Black History Month #BlackExcellenceAtWork

For #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrated staff from the 11 The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles teams who have made a mark behind the scenes and in the workplace with the #BlackExcellenceAtWork series. This series shows The Alliance’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, highlights the unique opportunities in sports that lay beyond the playing field, and promotes youth sports as a vital component to success. The #BlackExcellenceAtWork series videos cover how these stellar staff members arrived at their current position and how youth sports impacted their life in terms of leadership, teamwork, and resilience.

These leaders have forged a path for others to follow, breaking down barriers and showing the way forward for a career in sports that does not solely rely in on becoming a professional athlete.

Meet sports professionals who are making a difference behind the scenes and in their communities.

Jawaan Delaney – LA Galaxy

Jawaan Delaney, Lead Learning Advisor at the LA Galaxy says #BlackExcellenceAtWork means “Being true to myself and not changing who I am for any individual person and saying what is true to my heart.” A Southern California native, Delaney played collegiate soccer at Loyola Marymount University before making his way to the LA Galaxy Academy. He uses his experience to prep Galaxy recruits for life on and off the pitch.

Krystle Hogan – LA Clippers

Krystle Hogan, VP of Ticket Sales & Service for the LA Clippers sees herself as a “coach” in her position, helping the Clippers organization get to the next level behind-the-scenes. A multi-sport athlete growing up, Hogan talks about how her experience in sports instilled a work ethic and sense of competition that helped guide her into the position she is in today.

Tahlor Cleveland – LA Dodgers

Tahlor Cleveland of the Dodgers’ Planning and Development department says #BlackExcellence at work means “raising the bar.” A UC San Diego alum, Cleveland has coordinated major stadium projects like the renovation of the Centerfield Plaza during her three years with the organization.

Amber Williams – LA Rams

Amber Williams, Rams’ Manager of Analytics and Consumer Insights says, “Black excellence at work, for me, means paving the way.” In her work for the Rams, Williams leads the team’s analytics department and champions key diversity and inclusion efforts at the organization as a member of the team’s diversity & inclusion council. She reflects on how participation in youth sports taught her the discipline push her career forward.

Jarrett Nobles – LA Chargers

Jarrett Nobles, Director of Business Development for the Chargers always knew he wanted to work on the business side of sports. For him #BlackExcellence at work means “authenticity” and providing a space where everyone’s voice can be heard.

Will Kuntz – LAFC

Will Kuntz, VP of Soccer Operations and Assistant General Manager of LAFC makes critical decisions to help ensure that the club is putting their best on the pitch every match day. As a Williams College freshman, Kuntz got his first break in sports by sending a letter to the Yankees in hopes of landing a summer internship. Kuntz’s chance letter paid off, and he rose through the ranks. After 10 years with the Yankees, Kuntz made the switch to MLS and now, as Assistant GM for LAFC he is in prime position to help LAFC become one of the top clubs in MLS.

Blake Bolden – LA Kings

Blake Bolden, a professional scout for the LA Kings says “#BlackExcellence to me, means being proud of who you are.” She started playing hockey as a young kid in Cleveland, Ohio. The former Boston College women’s hockey captain broke ground on the professional level as the first black woman to be drafted in the first round in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for the Boston Blades. She broke the color barrier for the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015 where she played for the Boston Pride. Now, Blake uses her expertise and experience to help the LA Kings prep for big games as the first black female pro scout in NHL history.

Natalie White – LA Sparks

Natalie White LA Sparks Interim President and COO says “sports has been a driving force in my life.” She went from playing basketball at Florida A&M University to becoming one of the top execs in the WNBA. She has utilized sports to propel herself into her current position.

These staff members exemplify hard work off the field across the Alliance teams. Their stories highlight how they have persevered to reach their current positions. Their reflections on youth sports emphasize how lessons learned from sports are applicable to the workplace.

The Alliance is invested in the Los Angeles community and strives to provide opportunities for all youth.