By TRESA HALBROOKS & CHELSEA LOMARTIRE
Stacie Kinder is in her 14th season with the Tennessee Titans as the Director of Cheerleading and Mascot Entertainment. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and her experience also includes serving as a member of the dance staff for the National Cheerleaders Association’s dance division and working in the Arena Football League.
In her role with the Titans, Kinder not only coaches a team of 27 women in wellness, dance and choreography, but also coordinates and schedules an estimated 250 charitable visits in the Nashville community for the cheerleaders and the Titans mascot, T-Rac, each year. In addition, she designs their uniforms, books outside entertainment and markets the Titans Entertainment brand in general.
Stacie Kinder is also the co-founder of The Kindersport Foundation along with her husband, Gary Kinder, a United States Olympian. The Kindersport Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of student-athletes through the sport of track and field. The foundation’s mission is to instill excellence in its athletes, both on and off the track, while elevating the track and field community across Williamson County, TN. Over the last 15 years, The Kindersport Foundation has created over $5 million in athletic scholarships for its athletes. Kindersport athletes have earned over 100 individual Tennessee State Track and Field Championships and dozens of national and international titles.
Stacie is not only a busy executive, she’s a wife and mother of two active boys. We caught up with her to share some insight into her very busy life and how she manages to balance it all.
Q: What motivated you to work with (or found) the non-profit organization?
My husband of 22 years, Gary Kinder, and I have been competing and performing our entire lives. Growing up in Washington, D.C., I dreamed of working for the Redskins while I was training in classical ballet. Likewise, Gary trained for nearly two decades to earn a spot on the United States Olympic Team. Working for the Titans, and then founding The Kindersport Foundation is the ultimate culmination of a lifetime of dreams, plans and hard work.
Q: Do you have any upcoming programs or events you’d like the public to know about?
The Titans Cheerleaders are entering the audition season and are seeking new talent just like the NFL Draft is working to find the next great NFL player. We are looking for amazing women to represent the Titans organization in 2018. Our final audition is open to the public on May 13th at the Wildhorse Saloon. Visit www.TitansOnline.com/Cheerleaders for more information.
The Kindersport Foundation will be hosting the Tennessee Meet of Champions this summer. Athletes of all ages will also be invited to join the Brentwood Track Club to be inspired to make fitness a way of life.
On March 9th and 10th, our elite Kindersport athletes will be heading to New York City to compete in the New Balance High School Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Several of our athletes will be seeking national titles in NYC.
Visit www.KindersportOnline.com for more information or follow their journey on Instagram: @kindersportfoundation
Q: What’s the biggest difference the non-profit has made in your life or others?
The Kindersport Foundation has aided more than 50 Middle Tennessee athletes in earning athletic scholarships to universities including Duke, Stanford, the University of Virginia, and more, totaling at more than five million dollars! Coach Gary Kinder has coached over 100 Tennessee state track and field champions and nearly that many high school and youth All-Americans. Three Kindersport high school athletes are international champions. The Kindersport Foundation gives our local athletes the chance to compete on a larger scale, across the nation, and even across the world.
In addition to the foundation, my position at the Titans offers women the opportunity to experience working in the NFL. Due to the nature of football, women are a minority in our business. I am honored to be the conduit to open the door to the NFL to young, high achieving women who can then take their NFL experience and literally, do almost anything! Our cheerleaders make hundreds of appearances for a variety of non-profit organizations throughout the community each year.
Q: What advice would you give to young professionals wanting to make a difference in their community, whether they decide to work for a non-profit or not.
Being an active member in one’s community is a key component to personal happiness. Non-profits are always in need of hard working, passionate people. Find a cause you care about and VOLUNTEER! This work could evolve into a full-time career, and there is no greater feeling than having your work and your personal passion coincide. I have been able to give back through my position at the Titans as well as through my foundation. In addition, I have volunteered and served on various committees and boards for other non-profit organizations. It’s an honor to give back and make a difference in the lives of others when we can.
Q: How do you find work / life balance?
I am fortunate that my work and my personal life are one in the same. My husband and I share the same passions and work ethic. I am on the board of the Kindersport Foundation, and he is our Titans Cheerleading strength and fitness coach during our training camp each summer. Our two sons, Jett (16) and Canon (11) are incredible track and field athletes in their own right, and they both practice with their father. They also play football and are competitive dancers. Of course, the family never misses a Titans game! We are fortunate that we spend a lot of time together as a family within our chosen careers. It’s like “take your children to work day” everyday! Not a week goes by that I don’t realize how blessed I am to have a career I love, to have a non-profit I am proud of, and a family that all shares the same passions, goals, and interests. We call ourselves Camp Kinder!
Tresa Halbrooks is the Founder and President of LEGACY Consulting, PR & Events, a premier public relations and event production company based in Franklin, TN. Tresa Halbrooks has produced some of Nashville’s top celebrity and charity events as well as public relations and branding campaigns over the past 23 years.