She’s a woman of all trades!
Tamika Tremaglio is now the new head of the NBA Players’ Union, The Washington Post reports.
Tremaglio has always been a numbers girl, crediting her love of finance to her family’s long line of entrepreneurs.
“I love puzzles and problem-solving…I was raised by a family of entrepreneurs and have always dealt with numbers. I’d check the cash register sheet and try to find an error, down to the decimal point. Numbers were the way to solve problems. They were the key,” explained Tremaglio.
That passion guided her career, Tremaglio pursuing a law degree from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore before settling into a career with Deloitte, where she served as managing principal for the global accounting firm. After nearly 30 years in the consulting sector, Tremaglio has officially shifted, being named the new head of the the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). For her, the union position was an opportunity to merge her legal and financial experience in a new arena where she “could make an impact.”
As the new NBPA executive director, Tremaglio will be coming in at a critical time for the league as they navigate pandemic-related financial losses, growth in media rights revenue, player salaries and external investment opportunities.
“Her business background is what we need. It’s the next step in our evolution - not only ways to manage and save our money but ways to grow it. She puts us in position to think more like CEOs, and creating more revenue is always at the forefront of our conversations. We’re looking at where the world is going with streaming devices, gambling, technology, crypto. Ten years from now, who knows, there might be games being played in the metaverse,” said Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, the new union president.
The D.C. area native has already made quite an impression on her new staff, sauntering around in designer business attire while making brunch for the staff her first week on the job. Employees were stunned to learn of Tremaglio’s history for shipping out 300 homemade rum cakes to family and friends around the holiday season and surprised when she distributed DIY margarita kits with her new slogan: “Reimagine the possible.” By the time senior employees received their customized Dolce & Gabbana sneakers with inspirational titles emblazoned on them, the entire office was sold.
“She was dressed to the nines with an apron. She’s engaging with everyone while she’s cooking frittatas and sweet potato waffles all by herself. She came in as the equivalent of a B-12 shot. She just injected all this energy,” said Chrysa Chin, union executive vice president for strategic engagement and development.
But it’s not just Tremaglio’s stylish outfits or her delicious cooking that has everyone sold, it’s also her ability to successfully inject and execute new ideas in an ever-changing league. Her predecessor, Michele Roberts, the union’s first woman leader, set a lot of precedent in terms of growing the NBPA, building an amicable relationship with the league and successfully negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement for players that included health care for retired players and modified labor agreements. While Roberts grew a reputation as a no-nonsense attorney, Tremaglio is taking a more holistic approach, framing herself as a “cheerleader for basketball today.”
“Michele leaves big shoes to fill, but for me it’s about walking my own steps,” Tremaglio explains.
In her new role, Tremaglio is committed to excelling and practicing what she calls “servant leadership”, something she says was instilled in her by her mother and her Catholic faith. She’ll be coming in when negotiations are still hot, focusing on split revenue between the owners and the players, figuring out how to handle distracting trade demands, making tweaks to the luxury tax system, discussing player equity in franchises and reviewing rules that prevent high school players from entering into the NBA draft. Despite the pressure, Tremaglio says she’s not worried and is committed to getting things done while maintaining a level of respect and integrity.
“Disagreements sometimes come down to ego. That’s not me. What’s important to me is that I’m protecting the rights of the players in a way that is really respectful and leaves everyone’s dignity intact. It’s not critical for me to destroy people,” said Tremaglio.
Congratulations Tamika! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Dittmar/The Washington Post