Rising in the Ranks, Mount Union Graduate Cari (Readinger '00) Henegar

April 22, 2010

Cari Henegar, a 2000 graduate of Mount Union College, fully comprehends her position in the workplace.

'I am fortunate to be one of only 30 people in the country to be doing what I'm doing,' said the former sport management graduate.

As the Manager of Corporate Services for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Henegar is the organization's liaison with corporate advertisers.

'There are only 30 NBA teams. We handle such things as in-game promotions, out of arena sweepstakes, player events and contests all geared toward integrating our corporate partners' brands with the Cleveland Cavaliers,' she said. 'I truly enjoy what I am doing. I always wanted to work in sports at the professional level. The bonus is I get to work close to home being from the Cleveland area.'

Henegar, formerly known as Cari Readinger, has actually worked in the field since 1996.

'I worked four years in Mount Union's sports information department from my freshman year to graduation and I interned with the Cavaliers while I was a student at the College,' she added. 'Interning with the Cavaliers got me in the door and eventually led to a full-time position with the organization after graduation.'

Henegar, who began as a corporate sales intern with the Cavaliers in September of 1998, was quick to emphasize the importance of gaining hands-on experience while in college.

'There is no substitute for experience in the field,' she emphasized. 'There are so many students graduating with degrees who only have their GPA to show potential employers. It is imperative you do well in the classroom and you also have practical experience that sets you apart from others.'

Henegar mentioned specific traits needed to be successful in today's ever-changing sports world.

'You must have good organizational abilities, excellent time-management skills and a strong work ethic to make it. You also need to understand that you will put in a lot of hours. On game-days for instance, you are likely to work from early in the morning to 10 or 11 p.m. at night. And when the clock strikes 5 p.m. on Friday, while the rest of the working world relaxes, you will likely be expected to work through the weekend. Pro teams don't take the weekend off ' it's one of their busiest periods.'

According to Henegar, patience is needed for family members of individuals working in the sports arena. And what does the future hold for Henegar?

'I am learning more and more every day,' she stated. 'Working with our corporate partners is very gratifying for me. Perhaps one day I might like to see what it is like being on the other side ' working for one of those partners. But for now, I certainly can't complain. I am doing what I love to do and am very thankful to Mount Union for preparing me so well for my chosen field of study.'

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