A friend of a friend-Lisa Canada-Kyle Carter-July 2

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for July 2, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

I am still trying to process all the wonderful people who had their last day of employment at UNC Pembroke on Tuesday June 30th. I have spent my entire professional life in higher education with the overwhelming majority of in college athletics so I really appreciate and enjoy being on a great team.

In 2012 when I went to work in the Chancellor’s Office as Chief of Staff it was something new and different from college athletics. I am indebted to retiring Chancellor Kyle Carter for giving me the privilege to be on his team. I was sad on Tuesday when after 40 plus years in higher education he officially retired as the Chancellor at UNC Pembroke.

Despite some of the difference between athletics and university administration the elements of a team working towards a common goal was still there when I arrive in the Chancellor’s Office. What I had to do was learn what the goals were in the Chancellor’s Office and I found out they were really the same goals  that I had encountered my entire life in athletics. In athletics I was always part of concentrated effort to create a winning experience for my student athletes and coaches. In the Chancellor’s Office we were doing the same thing it was just an expanded audience that included not only our students but alumni, faculty, staff, and the community.

My career has involved some changes going from a student manager to graduate assistant coach, a graduate assistant coach to faculty member/assistant coach, from faculty member/assistant coach to head coach, from head coach to athletic director, and finally from athletic director to chief of staff.  In each of those roles I learned about the value of being prepared. For the last two years Kyle Carter gave me the opportunity to take his leadership team at the university and influence them on the value of preparation and the importance of results. To me the simplest definition of a championship team is a group that gets results. Kyle Carter’s team at UNC Pembroke over the last five years did just that.

Below is a picture of the team that supported Kyle Carter the last two plus years.

(l-r) Lisa Canada, Dan Kenney, and Marla Locklear

A Team

Kyle is a leader that valued the experience that students were having. I think if there was any result he cared about it was the experience students were having. He and his wife Sarah created so many new winning experiences for students. He instituted new traditions for first time freshmen and graduating seniors, he created a special group of students called Chancellor Ambassadors and provided them with unbelievable networking access to university leaders, he believed in a vision that downtown Pembroke could change into a college friendly hub, he and his wife repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the arts and theatre, and he had student involved in activities at his university home.

One of the most important decisions Kyle made was to hire Lisa Canada who became a member of his team and a trusted friend and confidant.

Kyle Carter Micro

The Friend of the Friend-LISA CANADA


The Communication Wizard

In March 2013 Kyle Carter tasked me to find a new member of his team that could provide him a level of expertise when he came to preparing briefings, speeches, publications, and to assist in managing his calendar. We hired Lisa Canada and we got way more than we ever expected. Lisa over achieved like few other leaders I have ever been around. In just a matter of months she had established a comfortable rapport with Kyle Carter and could frame sentences and messages that truly reflected the way he was thinking. She became the expert of writing with his voice. Every piece she prepared was pure gold.

Sadly Lisa last day on our team was the same day as Kyle Carter’s Tuesday June 30th. She is leaving UNC Pembroke to join her husband Mark who recently had become the provost at the University of Indiana at Kokomo.

As we move forward at UNC Pembroke we have a couple of big voids to fill with the departure of Lisa and Kyle. I do know that both of them have taught me so much about leadership, techniques on messaging, the value of using more than just a power point in delivering a message, and reinforced what I have known for a long time. When you put leaders on a team and all they reallyncare about is the results for the team and not care who gets the credit you create a championship team.

I have been blessed to be on the same team with Lisa and Kyle. They will be missed but I am lucky to still have both of them as friends.



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