Hawley Chester III, vice-president of Canadian sales and marketing for Fox Cable Network stated, “all seven of my former bosses, these are CEO’s not Presidents, are in the Hall of Fame for their respective industries”.
As part of the Odette School of Business Breakfast with Champion Speaker Series Chester was joined by Greg Hammaren, senior vice-president and general manager of Fox Sports Detroit, and Paul Lufkin, Principal, Lufkin & Associates, in the business of sports marketing.
With over 40 years of experience in the television business, Chester worked for the Islanders during their Stanley Cup-winning seasons before joining Fox Cable and later Turner Broadcasting, he is a leading executive in the world of sports affiliate sales and marketing.
Promoting diversity, allow your employees to fail as long as they show initiative, and hire the best people you can afford are three key components that Hammaren contributes to making FS Detroit the 2nd highest rated regional sports network in the nation; a 3-time Emmy winner for station excellence, more than any other Michigan television station this year. “Committing yourself to developing your people for personal and professional growth, setting challenging goals – how much fun is easy, and evaluating and re-evaluating your people for strengths and weaknesses promotes building a strong organization,” states Hammaren.
Hammaren said he left a comfortable position in Atlanta to move to Detroit, a city he had never visited, to work with people he didn’t know, in an industry he wasn’t familiar with at the time. “It was a challenge but it’s been the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. It was a risk – but how much fun is easy,” said Hammaren.
Lufkin echoed the value Hammaren has put on taking risk. “Successful executives know when to take risks and have the confidence to turn those risks into successes,” said the Vietnam Marine platoon commander. Lufkin, involved with NSCAR teams, went on to say, “As soon as Adrian Fernandez started thinking and believing he could do it, being under control at all times, staying focused, [he] became one of the top road racers in the world.”
The Odette School of Business Breakfast with Champions Speaker Series is sponsored by Dan Kane Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac Ltd. and will resume in January when the fourth event in a 6-event series takes place.