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Minding My Business – a SportsBusiness Daily Feature with Mimi Griffin

Mimi Griffin talks to SportsBusiness Daily about her day-to-day work life, business practices, personality, ideals, hobbies, and more.

 

Name: Mimi Griffin

Position: MSG Promotions President & CEO

Age: 58

Where I’m from: Lancaster, Pa.

Where I call home: Allentown, Pa.

Focusing on right now: Corporate hospitality fulfillment for the ’15 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

Best advice: My father said to treat everyone that you deal with — regardless of status or stature — with respect. Understand that anyone that touches anything you do has value and is important. If the people on the ground don’t get the right information or do the right work, all of your time and effort has been for naught.

A must for a new hire: Chemistry is far more important than talent. You can pretty much learn anything you need to learn. It’s more about an attitude, it’s more about a hunger to learn and about never feeling too big for any job. I’ve never asked anyone to do anything that I haven’t done myself. That’s an important philosophy in order to get people to buy in, because I abide byMADELEINE ALBRIGHT’s quote, “Leadership isn’t getting people to do what you want, it’s getting them to want what you want.”

Exec I admire most: Ernst & Young Global Vice Chair for Public Policy BETH BROOKE-MARCINIAK. She literally operates at the highest level in business, but also in the world. She was part of the CLINTON administration’s Department of Treasury. But she has never forgotten where she’s come from. She has used her platform to speak in support of women and their position in business, but also the LGBT community, and has really put herself on the line in coming forward supporting causes that may not have been viewed as the best action to further her own career.

Best book I’ve read this year: “The Power Of Now,” by ECKHART TOLLE. It’s supposed to be a spiritual guide, but honestly it has helped me as much in my professional life as in my personal life because it forces you to understand that all you have is right now, this minute. The stresses and anxiety that you put on yourself are all about paying too much attention to the future. Any regrets that you have because you’re focusing too much on the past are doing nothing to further your cause.

First thing in the morning: Somebody turned me on to “The Broadsheet.” Fortune puts it out daily, and it’s all about women in business. It gives a great perspective on different issues and perspectives that women have to deal with, or should be aware of. It’s been a really great resource for me.

Talking tech: I find that real communication is about picking up the phone and calling people or seeing them face to face. I try to force myself to have periods of time where I disconnect so I make sure I can focus on the task at hand or completely focus on the communication with the people — whether personally or professionally — who deserve my full attention.

Must have music: I’m old school — I like JONI MITCHELL, JAMES TAYLOR, CAROLE KING — but I also have become enamored with MAROON 5. I just saw their concert on Saturday night in Tacoma, which was great. But my go-to music would be VAN MORRISON, JACKSON BROWNE, that era.

Food for thought: I’m one of those who truly eats to live rather than lives to eat. Chicken Piccatta is probably my favorite meal, and I make a mean Caesar salad.

How I unwind: If I’m going on vacation, I have to be near water. I love the outdoors — whether it’s biking, hiking or playing golf.

Day in the life: The U.S. Open is the lion’s share of our work. We work on the U.S. Open every year, and we handle all the corporate hospitality sales. Not just the sales, but the fulfillment and the operations, as well. We manage the efforts of any vendor that touches the corporate facility. Right now we’re selling three different U.S. Opens at once: ’15, ’16 and ’17. A lot of people say, “Is that the only thing you do?” But when you have close to 300 clients every year and you’re doing multiple Opens at once, it’s a lot. We start selling a U.S. Open usually three to four years in advance.

April 1, 2015 | by Alex Silverman, staff writer for SportsBusiness Daily

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