An unprecedented leap of faith would lead Kiesha Nix to achieve history with the Lakers, serving as the first Black woman to become a vice president within the Los Angeles Lakers organization, Sports Illustrated/afro Tech reports.
During Nix’s career spanning nearly 30 years, her heart of philanthropy has remained at the forefront of her professional objectives. Before landing the historic position, she initially worked as a project manager at Merrill Lynch, but a company merge would lead Nix to manage contracts under Bank of America. Thriving in her role as a managing investor, Nix landed high net worth clients and CEOS. Working outside of her job description, Nix dedicated countless hours and nearly two decades to curate events and raise fundings for the bank’s charitable foundations.
“It was not part of my normal day-to-day job responsibilities, but I did that work for 18 years,” Nix said. “I saw it as a way to bridge the gap between our clients and the kids in South Central, Watts and Compton because that’s where I grew up.”
Feeling secure in her current title, Nix never pondered shifting careers until a colleague approached her to consider a role in community relations. Nix had a credible reputation and checked off all the qualities to become a valuable asset in her next move.
After a nudge from a mentor and what Nix recalls “a leap of faith,” she found herself managing the bank’s relationship with the Dodgers, museums and more high-profile partners. During her two-year tenure, she made quite the mark upscaling the bank’s investments from a few million to $25 million by 2015.
It’s to no surprise her work ethic and community-driven spirit generated a buzz. So, when Lakers President Jeannie Buss called Lon Rosen, the executive vice president of the Dodgers, to inquire about potential prospects for a leadership position, Nix was a top pick for Rosen.
Now wearing her new hat as the vice president of charitable affairs, Kiesha Nix has continuously trumped her goals. In her first year, she raised more than $400,000 in an annual golf tournament and by 2019 had raised more than half a million dollars in one day.
Although Nix is grateful to become the first Black woman to land the position, she wants to ensure she will not be the only one.
“I think being the first Black woman vice president here is exciting,” Nix said. “I once heard Jeannie Buss say when she became the first female team owner to win a championship that it’s O.K. to be the first, but you can’t be the only. I’ve adopted that mentality, and I’m looking to help the next generation of leaders to take my place.”