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Facing Disaster After Disaster, the American Red Cross C.E.O. Stays Optimistic

It helped me in my career. There were 50 women and 1,900 men. I had a great education there, but what it really also taught me was what it felt like to be the only woman in the room. I don’t remember taking any classes where there were other women. So you learn how to hold your own, because you have no choice.

What did you learn from the corporate world that you’ve been able to apply to your work at the Red Cross?

What is really profoundly different at a nonprofit is that you really have to not only lead with your head, you have to lead with your heart. If you explain the changes you are making through the lens of the mission, people will do anything for you. But they need to know, and understand, how their actions are going to impact the mission.

At AT&T I’d tell people to calm down. “It’s only telecommunications,” I’d say. “We’re not saving lives here. Let’s not panic.” I always was unflappable at Fidelity. “We’re just managing money here,” I’d say. “We’re not saving lives here.” That schtick does not work at the American Red Cross.

But you had to make some painful cuts when you took over.

Part of the reason we had a deficit is there was a lot of duplication. When I walked in the door, there were 720 different chapters, and each chapter had a C.E.O., a local board, their own marketing, their own email platform, their own finances, their own bank accounts, their own treasury, their own purchasing. I had 69 different contracts for T-shirts. So a lot of it was just consolidation and turning to a classic headquarters model. The first year we were able to save $15 million just by managing our purchasing function.

I didn’t hear a lot of complaints about taking all that back-office stuff and centralizing it. We withheld merit increases for a year, and I didn’t hear a peep. We had to do layoffs and I didn’t even hear much squawking about that.

How has the pandemic impacted your ability to operate?

We’re delivering our mission exactly as we should, but the way we’re doing service delivery is different. The first place where we saw the impact of this was in our biomedical organization, which provides 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. It was kind of stunning how fast that occurred. We watched blood drives start to get canceled rapidly. Schools were closed, businesses were closed. But the team stood up new blood drives in sports arenas and parking lots.

Source Article

How the Agent Behind Some of the Biggest Sports Stars Stays in Shape

From Men’s Health

Casey Wasserman keeps a three-year-old photo on his iPhone. In it, he’s standing next to NBA star Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook boasts the jacked arms and chiseled body. Wasserman? He’s 200 pounds of out-of-shape PR maven. “I saw that picture,” he says, remembering the moment, “and I’m like, ‘I’m done. I need to make a change.’”

The photo is Wasserman’s inspiration, and it’s driving him right now, as he takes off for a 20-yard sprint up his driveway hill on this sunny morning in Beverly Hills. It’s the final run in a 45-minute hill session. Yet Wasserman, 46, is just starting his workout.

Five days a week, he wakes before sunrise, then pushes through workouts with trainer Christine Khuri that may last three hours. “As difficult as it is sometimes to get started, I just know how much better [I’ll feel] and how much more energy and focus I’ll have when I’m done working out,” Wasserman says.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men’s Health

He needs that focus because he spends the workday pulling double duty, as chairman and CEO of Wasserman—a company that brokers endorsement deals for people like Westbrook and Giancarlo Stanton—and as chair of LA 2028, the committee tasked with prepping the city for the 34th Olympiad. That means overseeing deals that land NFL safety Malcolm Jenkins two clothing lines one moment and studying Olympic venue plans the next. And no, the Olympic prep isn’t all fun, especially when Wasserman gets a brief on rush-hour traffic flow.

Photo credit: Collin Erie
Photo credit: Collin Erie

Training clears his head. On this day, he goes from hill to home gym—a1,150-square-foot sweat zone that looks like a mini Equinox—and knocks out five sets of wide-grip pullups. TRX rows, dumbbell rows, and biceps curls follow, leaving him massaging his arms.

Until three years ago, Wasserman wasn’t training like this. He’d played tennis when he was young and had always been active. But he kept an intense travel schedule, frequently flying to Europe, Asia, and South America. “I used to wear this badge of honor that I traveled a lot and worked hard,” he says.

Then, just before the Westbrook wake-up call, his doctor told him he wasn’t in great shape. Wasserman knew he had to make some adjustments. He hasn’t missed a training session since and has dropped to 165 pounds, a weight he’s maintained for 18 months. “I don’t want to find out what happens when you take your foot off the gas,” he says.

Photo credit: Collin Erie
Photo credit: Collin Erie

Wasserman constantly finds new ways to drive his body. Some days he pushes the bounds of his breathing and flexibility with yoga. Or he does more hill sprints. Soon after social distancing was ordered in L.A., Wasserman mapped out and ran his own half-marathon course through Beverly Hills. Anything, he says, to prevent reverting to his pre-Westbrook days. “In anything, that anxiety and that fear means you care,” he says. “I care about my health.”

Workout of the Century

Photo credit: Collin Erie
Photo credit: Collin Erie