Wayne Stickney serves as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Major Gifts and Resource Acquisition. He provides over fifteen years of experience in college athletics, university advancement, and student leadership development. In this role, Stickney is responsible for leading a team to secure support for capital projects, endowments, planned and annual gifts for scholarship and team enhancement. In Stickney's first three years, annual fundraising increased 21% and major gifts of $1 million, $500,000, and three $100,000 gifts have been secured for the Blair Field Campaign, a focus on investing in the Dirtbags Baseball Program. The Beach Athletics Board of Directors membership has increased to 25 members and the engagement of alumni and friends is at an all-time high.
Following a long history with Long Beach State, Stickney departed to serve as the Associate Athletics Director at New Mexico State in 2010. While working with the Aggies, Stickney was instrumental in implementing a major gifts program, which resulted in the second ($1.46 million) and third ($750k) largest gifts to New Mexico State athletics in the program's history.
While in Las Cruces, Stickney also created two VIP in-groups to help raise funds, resulting in record increases in giving to scholarship and football support. The first increased $10,000 members in the Aggie Athletic Club from zero to ten in its first year and provided the athletic director with an important cadre of advocates, representing various stakeholder groups. The latter recruited donors to support football excellence at a $5,000 annual level and generated over $260,000 in a two year period -- previously there was only one supporter at this level.
Additionally, Stickney served as sport supervisor for the Equestrian program where he led the search for a new coach and supported the team of 24 student-athletes and 30 equine athletes to a program high Top 4 ranking. The Cheer team was also under the direction of Stickney and competed nationally, in addition to representing the department in the community at over 70 events each year.
His time at New Mexico State was preceded by a lengthy history at Long Beach State. A student-athlete under long-time head coach, Andy Sythe, in the Track and Field program, Stickney also served as the president of Associated Students, Inc. as a student leader, helping market and pass the Beach Pride Referendum, a student fee increase that raises over a $1 million dollars annually to support Beach athletics. Additional projects Stickney was involved in over the years was starting the Student Recreation Center Committee, creating the University Flag, establishing the once successful student spirit group -- Beach Patrol, creating the Beach Pride Center, creating a student competition to design the campus parking pass, and leading an effort to inventory facility needs in the athletic department.
Following his graduation in 2002, Stickney took a position within the university, working for five years as the Director of Campus Scholarships and Development. He was promoted to the Coordinator of Athletic Development in 2007, where he created the Student-Athlete Phone-A-Thon. This program generated over $200,000 and 1,000 donors in its first few years.
In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies at Long Beach State, Stickney completed a Master of Science degree in Counseling for Student Affairs at LBSU and earned an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University. His dissertation, titled An Examination of the Issues Impacting Athletic Directors at NCAA Division I Football Bowl Series, discovered value perspective and advice for new athletic directors, including:
- Be careful who you trust and build a strong staff;
- Understand the human resources process;
- Create a clear vision and plan;
- Assess relationships in your organization;
- Create alignment with university leadership, especially the President;
- Be in the business for the right reasons;
- Develop a strong relationship with your conference office;
- Get to know your best supporters quickly;
- Get to know the student body;
- Grow where you are;
- Develop a network of experienced advisors;
- Embrace change; and
- Acquire experience in fundraising and/or marketing.
He currently serves as the co-Big West Conference Representative for the National Association of Athletic Development Directors and is a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Sports Management at LBSU where he currently teaches Marketing, Fundraising, and Development.
A lifelong practioner in the area of leadership, Stickney has developed leadership philosophy that is anchored by four beliefs, which include:
- Lead by example;
- Lead by positive reinforcement;
- Lead by communicating the vision and the details of the strategic plan; and
- Lead by example.
Leadership development in others is a pursuit Stickney engages in regularly and seeks to inspire those around him to lead from their own chair.
Stickney is married to Kierstin Stickney, who serves as the Director of Communications and Marketing for 49er Shops and is on faculty in the College of Business Administration at Long Beach State. They have two daughters, Gianna and Alexandra, and one son, Jackson.
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