Christian Leadership to Change the World
Kimberly Holland: Running the Good Race
CBN.com Kimberly Holland may be living a life Behind the Gold, the title of her YouTube video, but her personal race has just begun. Holland is a one-of-a-kind sports agent in the business of representing and promoting elite-class track and field stars. As the sole female in a career flush with men, she was a standout as her world-class athletes competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Beyond the business aspects of her job, this unique and impressive agent stood trackside, available, and cheering her Olympic stars on to victory.
Coinciding with her graduation from Regent University School of Law, Holland faced a decision she had never before contemplated, a potential career in sports management. An Olympic medalist, Terrence Trammell, had come to her, asking her to consider managing his career. Holland had decided to work in the field of entertainment law with visions of working with the legal affairs of a record label. With encouragement from sport and entertainment law professor Martin Filfen, Holland researched the possibilities. With previous experience in entertainment promotions, a juris doctorate in hand and an Olympic medalist asking for her help, Holland saw her destiny suddenly change.
As the CEO and president of Icon Management, Holland is becoming somewhat of an icon herself. In a male-dominated field, her track record has surprised skeptics. When athletes come to Holland wanting representation, it’s because word has gotten around that she knows what she is doing. Once an agreement has been reached, the athlete and Holland craft a specific career plan together. If endorsements are to be had, Holland tries to procure a four- to six-year sponsorship, allowing the athletes time to focus on their competitions. She negotiates their appearances, competitions, prizes and bonus structures. “In a nutshell, I set up marketing opportunities,” she says.
Holland has a long record of being a trendsetter, a pioneer. Reflecting on her youth, she comments, “I was always very focused, always wanted to surround myself with successful people. I was never a follower.” With strong family support, even as a teenager, Holland excelled. She was a student leader, a cheerleader, a model, and a conscientious student. After graduating from Norfolk State University, Holland worked at the Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., and then landed a job as a legislative foreign policy aide on Capitol Hill on the staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
In 1994, Holland moved to Atlanta for a career in concert promotions and then worked as a paralegal for LaFace Records. Having always wanted to become a lawyer, she knew that it was time to tackle law school. Looking for a Christian law school, Holland, in true form, researched the possibilities. The more she read about Regent’s history, the more she felt it was the place she needed to be.
Holland’s educational experience at Regent was both wonderful and perplexing. Since her youth, she had been interested in law, seeing it as a means to achieve justice. The more she studied, the more she came to terms with her personal disillusionment with the court system. A paradigm shift occurred when Holland realized that presenting the best argument in court would not satisfy her. Winning cases primarily on the basis of her expertise would compromise her beliefs. In time, she began questioning what she could do with her law degree. Regent Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch and other law professors were accessible and open to talk to Holland about her dilemma. The guidance Regent provided at the crossroads of her future was just what she needed. She obviously found her direction.
Holland continues to challenge herself, opening new doors of opportunity by studying for a license to become an agent for the NFL, in addition to her USA Track & Field Association license. Holland knows that sports entertainment is a very influential industry. She believes she is involved for a reason — to inspire, to live as an example. “It’s going to be amazing as things unfold…it’s bigger than Kimberly. I trust that whatever God has for the future will be the best thing.”
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