Red Stars Confidential

A tribute to Peter Wilt's time in Chicago: Amanda Vandervort - Women's Professional Soccer

A few months ago, Peter Wilt - the founding President and CEO of the Chicago Red Stars - publicly announced that he was leaving Chicago and returning home to Milwaukee to serve as President and CEO of the Milwaukee Wave. Wilt served Chicago's professional soccer community as an executive leader with the Chicago Power, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Red Stars for nearly15 years. Here, some of his friends and co-workers reflect on his accomplishments

Name: Amanda Vandervort
Current place of employment & job title: Women's Professional Soccer - Web Coordinator 
Previously: Chicago Red Stars - Director of Online Marketing, Website and Camps

When did you first meet Peter?
I met Peter on the Exhibit Hall floor at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, Md. in January 2008.  

What was it like working with Peter? Did he influence you in any way, and if so, how?
Even before I started working with the Chicago Red Stars, I knew about Peter's quest to bring a Women's Professional Soccer franchise to the Chicagoland area through his blog: http://chicagoprowomenssoccer.blogspot.com.  His  transparency drew me toward the Red Stars from the very beginning, and even before we met I felt like we were "virtual friends".  

As Peter's employee at the Chicago Red Stars, I always felt he was open, sincere, honest and approachable - regarding literally anything!!!  He is a true leader in every sense of the word.  Peter always brings creative and fresh ideas to the table, and is willing to listen to everybody else's input - no matter how big, small, or crazy the idea - because he honestly respects his colleagues and peers. My favorite part about working for Peter was that he always made time to come by and sit in my office to learn about the project I was working on, or sometimes he'd just come by to put his feet up and hang. 

I am thankful that I have Peter in my life, and feel that he taught me a few really important things in business: (1) Understand and implement effective management skills (I will carry his management style close to my heart in whatever future opportunities come my way); (2) surround yourself with people you admire and respect; (3) It's okay to be open and honest in a public forum, even if your opinion may not be the most popular, and (4) you'll get back what you put into it!  (Take the time to write blogs when people ask you to, respond to twitter/facebook comments, participate in online communities, etc.)

pirate_day_staff_photo.jpg

Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Chicago Red Stars' Office in 2008 - one of Vandervort's favorite memories with Wilt

How has Peter influenced soccer in the Chicagoland area; what sort of impact has he made?
Wow. I don't think there are enough words to describe the impact that creating and building the first and only fully professional women's soccer league in the world can have.  When all's said and done, the Chicago sports landscape will never be the same, and what a lot of people may not know is the incredible impact he's had on the league as a whole.  Peter's put in a tremendous amount of himself into WPS and it shows in the progressive, thoughtful, innovative and successful organization he's left us to build upon.  

Favorite soccer related memory with Peter:
(in no particular order)

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Previous tributes to Peter Wilt at Red Stars Confidential

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