Allow Me to Introduce Myself
Ever since I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was play professional tennis and become a best-selling author/speaker. I also wanted to be a super hero, Michael Jackson and Superfly (OK, a few of you will have to look up Superfly).
Super Hero, Michael Jackson and…
Growing up in the 70s, the Jackson 5 was really popular. I would play their records all day listening to ABC, I Want You Back and Dancing Machine and wanting to be just like Michael Jackson. Now in reality, I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life and my dancing left a lot to be desired. The problem with my dancing then (and today) is that I spend a lot of time on the ‘1 and the 3’ and not the ‘2 and the 4’. In retrospect, the only thing Michael Jackson and I had in common were 12 inch Afros.
Superfly? Well…as I wrote earlier some of you may have to search ‘Superfly’ on the Internet. After you do…don’t judge me.
Like a lot of kids from the 1970’s I grew up reading Superman, Batman and Spiderman comic books. And like most of my friends who read the same comic books, when I grew up, I wanted to be a super hero. Obviously, that didn’t happen for any of us, but like most of you, I did discover hidden talents.
Today I recognize that my super powers are data and honest dialogue. Sometimes honest dialogue is awkward and uncomfortable, but I believe that if we are truly going to leave this world better than we found it, it is sometimes necessary to throw political correctness aside, live truthfully and authentically. When that moment comes and it is your time to do so, I implore you, take a deep breath, stick out your chest, assume your best super-hero pose and Don’t’ Be Afraid to Call the Baby Ugly.
Professional Tennis Player
Now, quite by accident, I discovered a very real talent–tennis. As a teenager I was nationally ranked and received scholarships to both Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky University. After graduating and obtaining my first masters degree in Economics from Western Kentucky University, at the age of 23 I decided to pursue my ultimate dream of playing professional tennis. I bounced around on the satellite and challenger circuits and travelled the world for about 3 years before a heart problem cut my tennis career short. So what does one do when they have achieved their lifetime goal by age 27? Move on to the next one!
Best-Selling Author & Speaker
I have always been a talker. The proverbial class clown most of my life, I entertain those around me with stories and jokes, but make no mistake, with two masters and a doctorate under my belt, I can also engage in virtually any intellectual conversation. Fortunately, I was also blessed with a talent for writing and early on I dreamed of writing the next great American novel or biography. So writing and speaking became new aspirations as my tennis career came to an end.
I have shared my dreams and a few of my accomplishments because I believe that we are all the sum total of all the decisions we have made in life up to this point. I also want to show you that there is a common theme that has been present throughout all of my life. You don’t see it?
What do a professional tennis player, super hero, Michael Jackson, Superfly and a best-selling author have in common?
- They live to help or live to entertain people.
- They all require some measure of time and hard work to achieve
- They make the most of the gifts they were given.
- They all make the world a little better place to live in some way (small or large).
As a former tennis pro, bestselling author and speaker, I am “living the dream” as they say. Now that you know me a little better, and if you are the least bit interested, feel free to continue reading my Formal Bio. I would relish the opportunity to speak to your group or keynote your event. I’m betting that in the process, we may just learn new things together that will enrich both of our lives.
Scott A. Vowels, PhD is recognized as a leading expert in the field of Supplier Diversity and is a frequent speaker and panelist on industry issues. Dr. Vowels currently manages the Supplier Diversity Program for Apple and is widely known within the supplier diversity network for successfully leading both the Northern California and Alabama Minority Supplier Development Councils to national prominence as President & CEO. While leading the Alabama Council, Vowels also simultaneously operated a federal Minority Business Opportunity Center for the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency.
Early in his career, Vowels managed procurement and sourcing processes for manufacturing environments within General Motors and has over 20 years of procurement and 10 years of supplier diversity experience. Before entering the corporate workforce, Vowels was on an entirely different career path and traveled extensively as a world-ranked professional tennis player. He still counts travel among his greatest passions, but when he’s not on the road, Scott resides in Oakland, California.
His latest book, Don’t Be Afraid to Call the Baby Ugly reached #1 on Amazon in both ‘Supplier Diversity’ and ‘Minority Business’ categories.