For Women’s History Month 2023, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment is highlighting women across their organizations.
Get to know Kerry Wilson, who has been the Director of Human Resources since November 2021.
Please share a little bit about yourself, (hometown, where you went to school, how long you’ve lived in Colorado, hobbies etc).
I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life and grew up primarily in Colorado Springs. I received my BS in Business Administration from The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO, and my MBA in Operations Management from Regis University in Denver, CO. I love summer in Colorado and try to pack in as much hiking and camping with my husband and our two dogs whenever possible. I also enjoy teaching tap dance and am a company member of the professional tap dance company Rocky Mountain Rhythm.
What made you want to pursue a career in sports?
It’s hard not to be a sports fan when you grow up in Colorado, but to this day it still surprises me that I was several years into my career before the idea of applying my skills within the sports industry occurred to me. During an HR networking event the topic of HR in the sports industry came up which sparked my interest. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about HR as a career within the sports industry with all the opportunities in Colorado. Soon after that event, I was very fortunate to come across an opportunity to join the KSE Human Resources department and begin my current journey. Since then, I’ve had countless conversations with students at job fairs who also didn’t realize how their degrees could translate into the sports industry. There’s so many avenues beyond playing the sport itself and the assortment of talent required to keep this industry moving is immense.
What does a typical day at your current job look like or entail?
That is one of the fun parts of working in Human Resources: There is no such thing as a typical day! In my role I have the opportunity to engage with leaders and staff all across KSE providing guidance to HR-related matters including employee relations, performance management, training, staffing and recruitment, compensation, and everything in-between. Needless to say, this is not a one-person job, and I am so thankful for everything my amazing HR team does on a daily basis to provide exceptional support across our teams, venues, and business units.
What are some of your favorite things or experiences when it comes to working in sports?
There is an energy that’s hard to describe when you’re working in sports. An immeasurable sense of excitement and pride comes from seeing your teams march towards championships with every game won and record set. Being a part of the excitement surrounding the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup Championship win in 2022 was monumental and an unforgettable celebration to be a part of. So much happens behind the scenes and I love supporting the staff who make each season possible. Every win as well as every loss is felt throughout KSE, so getting to see the looks of excitement and tears of joy when the Avs staff received their championship rings was such a special moment to be a part of during my tenure here.
How important is it to see women continue to push past barriers especially in a male-dominated industry?
Pushing past barriers is an impactful way to create change. The more diverse representation within a company, the more versions of success you will see. Innovation comes from new voices and experiences, and that’s why I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many strategic, insightful, and compassionate female leaders throughout KSE and the sports industry. They are opening doors every day that foster ever growing opportunities for women interested in the sports industry careers.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a woman in sports?
Creating a positive impact. I value having a voice at KSE as a woman and as a leader. I know that is due in large part to having strong female leadership in my department and across the company. Being a woman in the sports industry is already tough, which is why I love seeing empowered women at KSE empower each other. Encouraging one another and lifting each other up is the key to generating upward growth and setting the example for future female leaders in sports.
What advice would you want to share with women looking to break into the industry?
Be courageous. So many times, we hold ourselves back from taking a risk because of fear. Just because you’re afraid, doesn’t mean you are in danger. Understanding the difference can help remove the mental barrier that can hold many of us back. So, say yes to the unknown, volunteer for the scary, and above all, bet on yourself and all you have to offer.
Who is a woman – could be in any industry – that you look up to and admire and why?
My mom, hands down! My mom is a CPA and embodies a high sense of ethical standards that I’ve always admired. How hard she works, not just for herself and clients, but for her family, never ceases to amaze me. She has a strong moral compass, lifts others up, and sets the standard for what a strong female leader, and mom, should be.