HFA Q&A – Amy Werdine20 February, 2019
HFA Q&A – Amy Werdine
HomeField Alliance’s ongoing content feature lets members and others get to know LGBTQ professionals in sports and entertainment. If you would like to participate, or have a suggestion for someone we should interview, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up is HomeField Alliance member Amy Werdine, guest services coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. Amy joined the NFL team in June 2016 after earning her master’s in sport management from Louisiana State University. Her professional journey was chronicled in this Outsports article.
1) What would you like HFA members to know about you that they couldn’t learn from your LinkedIn profile?
I love connecting with young professionals who are trying to break into the sports industry!
2) What is the best aspect of your current role?
Being able to make memorable experiences for fans across the globe on a daily basis.
3) What is the biggest challenge you face in that role?
Dealing with upset fans. I always try to turn negative experiences into positive ones, but at times that can be challenging.
4) What impact, if any, has your LGBTQ status had on your career, either positive or negative?
As an openly gay woman working for the Minnesota Vikings, I have had the opportunity to engage our organization in various LGBTQ activities, including being involved in Twin Cities Pride. I am lucky to say that my status as a lesbian has had a positive impact on my career so far!
5) What is one thing the sports & entertainment industry can do to be more welcoming to LGBTQ employees?
Representation is lacking in the sports and entertainment industry. There are times it can feel like I am on an island, so it is always encouraging to see LGBTQ employees in manager or executive roles. Sometimes just seeing people who are like you makes an environment more welcoming.
6)What advice would you give to LGBTQ sports & entertainment professionals who are early in their careers?
Do your research! If you are job hunting, look to see if the organizations you are applying to participate in their local pride parade or have any Employee Resource Groups. You want to make sure you put yourself in an environment where you can truly be yourself, and unfortunately not all organizations are welcoming of all types of people. The good news is that there are so many amazing companies and organizations that you can be your true self at.
7) Who do you look up to? (It doesn’t have to be someone you know.)
Sam Rapoport, who is the Senior Director of Football Development for the NFL. What she is doing at the NFL offices in New York as an openly gay woman is incredible. She is pushing for more diversity around the league and is her authentic self every day.
8) What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
Always be a “sponge.” You can learn so much, especially at the beginning of your career, just by being an active listener.
9) What is your favorite thing to do to decompress away from work?
I love going to sporting events, shows and traveling.
10) What are you currently reading?
Becoming, Michelle Obama