. I I hope I hope-and I kind of also feel that we're headed in the right direction and Ifeel like it- must be reassuring for you to represent and work with amazingpeople in the black community who are standing up for themselves and theirfamilies. So you know that you're, not alone M, so have you had comlikecertain conversations with your clients and their families about this? Just youknow seeing how they're doing checking it on them, seeing how they're feeling,even just having conversations like you, said that you had with your husband, Ohyeah, absolutely- and you know, even on top of that, you know- We've beenworking on a couple of projects here at work, to figure out better ways that wecan amplify those voices. You know D and be a better service and bettersupport group for the black clients right now, especially that that needtheir voices amplified and heard. Yeah we've been working through a lot ofthose things and I think again I mentioned a little earle, but more thananything is just trying to listen, and you know I don't even need to talk. Ijust need to hear what's going on so I can figure, I try to help figure out abetter way to attack it. You know an everybody's different, obviously, butyou know a lot of players have used their platforms in very, very powerfulways through all of this, and I think hopefully, it's a trend that is onlygoing to continue and we've we're really dedicated to try and figuringout a way to better help that as well so yeah. You know those areconversations I had with a lot of the players and you know Jalyn Rans End. Iare really close and Yo know he was andirb chat about this a little bit andyeah. I think everybody's really focussed on it. You know and that's themain thing right now yeah. I wish I remember where I readthis, but I I read something about how in the past professional athletes didn't reallyhave the opportunity to speak their mind or they could potentially losetheir jobs, and so were in a time where players can use their platforms. Theycan speak their mind. They can use their voice to make change and Ithink that's why a lot of us are are hoping for the best in this situationat hoping that we're moving in a positive direction, because for thefirst time so many professional athletes are joining together and youknow trying to make this world a better place. So you know it will take sometime, but we're here and, like you said, a lot of us are listening and learningwho don't have direct experience and M. hopefully we can all move forwardtogether. In addition to all of this cobed nineteen has been an interestingride for all of us M. I know it's not over. How have you navigated this timewith your clients, especially in a time when they're, you know about to beprepping for the upcoming season? Hats been really interesting, especially forthe rookie players, because you know in the late spring you know right afterthe combine is whenever they typically would start having all their officialvisits. You know going to the different teams having their meetings and doingworkouts for different teams or Paro days and this year. All of that was,you know, done everything was done...

...digially. You know virtually from thatpoint on, so it was really really interesting to navigate through that,because everything that we've ever known pretty much was a hundred percentdifferent. You know what I mean, so it was funny. I actually help a couple ofthe players and one of my clients, Austin Jackson, for the Dofphins I hada col. is Google calendar set up. You know you fly here on this day meet withthis team, and then you fly from there to this team and we had all of thatarrange obviously prior to the draft and then everything changed to you know,Zoom calls- and I u no very technically challenged. I don't know how to doanything on a computer, so even e Whos zooms and all that was different for me.You know so just trying to make sure he had all the proper callin informationall that it was completely different and new for everybody. So, while I feellike I was learning a whole lot, I know everyone else was in the same boat. Sothat was reassuring, but you know it's been a little bit challenging as et anagent y. u know now getting through all this with just not knowing anytimelines. You know 'cause, usually what we do is incredibly cycocal. Youknow like we have Yo, do your propro proday for the team. You know if yourcollege team and then you're drafted and then you go for mini camps and youknow x, Yz throughout the season and then now everything's a little bitdifferent. We don't even know officially when training camps aregoing to start up this summer and if they are they're going to betraditional training camps with full teams. What the Ot look like, so Ithink just trying to help the players, the best we can and we don't even havethe full information- has been incredibly challenging, but at the sametime it's been a really neat way for us to be able to really even more deeplyget to know the players you know and how they operate. So does he need twodays notice on this or ten minutes notice, or how does he best function?You know making sure that the players stay well worked out in great shape andand all that f course is always imperative, but yeah it's been reallyinteresting waters for us just because we don't have any timelines that wetypically would that's the craziest part. Is this whole time? No one hasknown when it's going to end when things can go back to whateveryone's,referring to as normal, which we don't even know what that means anymore, postpandemic. How have your clients felt during all of this I mean especiallyrecently a couple N F l players tested positive for the rirus Um. I wouldimagine, clients are trying to you, know, stay positive and healthy andclean, but they've still got to stay in shape because they've got to beprepared for the N FL season. Whatever that will look like yeah, you know, Ithink, basically everything that we knew. We had to kind of recreate thatin our head right to be the newl. You mentioned the new normal, but I thinkthe players at first whenever we first went into the pandemic mode, startedthinking about how am I going to stay fit when I have no idea when I canactually get back into a jam or work out with you kN W, if Heis aquarterback? When am I going to work out with my receivers when I I'm goingto be able to throw with my tide, ens and all that sort of thing? So whatwe've seen on our side is a huge influx of of players needing help gettingtheir home gyms in order, so whether it's getting a Pelaton to keep up withther cardio or a fullon home jump to be able t to stay, really game ready andoptimal shape at all times, we've really seen a lot of that which hasbeen really interesting. For me, you know a d now I know there's all these.You know platforms online where you can do workouts from home and all therookies, especially just had their first little minicamps, all onlineveezume. You know so that was their first and only experience with thispace, but I think you know more than anything at first it was immediatelythinking. How am I going to be able to stay in shape when I don't have anysort of in timeline when I can get back to working out, as I normally would sothat we kind of saw that wave of it and then yeah ever since then, I thinkeverybody's just honestly, a little bit anxious thinking when ere we reallygoing to be able to get back to it and...

