Episode 005 – Allison Gorrell, President of Plan A Management

Allison Gorrell

Bobbi-Sue speaks with Allison Gorrell, the president of Plan A Management, a boutique full-service consulting firm. With experience in nonprofit management, public relations and special event production, Plan A Management is capable of executing events, programs, projects and campaigns for both nonprofit and for-profit entities. Plan A Management services multiple charitable organizations for athletes, including the Ryan Nece Foundation and the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation. Allison’s career first began in public relations as an intern. The conversation flows from Allison’s early career to making the leap to start her own business.  Allison isn’t afraid to discuss the general attitude towards women in sports and some of the lessons she learned and Bobbi-Sue goes off on a tangent about how women in sports media are treated. The most surprising part of this week’s episode, Allison’s favorite pastime which leaves Bobbi-Sue saying “stop it!” multiple times.

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Additional Show Notes:
  • Allison was a “daddy’s girl” who loved watching sports with her dad.
  • Her undergrad degree was in sociology and she thought she wanted to get into criminal justice until her first internship at a male prison. It was too late to change her major so she finished up and decided to go to a school with a masters program in communications in a city that had professional sports teams.
  • By a stroke of luck, she met someone who knew the PR director at the Buccaneers her first week at USF. She then interned with them. And then they won the Super Bowl!
  • Allison discusses the difference between public relations and community relations.
  • Ryan Nece asked her to be the executive director of his foundation.
  • Eventually, she went out on her own and started Plan A Management and added a couple more foundations.
  • Allison and Bobbi-Sue talk about Ryan and his foundation which focuses on a student service program.
  • It was early on that Allison learned that being a woman in sports can be difficult, even when you’re doing the right things.
  • Bobbi-Sue goes on a tangent about how women in sports media are treated, specifically Julie DiCaro and Jenna Laine.
  • The impressive response that Allison had when a player made inappropriate comments.
  • One of Allison’s clients, the Gramatica Family Foundation, provides mortgage free, energy efficient homes for combat-wounded veterans, built to VA and ADA specifications.
  • JIA83, started by Vincent Jackson, provides support to military children and families.
  • Allison also works with for-profit businesses like Cask Social Kitchen (a DELICIOUS spot!).
  • Bobbi-Sue gets excited at the thought of someone she knows owning an Orangetheory and wants a discount! (Seriously, someone help a girl out)
  • It is so important for athletes to have something else, not just football.
  • Apparently, Allison could kick all of our asses and went to Thailand to compete in a professional Muay Thai fight. Bobbi-Sue has a hard time keeping her shit together during this part of the conversation. As promised, the picture of the boxing ring that did not allow women on it for superstitious reasons is below:

Women are not allowed to TOUCH the ring or else every part of it has to be changed.

  • We close our conversation with a discussion about balance.

Quotable moments:

  • “How’d you get into sports? I know that younger people want to hear that there’s some magic formula, you know, I did A, B., C. I was just multiple times in the right place at the right time”
  • You have to kind of jump on it when those jobs open up
  • “The biggest thing that I learned is, just as much as you can learn from someone what to do, you can also learn what not to do.”
  • “The perception of impropriety is just as bad as impropriety itself”
  • “so that happened…” – Allison talking about her competing in a professional Muay Thai fight in Thailand
  • “Let’s keep the conversation going.”

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Extra Credit Reading/Watching:

You can find Vincent’s children’s book on Amazon at the following links:

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