Top athletes and successful business people share a number of qualities and experiences that have enabled them to reach the top of their profession. Making the most of this connection and giving back to the community is the idea behind ONE Clemson, an initiative that supports unity in athletics and academics. Sealevel’s President, Ben O’Hanlan, is a member of the advisory cabinet that consists of former Clemson University athlete standouts and successful business owners who work to further the ONE Clemson Initiative. On Friday, Jan. 23, at Tillman Hall auditorium, Ben and a panel of distinguished Clemson alumni, including former athletes, shared how they became leaders in their professions and offer advice for young adults to become successful, whether on the field or in the business world.
Called “From the Locker Room to the Boardroom: A Panel of Clemson’s Best and Brightest,” the event featured ONE Clemson cabinet members, including professional football players C.J. Spiller, Charlie Whitehurst and Dwayne Allen; Major League Baseball pitcher Kris Benson; and former Clemson quarterback and radio personality Rodney Williams. Other leaders from the business community included Jeff Busch, John Mixson, Russ Kingman, and Ray Wrenn.
A common theme throughout the program was explaining the importance of networking, engaging with others, and having a mentor to help guide the way. When asked about his experience with a mentor, Ben shared that “I’m very fortunate to have had the best mentor you could ask for. I get the pleasure of working with my dad, Tom, who started the business back in 1986. I’ve had other mentors along the way, but being able to have that relationship with my father and the ability to talk with him about things has been very beneficial to my career.”
Everyone that attended the event heard lots of great advice and was entertained along the way with humorous stories and insight from diverse perspectives. You can watch video highlights of Ben, or you can watch the entire Clemson TV event.