...make sure that weare in game shape bothphysically mentally emotionally. For you know this next season, Yo so they're missing out on all that timethat they would have you know, building those relationships and theircaaraderie, and you know, l their team work and to make knowing all theirteammates. All of that, we haven't really had that same opportunity inperson, as I typically would have so its just completely new. What aninteresting crazy time to be a rookie. You know like your. Your draft is waydifferent than it's ever been. Your minicamp is nowhere close to what itwould be in real life. Um, like you just mentioned, like getting to knowyour teammates and your coat like everything's different. I I feel I feelterrible for them yeah. No, I do too, but at the sametime it's honestly been kind of o blessing in disguise in a lot of waystoo, because they haven't had to move around as much right like they'e, beable to spend more time with their families and get in that last littlebit of of home time before they're completely gone out of the nest. Youknow what I mean so yeah, absolutely its been different for sure, but theydon't know any different and I mean they haven't experienced any different.So I don't even think that they vew most of them, I would say, as anegative could ey just haven't it been through the other way. You know it's sotrue, yeah well good, then I won't feel bad for Themecaus, O Oba Orn e Gra onVegas. I think that that's normal and everyone should feel that way, but I do think that you know the we alwaystry to buy the positive in it for sure not being able to experience thingsquote unqut the normal way, just trying to find that silver lining to keep theguys pushing on Yep. Well, I hope that they get some sort of normal sea m withtheir teammates. Very soon can you leave us? I have one less question foryou after this, but given your experience, given your path, what sortof advice would you give to someone who has a dream of becoming an NFL agentone day? I honestly would just say to take any and every opportunity that youcan 'cause. You know like again. I keep rerfirm back to my own personalexperiences, but if I hadn't taken the position as a receptionist with thisagency, whenever they had that opening, I would not be here today and you knowth the agency and the decision makers here wouldn't have been able to seewhat I'm capable of and who I am and get to know me as a worker and knowthat I'm someone that they want to invest in without me being here. Do youknow what I mean being in the door? So you know I mean whether it's aninternship or an entry level position, R, whatever it may be, even if someonefeels thatisk quo, quot below their skill said or their level of experienceat that time, I would highly recommend it just because the sports instry is sosmall and it really kind of comes down to a lot of times who you know so youknow we have internships here, alets first, three different times a year andwe don't hire very often, but whenever we have a need, you know occurred thatwe need to hire. We often look back to those old interns to previous in ternsto think who could be a good fit for this position and speak with them aboutthe role first, if we think they could be a good fit just ecause, we know themand know who they are. You know as workers, so I think that, that'sprobably you know a recurring theme around the industry ecause. It is sucha personal and relationship driven industry. I think that that's probablypretty common, even outside of these walls, so I would say I jus to take anyand every opportunity that you can and do a really great job of managing yourrelationships and just working with great integrity. Yeah, there's a quotthat I love and it's never underestimate the power of anyopportunity, and I have really found that to be true, an so many differentparts of my career. There were times that I entered a job that I wasn't thatexcited about, and it turned out to be awesome and led me to my nextopportunity, and you know the wheel kept turning and you just never know so.I am glad that you were able to share...

...that part M of your journey as well.Before we end this, can you leave us with a woman in sports that you look upto someone that inspires you? Oh Man, there's so so many so so many you know honestly. I thinkI'm going to going to take a different route here. I've had the opportunity towork with and et to know a little bit, not nearly as much as I would likealone byaair and vice and she works at Blizzard. So she handles East Sports,which is somethit tit's completely different and ned to me, but I do thinkit's a trend and something that you know needs to be on everybody's rightAr, especially during this pain, dimic thesepoarts have been huge and a lot ofour players love and have their own. You know, eassports businesses havebeen learning you kno ll, the I and out of callor duty and all that sort ofthing. So I think she's a true innovator and getting to learn just alittle bity bet about what she does and how she operates. And again a maledominated industry has been really really interesting for me because know:She's a trail blazer in a lot of different ways: it kind of a newindustry and a woman in that industry. That has been really neat to follow herprogression and path and she's done a really cool job ein here in OrangeCounty. So she leads our wise. You Know Women in Sports, N EntertainmentDivision in Orange County. Now we have our own chaptergear, an her leadingthat and taking on that role I think has been really inspiring to see howshe's you know: Groun up grob t bull by the horns and taking the initiative inthat way. That is so cool. I love that Savannah.It has been such a pleasure getting to know you. Thank you for sharing yourstory. I really appreciate it. Congratulations on your new baby and Iwish you the best of luck as you navigate whatever this n FL seasonbrings. Thank you, sommice, Gra speaking with Yo. I love Savana story because it showsthat, even though you think you know what your end goal is right, you knowexactly what you want to do in life. You should be open to indirect paths.There is no concrete way of getting anywhere and I think if you realizethat early on it can really help you out tremendously, if you're interestedin the work that athletes first is doing, you can follow them on twitter,at athletes first and on instagram. They are athletes first family and youcan follow along with this show on tuter an Instigram, and so she goes podand please rate review and subscribe. If you're enjoying these stories, Idon't want you to miss out on new ones that are coming soon. I release newepisodes each end every Thursday morning, thanks for listening.

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