For working parents, having a job at an organization that “gets” their challenges (we often feel we’ve put in a day’s work before we even get to the office!) is key. And finding supportive co-workers who share the same situation is even better yet. Employees of the United State Tennis Association (USTA), based in White Plains, are fortunate enough to have both, with the USTA’s Working Parents Business Resource Group (BRG). One of seven BRGs, which are company-supported groups of employees drawn together by shared characteristics or interests, the Working Parents group was developed to “provide resources and support regarding work/life balance issues to the parents who work at the USTA,” explains Jasmine Sheppard, USTA spokeswoman.
The group—which currently consists of 65 members from USTA’s White Plains headquarters as well as employees at its Boca Raton, Fla. office, and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (home of the US Open) in Queens—fosters a sense of belonging for employees with children and also provides “a safe environment where employees can share, encourage, and learn from one another,” Sheppard explains.
The Working Parents BRG hosts quarterly meetings, as well as special events like kid’s clothing and toy swaps, and the annual USTA Bring Your Kids to Work Day. The group has also provided insights to USTA management that led to enhanced partner benefits and an enhanced parental leave policy for moms and dads.
The BRG also hosts a speaker series, which recently attracted Mike Greenberg, co-host of the popular ESPN sports-talk radio show Mike & Mike (and our just-over-the-border Connecticut neighbor). Greenberg and his wife, Stacey Steponate Greenberg, came to the USTA facility to share their humorous approach to raising their two kids while excelling at their respective careers.
Greenberg gets up at the crack of dawn (literally) each morning for his successful radio program (it airs weekdays from 6 to 10 am); travels all over the country attending sporting events; frequently hosts ESPN’s weekday evening show, SportsCenter; and devotes many hours to writing (he is author of several books, including Why My Wife Thinks I’m An Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad, and the novel All You Could Ask For). Stacey worked for many years at the formerly White Plains-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and now works from home as a luxury-marketing consultant. When their kids were very young, they recalled, finding the right work/life balance was difficult at best. With sharp wit and some very funny anecdotes, the pair touched just the right note with the audience of USTA working parents.
“It was interesting to hear how Mike and Stacey deal with some of the same challenges that the rest of us go through,” says Laura Hyman, director of IT for USTA Community Tennis, and a Cortlandt Manor resident and single mom of two. “There were many heads nodding in the room as they shared some of the specific situations they’ve faced, and life decisions they’ve had to make, while raising their family. They seem to know how to reassess their work-life balance to make sure they aren’t dropping any balls.”
Mike Greenberg and his wife, Stacey Steponate Greenberg, address the USTA to discuss the work/life balance.