I AM UAA: Carrie Lindow
by Kathleen McCoy |
M.B.A '04 and Master's in Project Management '10
Hometown: Anchorage, AK
Fun Fact: Played college hockey at University of New Hampshire
"I was literally on the Russian River, fishing in a tank top, when I decided I should pursue my M.B.A. at UAA," says 33-year-old Carrie Lindow. "Why would I go back East and put myself in debt when I could be right here? This is where I wanted to be, and I could do it all here."
Rewind to high school. Carrie felt what many born and bred young Alaskans feel: the pull of a world of possibilities Outside. She didn't expect that life would lead her back home, but since choosing Anchorage she is fully invested.
"I just wanted to get out and see what else was out there," she says about taking out-of-state opportunities for an undergraduate degree in sports studies and a budding hockey career. Growing up in the fledgling girls hockey program that her dad helped spearhead in Anchorage, the Service High School grad had skated since she was 7 or 8 and had dreams of making the Olympics.
"The University of New Hampshire had a great stepping stone into the Olympic program," she says, "so I went on a hockey scholarship, made the Junior Olympic team, played college hockey and loved being on the other side of the country for awhile."
Her plan was to continue hockey after college, in Montreal or maybe even Europe. Unfortunately, a bad check from behind on the ice her senior year of college ended her professional hockey career early.
"I had had the injury once previously in high school," she explains, "but this time when my neck snapped back it actually paralyzed me."
Surgery resulted in titanium plates and screws that corrected a stenosis in her neck and allowed for the flow of spinal fluid to restore Carrie to her fully functioning self. She still plays hockey for fun and loves to ski, but "I just have to be a little more careful," she says.
And the injury changed her trajectory a little bit.
"I got the best grades of my life my senior year," she laughs. "And I accepted an internship with Dick Ebersol at NBC Sports in New York City." She says she learned more about the cog that is corporate America than she did about the glam of sports broadcasting, but the connections she was able to make landed her a job at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It was there, in the thick of covering hockey stats, and still a long way away from the Russian River, that she started thinking about going back to school for her M.B.A.
"I was considering looking for a job back at NBC Sports when I was told by one of the executives that I needed to get my M.B.A., that everything's a business," she says. While researching M.B.A. programs back East she found herself back in Anchorage, working at the Subway Sports Center Ice Rink as an operations manager, weighing her options and fishing in her free time-when it hit her.
"I realized how wonderful it is to have been raised here in Anchorage, and that I wanted to raise my family here as well," she says. "I love the environment, all the space up here, and I think there's a lot of great entrepreneurial spirit. You can really make an impact quickly here. That's really enticing as a young person and a young professional."
Embracing those realizations, Carrie earned her M.B.A. in 2004 from UAA, followed by a master's in project management in 2010, and has made a full transition from the sports scene to the family business. Her father started his environmental engineering and construction firm, ChemTrack, back in the early 1970s and part of his retirement plan now is to transition the company to his only child. In fact, Carrie moved from being a 30-percent partner in 2008 to buying in at 51 percent in May 2010. That move is a way for her to gradually succeed her dad as business owner, and it is also a good strategic move in relation to the women-owned small business initiatives of the federal government.
"It's a good time to be in this position," she says. "Getting any type of federal recognition or help for being a woman in this field is very beneficial. I really enjoy being a part of my dad's legacy, too. I cherish being able to work with him every day."
In fact, Carrie is fully settled into life in Alaska again. And being married to the lead singer of Anchorage's local rock band 36 Crazyfists, Brock Lindow, is just the tip of the iceberg. First of all, it is important to the couple that they are raising their own daughter in the community they grew up in. Carrie also sits on the board of the YWCA and has been volunteering for the women's organization for five years. She volunteers for the Red Wagon Society through the Children's Hospital and the Children's Cabinet with Providence Foundation, as well as coaching girls hockey in the past, too. Amongst all that, she also continues to prioritize the connections she's made at UAA and helped form the university's M.B.A. Alumni Club two years ago.
"We've got so many amazing professionals up here and the club is a way to come together, let our hair down, and reestablish some of that synergy we had in the classroom, where it's not about being competitive or saying the wrong thing, but it's about learning from each other," she says. "I just think UAA is great. It's here; it's at home; you can continue your education while meeting a lot of people in your community at the same time."