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New TD Garden president Amy Latimer's road to the top

Posted by She's Game Sports  October 22, 2012 12:56 PM
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IMG_4898-200x300.jpgBy Kathryn Tappen, She's Game Sports

There's a bottomless mug that sits on one very important desk at the TD Garden which reads "It's all good."

The slogan is actually the motto that colleagues, friends, and family know Amy Latimer, newly appointed president of the TD Garden, lives by and is the reason it's on prominent display on her office desk in Boston.

On September 20th, Latimer's new title became official and very public.

"The outpouring of support was amazing," Latimer said. "It's exciting! My family is really proud. I was really touched by the Sports Business Journal and the lead story, "Chasing Amy." I got hundreds of emails, and I don't usually get shocked, but that shocked me."

But the fact of the matter is, Latimer shouldn't be shocked. She has worked for the TD Garden, one of the top sports and entertainment venues in the world, since its opening in 1995 and has now assumed the venue's top post -- not to the surprise of her colleagues.

NHL Hall of Famer and Boston Bruins President Cam Neely occupies the office next to Latimer at TD Garden and spends countless hours in meetings with her.

"Amy will do a fantastic job as President of the TD Garden as she has a great understanding of what it takes to be in this position to help run a building with two professional sports teams, as well as the numerous other events that the TD Garden hosts," said Neely. "Amy also has a wonderful working relationship with both TD Garden and Boston Bruins associates which will help make this transition for her much smoother."

The transition to her current role came about a year ago. Latimer, then Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the TD Garden and Boston Bruins, began to take on more responsibility, as former President John Wentzell transitioned into his role as President of Delaware North Companies Boston and Delaware North's operations in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Latimer, along with Hugh Lombardi, TD Garden's Sr. Vice President/General Manager, were co-leading the operation of the TD Garden.

"We got to be more involved with the human resources aspect of the business, gained more insight into the budgeting side, and had more communications with Delaware North from a global standpoint," Latimer said.

Latimer's day to day responsibility has certainly changed as she calls it, "shedding some of my Bruins." She recently spent three days visiting other venues to see how the TD Garden can make improvements for future opportunities in her own venue down the road.

"I'm taking care of the house now, more so than before."

And that house gets pretty busy. Home to the NHL's Boston Bruins and the NBA's Boston Celtics along with numerous concerts, sporting and entertainment events, the TD Garden facilitates showbiz for millions of people on a yearly basis.

But the fondest memories for Latimer in her 17 years on Causeway Street were the two championships won in a three-year span (Celtics - 2008, Bruins - 2011).

"I don't know what event matches the energy of the playoffs and in particular the Finals," she said. "It was electric. You start every season thinking this is the year for your team, and to see it come through and happen is an amazing ride. I wouldn't trade that experience or energy rush for the world.

"It was so important for us to capitalize on those playoffs, from a fan perspective and a business standpoint."

Her rise to the top in a male dominated industry is familiar territory for Latimer. A mother of three boys (Jackson, 14, Grant, 12, Harrison, almost 11), Latimer credits her supportive husband of 17 years, Jody, with helping to keep things in order in their life.

"He's a saint! Good husband," she said. "It's more of a partnership these days. There are people who have traditional roles in their marriage but if you have two parents who are working it is a balance. I take doctor appointments, Jody has dentists. There are responsibilities we both have, and that is really important.

"I try not to miss anything in my sons' lives. My kids get it. There are very few times where I have said to them, 'I'm not going to be there,' and they understand."

Despite making breakfast for her kids every day, baking on the weekend in her newly renovated kitchen, dusting off her antique collection of fine china and playing for her town's women's softball team 'Luscious Ladies' on Tuesday nights, the self-proclaimed "wanna-be Martha Stewart" doesn't try to pretend for a minute that she has it all.

In fact, she doesn't think that "having it all" exists.

"What exactly does that mean? I don't even know," Latimer said. "I'm tossed salad sometimes, like I didn't charge the camcorder or I can't find the camera and I need to ask a friend to take a picture of my kid. I've done that more than I care to, but really? My kid is not going to end up in therapy because of it."

With three active boys and her nephew all living under the same roof, getting everyone off to school is perhaps a more difficult task than the day to day grind of her job at the TD Garden.

"Oh my gosh, organized chaos!" she said. "Well the good news is there's not a lot of drama about clothing. The best thing about boys is it's food, ball and a roof over their head.

"I am such a fan of kids enjoying sports. In a team sport you learn very early that you can't pick your coach, which means you can't pick your boss. Most of the time you can't pick the other kids on the team so you have to learn to work with all these personalities for that same goal. Work-life balance early on in life is the best thing you can do for a kid, giving them all those tools to succeed in life."

So how did this Maryland gal and former University of Rhode Island basketball star do it?

"You work hard, and do your job, and it shines through," she said. "I have always believed that nice things happen to nice people."

Latimer's sense of humor, combined with her "It's all good" attitude is what makes people feel at ease around her. She approaches every day with a lighthearted mentality.

"There's an openness when people realize you are truly dedicated to your job, you want to do the best for the organization and have their best interest at hand," she said. "No one is going to stand in the way of that. It would be pretty tough."

Latimer sees the female role in team management increasing, especially with women occupying an analytical role within the business. She believes a woman can most certainly handle the operation on the team side and business side.

"I see many doors opening up in the future," she said. "It's exciting! I think there will be more and more women, I don't know when and I don't know who the next ones are, but I see women who are very bright and will be very successful in this industry."

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
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