The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
When my sons started going to nursery and then preschool, I soon realized that most afterschool programs were not run very professionally. I combined that with the fact that when my older son started playing in a recreational soccer league that I coached I found out that most of his teammates had never played soccer before, and thought that that a well-managed, caring and creative after school soccer program had great potential. And Super Soccer Stars was then born, with two dozen kids participating in two weekly classes. Today, Super Soccer Stars runs over 2,000 classes every week, taught to over 15,000 kids nationwide.
What do your kids think about your job?
I have three children: two boys who are in college in Boston, and a daughter who just finished fifth grade. Both boys are now interning at my company, and they seem happy, so I guess they must have good things to say about what their father does. My daughter loves coming around to the office and playing in the small soccer field we have, also a good sign of how she feels about it. Running my own business takes time and energy, but there no higher priority in my life than my children.
Tell us about a total dad + biz fail.
Maybe one thing that I have learned is that parents should not coach their own kids' teams. I used to be very demanding of my older son when he played. My daughter learned from that and has forbidden me from ever criticizing her on the field! I believe that partial business failures are essential to overall success. I enjoy taking risks, but fortunately I have called it quits before any of the unsuccessful ventures (e.g. clothing) had too much of a negative impact.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
I think that the growth of Super Soccer Stars in itself is a total win for me and everyone on my exceptional team. We have gone from a small program to an ever-growing business that benefits more children both nationally and internationally. The icing on the cake has been that because our company has grown bigger, we have been able to sponsor four international goodwill trips (three to Zimbabwe, one to Northeastern Brazil) that have promoted the teaching of children’s soccer development in areas of scant financial resources.
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
Our Los Angeles branch works closely with The Pump Station and stumbled across Mamalode on their website. We saw that Mamalode was throwing a great event with The Pump Station—Mother’s Day Eve (the event that started Mamalode), so we definitely wanted to be involved. We sent discount flyers to be included in the event’s swag bags. Mamalode is an amazing resource for moms, dads, kids…the whole family. We hope to share it with our Super Soccer Stars families and stay connected with Mamalode happenings across the country.