Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with professional basketball players? For Sammy Schulman, who grew up right here in Louisville’s Jewish community, that’s just part of his everyday job because he is the chief financial officer of the Miami Heat, whose responsibilities include player contracts. He’s also the Board chair of the Jewish Federation of Broward County.
You can hear firsthand about his experiences with the Heat and learn why he also believes it is important to be a leader in the Jewish community because Schulman is coming to Louisville on Tuesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. to speak at the 2016 Federation Campaign Men’s Event. The event, at Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant, 150 S. Fifth Street, includes dinner and costs $25 per person.
Schulman has strong Louisville ties. A member of BBYO throughout his high school years, he has great memories of his youth spent at the JCC. His father, Stuart Schulman, was very active with the Louisville Jewish Federation and served as the director of its endowment program for a time.
Following his father’s example, Sammy Schulman has been an integral part of the Jewish Federation of Broward County since 2001.
Growing up in Louisville also means Schulman was raised on basketball, so 25 years ago, when he had the opportunity to combine his love of basketball with his profession, it was a dream come true.
In 1987, Schulman was living in Dallas, TX, and working as an Audit Manager with Peat Marwick Main, a “Big 8” accounting firm at the time. But when he was recruited to come to Miami to work for the new NBA franchise, it was a no brainer decision for him. ‘
Reminiscing back on his time at the HEAT Schulman said, “25 years has honestly gone by in a flash! It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.”
“I came to work for the HEAT in November of 1987, which is about a year before we ever played a game,” said Schulman. “And when I got here there were five people in the office, so it was really a start-up.” Now the organization has about 250 employees.
Schulman has had 25 years of unforgettable memories working with the HEAT. He fondly remembers the first playoff game at the Miami Arena: “To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a building that loud. Even as loud as this building has gotten [AmericanAirlines Arena], I’m not sure it was as loud as that building was the very first playoff game.”
He said, “All of Miami who was there was just so excited, because it was our first playoff game and it was like ‘Okay, now we’re really in the NBA.’”
Schulman’s other favorite moments at the HEAT include the two NBA Championships. It was special not only being able to share with co-workers but also being able to share the Championship at the AmericanAirlines Arena in 2012, as well as in Dallas in 2006, with his wife and three children who are huge HEAT fans.
In addition to working with player contracts, Schulman was part of the core team responsible for the construction and financing of the new AmericanAirlines Arena.
Space is very limited, and only a few places remain. RSVP by Monday, February 29 online at jewishlouisville.org/mens-event or to Development Director Matt Goldberg, firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-238-2707.
This event is hosted by MVPs Mark Behr, Andy Blieden, Mark Blieden, Jonathan Geer, Doug Gordon, John Greenberg, Hunt Schuster, Scott Trager, Steve Trager, Andy Vine and Louis Waterman.
Editor’s note: some text for this story was provided by the Miami Heat.