Jessica Gelman learned a lot about structuring her time and connecting people
when she was a point guard for her basketball team at Harvard. Now, she’s a busy
CEO, leader and mom who’s great at organizing her time and others. In this
conversation about leading, sports and relationships, Jessica shares her success
secrets and staying connected.
Jessica has always been involved in sports and feels like it has shaped who she is.
Being first at something doesn’t bother her at all, in fact, she thrives on being
different. As a mom, she finds prioritizing her time to be one of her biggest
challenges. She loves to help people, but tells us about how she has come to
terms with balancing helping others with spending time with her family. She feels
mentors and sponsors come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Join us in this
interesting conversation about leadership in today’s world that you don’t want to
[02:41] Jessica’s background
[10:32] Secrets to her success & what she loves about sports
[11:15] Helping others and prioritizing time
[15:08] The barriers women face at work
[21:54] Overcoming limiting beliefs
[25:44] Daily habits of success
[28:57] Being a leader
[32:44] The role mentors has played in her career
[37:33] Lighting round questions
What book has greatly influenced you?
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?
- “Having confidence in myself is the difference between happiness and constant questioning.”
What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?
What is one change you've implanted that made your life better?
- Listening fully.
What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?
- All Fired Up by Pat Benatar
“I have found that data is an equalizer and leveled the playing field for me in the
business world.” – Jessica Gelman
“The concept of coaching is really important.” – Jessica Gelman
“I think my role is to clear out obstacles and enable people to do their jobs
better.” – Jessica Gelman
“There are a lot of different ways to define mentors or supporters or sponsors.” –
Jessica Gelman is an experienced CEO, industry leader, and entrepreneur with a data-driven, customer-centric approach to innovation. She is the CEO of Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR), a technology and services company that helps sports & entertainment organizations get analytics right – increasing value and impact along the way. KAGR’s data management platform, analytics and strategic
services is driving industry redefinition through data and technology. KAGR’s clients include all major US professional leagues, colleges, industry movers and in 2021, partnered with J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
Prior to KAGR’s creation in 2016, Jessica joined the Kraft Family in 2002 working for the sports properties (New England Patriot, Gillette Stadium and New England Revolution) where she led business operations, marketing & strategy for Kraft Sports & Entertainment.
Jessica co-founded and continues to co-chair the highly regarded MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the first and largest analytically focused sports conference. Previous speakers have included President Barack Obama, Adam Silver, Steve Ballmer, Nate Silver, and many other sports and analytics luminaries.
Jessica has received recognition for her leadership and innovation, including the 2014 Sports Business Journal “Forty under 40” which honors the most promising young executives in sports business under the age of 40 and in 2012 Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers,” which honors women who are leading and innovating in sports business.
Jessica earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA, cum laude from Harvard College. While at Harvard, she was selected as Harvard Female Athlete of the Year and in 2018 was honored as an Ivy League Legend of Basketball. She is an elected board member of the Harvard Varsity Club. Additionally, she is a board
member for Peace Players International and Shooting Touch.
Gelman and her wife have two sons and reside in the greater Boston area.
Follow Jessica on LinkedIn.