HFA Q&A – Noel Guevara27 October, 2018
HFA Q&A – Noel Guevara
HomeField Alliance is pleased to introduce an ongoing content feature that will let 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.
First up is HomeField Alliance board member, Noel Guevara, Coordinator, Special Events & Community Outreach, Arizona Diamondbacks!
1) What would you like HFA members to know about you that they couldn’t learn from your LinkedIn profile?
I was born in Orange, Calif. and raised in Anaheim. With the spirit of Disney two blocks away from my childhood home, I am a Disney nerd. Best practices, leaderships strategies and the overall experience; I am moved by the magic.
2) What is the best aspect of your current role?
I really enjoy the various large-scale initiatives that come from the Major League Baseball level. It gives me the opportunity to work and meet new groups of people, such as working with the Boys & Girls Clubs or the Jackie Robinson Foundation. It’s really rewarding being able to execute events that are conducted across all 30 teams. More importantly, I love the ability to make a large impact on the youth of our state. I was once a young girl attending ballgames through education programs, such as Read Your Way to the Ballpark, and now I can directly make a difference using those platforms.
3) What is the biggest challenge you face in that role?
The reality is, there is always something more to do. While we partner with many sponsors and make a large impact, there are so many people that need help within our state. In turn, many people don’t know the work that we do and the capacity at which we can help.
4) What impact, if any, has your LGBTQ status had on your career, either positive or negative?
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball have put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of the workplace. In turn, I’ve seen an emphasis played on LGBTQ business, events and opportunities, which has brought my status to light. It’s been humbling to grow these efforts over the past few years. Specifically, I focus on the outreach side of our LGBTQ efforts and it’s been rewarding for me to go to events and directly see the impact. My day-to-day has been nothing but positive and I don’t take for granted the first-class organization I work for.
5) What is one thing the sports & entertainment industry can do to be more welcoming to LGBTQ employees?
Every organization should be committed to diversity and it should be a conversation had from top to bottom. It starts with leadership vocalizing their focus and it needs to be more than just words said. The sports and entertainment industry can do a better job of being more involved in the community, outside of Pride Nights. Volunteering, sponsoring, and recognizing diverse-owned businesses will make a positive impact on the community.
6) What advice would you give to LGBTQ sports & entertainment professionals who are early in their careers?
I know it can be scary. Often it will be a challenge or a battle to be fought. You do have a voice and you can make a change. Don’t think one voice is too small and for me, all it took was a few good advocates and allies to have my back. From there, start small. Take steps toward your goal and you’ll be surprised with how quickly you can start a movement. Be proud of who you are and don’t let the negativity tear you down.
7) Who do you look up to? (It doesn’t have to be someone you know.)
I look up to the many professionals who came before me and blazed a path such as Billie Jean King and Billy Bean. I’m inspired by young women who are speaking up and shifting culture and societal norms such as Layana White and Haley Videckis.
8) What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
Don’t ever lose sight of your passion and positive attitude. Those qualities are not easy to get back, if lost. This was said to me by one of my first bosses in ticket sales. It stuck with me when I faced any issues.
9) What is your favorite thing to do to decompress away from work?
I enjoy reading, watching Netflix shows and going to a movie. I also enjoy walking my dog Henry and having a cup of coffee with my fiancé every day.
10) What are you currently reading?
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.