NBA VP Cheryl Stallings’ Big Break Started With a Chance Encounter

Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is the associate vice president of Content and Business Operations for NBA India, Cheryl Stallings.

Cheryl Stallings

Associate Vice President, NBA India Content and Business Operations

My first job was as an assistant at a Xerox company.

My big break came when, over 20 years ago, I worked in the Human Resources Department at FOX Studios in New York and ran into a former colleague who was working for the NBA.  We conversed briefly about how I wanted to move into more of a communications role since that was my major as an undergraduate. I gave him my resume, he did some networking, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve had to work hardest at saying no when necessary.

I never imagined I would live abroad for almost five years representing two regions (NBA Hong Kong and NBA India) in my organization.

I wish I’d learned sooner how to accept my failures.

The risk I regret not taking is learning how to swim.

If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent with a good morning workout, followed by a massage and spa day with a spiritual journey in a remote location in Asia, with a few special people in my life to share in the experience.

Defining my next chapter in life keeps me up at night.

When I’m struggling, I say to myself, “This too shall pass and remember you were designed perfectly by the almighty.”

I am unapologetically myself. I strive to live in my truth, accept my flaws as part of the human experience, be a blessing to others, and live on purpose.

Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.