Senior Vice President, Human Resources, ESPN, Bristol, Conn.
Kerry D. Chandler’s favorite fantasy is sitting courtside with basketball icon Michael Jordan at an NBA game watching Kevin Garnet, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady or LeBron James play. “If Michael couldn’t make it, I’d still take the seats!” Chandler says. Chandler’s career in sports started in October 2000, when she was named vice president of human resources at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. She was promoted to senior vice president of human resources in April 2003. In the five years she has spent at ESPN, Chandler hopes she’s made an impact. “At ESPN, I work around a group of incredibly intelligent and energetic people who respect me for what I do and challenge me every day,” she says.
Her daily duties include implementing and enhancing programs related to recruitment, diversity and employee communication for ESPN’s global workforce. “I’ve spent my career in human resources not because I am a ‘people person,’ but because I believe that every day I come to work, I have the opportunity to positively impact someone’s life,” Chandler says.
Prior to joining ESPN, Chandler worked at Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Exxon and Motorola. During her nine-year tenure at Motorola, she had the opportunity to infuse a bit of international flair into her career. She was selected as one of five Motorola employees to participate in the International Masters in Practicing Management Program, a global venture comprising business schools in Canada, England, France, India and Japan that partnered with multinational firms. As part of that program, she earned a master’s degree in management from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Earlier in her education, she earned a master’s in human resources management from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
Chandler serves on the board of directors of the University of Exeter’s Center for Leadership Studies in the United Kingdom. She sees such service as real life that exists beyond a professional career. “Career is important. When done right, it gives us the chance to serve others and build our own self-confidence. But we should never mistake it as a substitute for life,” she says.