I don’t recall dragon boat race organizer mentioned as a career option when I was a kid. It’s obviously not something I would have ever dreamed. However, my career patterns leading up to my current position as President of Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing LLC ¬†prepared me for what I’m doing now.

I landed my first professional job out of college at The Mountain Press after walking into the office, resum√© in hand, and introducing myself to the editor. After spending four and a half years covering a wide range of beats – primarily courts and cops – I left to become a fundraiser for the food bank in Knoxville. While I enjoyed certain aspects of my journalism career, it was challenging. It was stressful, the hours and pay were horrible, and from my perspective covering hard news humanity didn’t paint a pretty picture in my mind. I needed a change. So, I headed into the world of non-profit, where helping people became my mantra. Neither job quite fit my needs. Enter fate and a dragon boat career. After I quit my job (and relinquished a steady paycheck), I didn’t know what to expect from the world of¬†entrepreneurship. It’s an evolving, ever-changing lifestyle. Working as a reporter and delving into the charity world provided much needed experience for what I do now. In the newspaper world, I remembered multiple names to keep sources loyal; I learned to write well and work efficiently on deadline. As a fundraiser, I tried to master the challenge of raising money. Now, the writing ability comes in handy, and I can help clients raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. The event itself has a community feel, bringing people together for a celebration, competition and conscience. They have a good time while giving back in a city they call home.

All of my knowledge and beliefs culminated into this. As a reporter, I wanted to present facts in a truthful, unbiased manner. As a fundraiser, the cause motivated my actions. Now, as President of a dragon boat company whose clients mostly consist of non-profit organizations, I can help maximize profits for lots of causes. We put on a great event participants enjoy. I also try to help paddlers get better by coaching them in a way that allows them to see their full potential. My career is now multifaceted. But more importantly, it involves helping people be better, on many different levels.