Monica Flores Rowley of Goals Foundation is a winner of one of North Bay Business Journal's 2018 Latino Business Leadership Awards.
Professional background: Co-Founder of Epicenter Sports and Entertainment plus 30 years of experience in sports business operations, business administration, events, marketing and design.
Education: Bachelor of science, interior architectural design from San Jose State University
Tell us your story and that of your organization: In 1996, my husband, Andrew Rowley founded Sports City Indoor Soccer Center in Santa Rosa. With my prior experience in graphic design and business administration combined with my passion for soccer as a player and fan, it was a perfect match to work side by side with Andrew.
Together we developed everything from scratch. It was a new industry and there wasn’t a manual for it. With his vision and my attention to detail we created policies, procedures, a scheduling process, you name it. There was trial and error. Great days and horrible days but it was all worth it when we saw the smiles on everyone’s faces.
For years we looked for a place to expand to other sports, to see what else we could offer our members. We always studied market trends and saw the future in combining sports with family entertainment. We spent years researching and learning as much as we could about family entertainment.
There were real estate attempts and failures but through perseverance, our years of research combined with our many years of sports management and development, it finally paid off and resulted in the creation of Epicenter.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for Andrew’s tenacity, Sports City would have never relocated and Epicenter would have never come to fruition. Only our family/friends know how hard we worked on these projects and now that Andrew and I have officially stepped away from the day to day operations, we enjoy more time with our five year old as he’s our next big project - raising a boy who loves his sports.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
Even though Epicenter has been open for nearly two years, I am now realizing what I personally accomplished specifically with regards to design. Every sign, every paint color, light fixtures and more…all my decisions. When my son was a young toddler, I was tasked with developing the children’s play area, so I designed a space with my son in mind for children to use as they grow. In the children’s play area, there’s a specific spot for crawling/cruising babies while toddlers play nearby. Even the goofy sports characters are my designs.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Aside from being the first female in my family to receive a college education, I think that becoming a mother at the age of 44 while in the middle of developing Epicenter and still the COO of Sports City would be what I’m most proud of.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Time management between health, my son, husband, family, friends, fun, responsibilities, etc. I want to do it all.
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them:
Prioritizing the to-do list when EVERYTHING is a priority. That was always my biggest obstacle. My father-in-law would say, “Planning Precedes Performance”. My Tia Martha would say “Prioritize, Deputize and Supervise”. Prioritizing my to-do list was a daily task. Without prioritizing and planning, I couldn’t execute successfully no matter what I was working on. Once the list was ready, I’d do as my mom would always say, “Just Do It”.
Monica Flores Rowley
Executive Director and Co-Founder