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11 Questions: Megan Kolak

By Marion Cole, 06/05/20, 5:00PM EDT


Welcome back to 11 Questions presented by Piedmont Natural Gas -- a weekly questionnaire series designed for you to get to know the people that make up Greenville Triumph Soccer Club. Each week, our own Marion Cole will ask someone from the organization the same ten questions, but the eleventh question will be from the previous interviewee. With players, coaches, and front office staff involved, we hope to bring you a fun look inside our club!

This week, I'm joined by Greenville Triumph's Vice President of Partnership Marketing and Community Relations, Megan Kolak.

1. If you had a podcast, what would it be about and why?

Oh, geez! I don't know where to start. I'm an emotionally driven person, so my mood usually decides what I'm in the mood for that day. One day, my podcast could be focusing on talking to nutritionists or personal trainers because I'm always trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But then one day I may want to dive into murder mysteries because I love crime series. I'm also always searching to hone my craft more thoroughly at work, so I'd also have a day where it would be beneficial to talk to other professionals on what they're doing in the world of sports and entertainment as well as companies outside of sports that focus on client retention and engaging marketing initiative to attract people's attention. A hodge-podge podcast? Yeah, I like that.

2. How do you decompress after a long week of work or training?

After a long week, I like to come home and change into my sweats, my hoodie, grab a blanket, because it's always freezing in our house, and curl up on the couch to enjoy a glass of wine or hot tea or a big bowl of chocolate moose tracks. So yummy. I'll also turn on one of my favorite shows, which right now is How To Get Away With Murder. I am hooked on it! Now, if we had a home match that week? Different story. After working outside in the heat... for 17-plus hours... prepping for the match that evening, I usually just take the entire weekend to recover starting with me falling asleep on the car ride home haha. We live in the country and commute over an hour every day to work. But I do like to finish the weekend with a good, strong workout to get me motivated for the week ahead.  

3. What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had and why?

Alright, I'm about to get all mushy here so brace yourself! The most memorable meal I had took place on October Second of 2015. My now-husband took me on our first date to City Range. I remember that Trey had steak, and I had pasta with some wine of course. The meal was not the most memorable part by any means. It was the company! We sat for over three hours talking and when our waiter approached us about him leaving, we noticed that we were actually the only two people left in the restaurant. They had already closed! It was such a wonderful evening. We ended up getting engaged three years later.

4. What was the most nervous you’ve ever been?

I'm always filled with nerves during the pregame of any game or match where I run point on the production. The experience, overall, is so nerve-wrecking..but thrilling at the same time. I mean, every time, I get goosebumps when I direct, especially during the pregame ceremony, because the timing is critically important. But if I must pinpoint one time, it would be the first game I ever directed. It was my first full-time job in sports, and I was working for the Cleveland Gladiators of the AFL. My boss told me the night before our first game that I was going to direct the games going forward, and like, hoooly coooww. That's a big deal! I remember going through the script repeatedly that night with my mom to make sure the timing was correct and that I knew all the correct cues to say over the headset. So, next day is game day. The first half, my boss stood with me on the sidelines behind the dasher boards and directed the game so I could watch how to do it. Second half came. He radioed the team that I was taking the "hot seat" and took his headset off and jumped over the boards. I was pretty quiet at first because I was so nervous. But then, the first PA announcement came. Then the first timeout. And by that time, I was on a roll. I felt confident! The production crew that night was so encouraging to me and really put me at ease. That's honestly when I truly fell in love with game presentation, which is still my favorite part of what I do. 

5. If you’re up at 2AM on a Saturday night, what are you eating?

Nowadays, I'd be surprised if I even made it to 11PM haha. But if I were up at 2AM, I would definitely be enjoying some peanut butter or cheese. Two guilty pleasures of mine that I got from my dad. Yeah, just a spoonful of creamy peanut butter or slice of Muenster or Colby Jack cheese.

6. What’s something you learned recently that blew your mind?

I actually had my mind blown last week! I was scrolling through Instagram, or maybe it was Facebook? Hmmm. Well, I can't remember. But any who, there was a woman on there that showed you how you should be closing your cereal boxes. I showed it to Trey, my husband, and my father-in-law, Nick, and we immediately tried it. So you push the small side flaps and the back flap down inside the cereal box, then pinch the sides at the top to fold it in where it looks like a triangle. Then you take the front flap, fold it inside the cereal box, push it together and waalaa! It's definitely kept our cereal fresher longer, so you're welcome!

7. Triumph SC announces they’re bringing a celebrity to the next match and wondering if you have enough time to say, “Hello.” Who’s the celebrity you’re most excited to have at a match?

It would have to be Kevin Hart for me! He has such a positive outlook on life and is hilarious. I would love to sit, well, stand and cheer really, with him in the Riot section to root on the boys. As the game director, I would make him our in-stadium host for promotions and the overall hype-man! With all of his high-energy meshing with the dynamic support group we have, it would be one night our fans and players would never forget. 

8. What’s the most memorable sports moment you’ve had as a fan?

I was 11, and I was getting ready for school one morning, listening to the radio with my mom. The radio show announced that the tenth caller would receive a training session with the Women's National Team. I looked at mom and, without saying anything, handed me the phone. Of course, I wouldn't be telling this story if I didn't win! I was the tenth caller and got the opportunity to join other girls my age and train with the team. We all got to attend their All-Star game at the Gund Arena and play during halftime. It was an experience I'll never forget.

9. What sporting event have you always wanted to go to and why?

Oh, I would love to go to the Olympics! My stepdad had the opportunity to work for the Olympic Committee one year and he tells me all the time how rewarding the experience was and that he would love to go again. I will say, the dork in me would love to work behind the scenes and assist in the coordination of it all, but just being at the Olympics and being able to watch the events live and feel that atmosphere would be amazing. 

10. If you’re part of a PK lineup, what number are you taking your penalty kick?

I would go first, definitely. Score a goal and set the tone for the rest of my teammates to get the "W." That's really the attitude I have towards most work endeavors. I love a good healthy competition and always like to put my best foot forward, get the job done and set the expectations for my employees.

11. Triumph co-captain, Tyler Polak, wanted me to ask you, "What has been the most rewarding element or experience for you looking back at our inaugural season?" He also would like to know if there is any chance for Rogaine to sponsor the team?

This past year has offered me the opportunity of so many wonderful experiences. A few that come to mind are, number one, just being a part of a brand new club and being able to assist with the brand launch. For me, personally, I've been able to get back to my roots and work in the sport that I grew up playing and loving. Making the playoffs year one! I have to say, there was one moment I will never forget though. It's Opening Night, and after the ceremonial kick, I was escorting the club's Owner, Joe Erwin. And he stopped. He looked around at the sold out crowd, and then he looked at me and put his hand on my shoulder. With tears welling up in his eyes, he said, "Look what we did!" And I responded, "Look what you did!" And tell Tyler that we will make Rogaine a top priority for him!

Next week, I’m speaking with Triumph striker, JJ Donnelly. What would you like me to ask JJ?

Recent national events aside, what's the biggest cultural difference between The States and England that you've experienced?

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