In honor of his retirement, I thought it would be fun to document Carl’s 33-year career in the (mainly) sports field, starting after obtaining his Master’s degree in Sport Management in May of 1986 and our marriage in June of 1986. This helps show our moves through 6 states throughout our marriage! I also asked him to share what he liked about each job, what he didn’t like and a favorite memory.
June, 1986 to September, 1986: Wichita Wings Soccer Club, Wichita, KS
Minimally paid intern but you have to start somewhere (they did provide up an apartment for free). Involved in advertising sales, season ticket sales, special event and game promotions, summer camps, and club publications.
What Carl liked about the job: Right out of school. First real job. Talking about soccer. Talked to a lot of businesses about sponsorships. Got me out of my comfort zone.
What Carl did not like about the job: Trying to sell advertising.
A favorite memory: Playing volleyball with the actual team at a charity event and doing pretty well. I’m such a natural athlete!
September, 1986 to January, 1987: Memphis Storm Soccer Club, Memphis, TN
Involved in the formation of this new soccer franchise. This included the development and implementation of the marketing strategy, advertising and ticket sales, community relations, the conception and production of special promotions, and game day operations.
What Carl liked about the job: Soccer! Close to home. Small staff.
What Carl did not like about the job: I seem to recall new ownership and not being thrilled with them.
A favorite memory: Trying out for the team. Spending a weekend living on a billboard.
January, 1987 to May, 1988: Preparing and Studying for CPA Exam, Memphis, TN
Since the job with the Memphis Storm turned out to be heavily sales-oriented and wasn’t what he was looking for, Carl decided to become a CPA to increase his marketability. He took CPA prep classes and spent endless hours studying each day. During this time, he worked some various jobs, including selling cars and working at a summer camp, Wal-mart and the Federal Reserve Bank.
Lexus Dealer, Sales Associate
What Carl liked about the job: Got to try out new and used cars. Change of pace.
What Carl did not like about the job: I am not a good salesman…I’m not a closer.
A favorite memory: Meeting Carl Perkins
Wal-Mart, Sales Associate
What Carl liked about the job: Setting up a new location.
What Carl did not like about the job: Dealing with idiot customers. I remember really trying to help them with nothing in return.
A favorite memory: I think that this is when I decided to go back to school and study accounting as a career. I remember that Kristy and I were at the Germantown Pizza Hut when I had this epiphany.
Federal Reserve Bank, Clerk
What Carl liked about the job: Pretty cool working in the bank with all the security. Smelled like money.
What Carl did not like about the job: People smoking.
A favorite memory: Studying for my accounting classes in the library.
May, 1988 to April, 1990: Arthur Andersen & Co, Memphis, TN
Staff Accountant in the Audit Division doing boring accountant stuff. He also took and passed the CPA Exam during this time.
What Carl liked about the job: The feeling of professionalism. Nice to be an accountant/CPA. Traveling to perform inventories.
What Carl did not like about the job: Ticking and tying. Reading over financial reports for punctuation errors and other typos. Long hours.
A favorite memory: none
April, 1990 to June, 1991: University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Athletic Ticket Manager coordinating all aspects of athletic ticket sales for the University.
What Carl liked about the job: Enjoyed working with tickets and numbers. Liked attending the events. Meeting the athletes.
What Carl did not like about the job: I don’t remember. I had trouble with the boss but I don’t know why because we did get along.
A favorite memory: Changing from accounting/auditing to something different.
June, 1991 to August, 1991: Unemployed and Moved to Chicago
Unhappy with life in Memphis and Carl’s frustrating job history there and new parents of one-year old Kelly, we make the radical decision to sell our house and quit our jobs and move to Chicago without a definitive plan in place. We knew we could stay with my mom for a while and that there would be many job opportunities for both of us once we got there.
August, 1991 to May, 1992: Two Accounting Firms, Chicago area, IL
Worked as a staff accountant for two firms doing more boring accountant stuff. The first firm was quite a distance away in Northbrook so he found a different one with a shorter commute.
What Carl liked about the jobs: I was grateful for a closer workplace in Schaumburg versus Northbrook.
What Carl did not like about the jobs: The return to accounting work.
A favorite memory: Being on the phone with US Soccer to get that job.
May, 1992 to December, 1995: US Soccer Federation, Chicago, IL
This is where things finally start to take a major turn for the better in Carl’s career and he finally breaks into big-time professional sports. He is hired as Ticket Manager for US Soccer and for the 1994 World Cup and travels frequently to all games in various cities across the country to handle all aspects of ticketing and ticket sales.
What Carl liked about the job: Tons of travel to warm climates. Being a part of a small team on the road. Meeting a lot of people from all over the country.
What Carl did not like about the job: After the World Cup, I was in no man’s land. They moved me to a new office with very little personal contact. Hated that. Plus they had me doing bank reconciliations.
A favorite memory: Attending the 1994 World Cup games and the World Cup draw in Las Vegas.
December, 1995 to April, 1999: DC United Soccer Club, Herndon, VA
Vice President of Finance for MLS Franchise managing all accounting, finance, human resource and ticketing functions.
What Carl liked about the job: Start of a new franchise. All of the different tasks. Just a few of us running the whole office. Winning 2 championships.
What Carl did not like about the job: Got to be monotonous at the end.
A favorite memory: Winning the first championship in Boston in a rain storm.
April, 1999 to August, 2014: MN Vikings Football Club, Eden Prairie, MN
Controller for NFL Franchise doing mainly boring accounting stuff. I’ve always said that Carl was working at the place that he always wanted to work, he just wasn’t doing the work that he always wanted to do.
What Carl liked about the job: Minnesota Vikings – my dream team. Earning my NFL pension to be received at age 65.
What Carl did not like about the job: Having to actually work. Dealing with some difficult people on a regular basis.
A favorite memory: Working the scoreboard at the games. Spending a week with the team in London. Walking up the tunnel with the team after pregame warm-ups. Family Christmas parties at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America. There were lots of cool and interesting perks.
August, 2014 to April, 2019: Jacksonville Jaguars Football Club, Jacksonville, FL
This consisted of his 6-month job with the Team as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis and then his transfer to the Foundation as Director of Finance and Funding Development.
What Carl liked about the job: Working on things to raise money to help people. Working with a small staff. Wearing many different hats. No pressure.
What Carl did not like about the job: Having to work with the Jaguars to get things done. The Foundation is a second class citizen. Being treated like crap at the end after 20 years in the NFL!
A favorite memory: The winning season, making it to the championship game and almost going to the Super Bowl.
May, 2019 to August, 2019: SMG, Jacksonville, FL
Hired as the Accounting Manager but spent all of his time working on the Capital Expenditure project management.
What Carl liked about the job: I have learned a lot of new computer skills. I enjoyed working with the City of Jacksonville.
What Carl did not like about the job: Seriously? I do not want to be an accountant any longer.
A favorite memory: When I came home from my latest blowup with management and Kristy asked how can we pay off the house so I could retire and we agreed it was time!
It’s been a unique and interesting career history that has taken us to many places and filled us with many memories, both good and bad. We are grateful for the opportunities that Carl was given and for God’s constant provision and unexpected blessings throughout his career. It’s been a heck of a ride but it’s definitely time to get off the train.
What are you gonna do now Carl? Time to paint the house!