The Los Angeles Lakers named Kiesha Nix vice president of charitable affairs, making her the first Black woman VP in the franchise’s history, Sports Illustrated reports.
Magic Johnson delivered the good news about her promotion from executive director of the Lakers Youth Foundation.
“Hello miss VP,” the NBA icon called to congratulate Nix while she was on a Zoom call and almost didn’t answer the call.
The new position makes Nix one of the most powerful women in the sport of philanthropy, according to SI.
Nix championed programs centered on the well-being of the next generation as executive director of the Lakers Youth Foundation, according to the Los Angeles Sentinel. As vice president, she envisions expanding the franchise’s charity work.
“I am born and raised in South Central L.A., and it was important for me–when I delivered the check, or when we delivered the resources, that the kids get to see me because they get to see a lot of themselves in me, and I see myself in them. I let them know where I grew up and where I went to school because I wanted to give them some inspiration,” Nix said.
Nix and Johnson have teamed up on community events for more than a decade, starting when she worked for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. She began her career 30 years ago as a project manager at Merrill and worked her way up to negotiating contracts for BOA after the companies merged.
A career in community relations was never something she envisioned, but over the years, she developed a knack for leveraging wealth management to maximize social impact. Along the way, she volunteered at the bank’s charitable foundation and built an impressive reputation in corporate philanthropy.