Continue to commit to excellence, business leader tells sixth graders
Continue to commit to excellence, business leader tells sixth graders
Posted on 05/03/2017
Dr. Johns, Mr. Appleby and students at today's career focus luncheon

No matter what your career goals, there is only one promise you need to make yourself to be a success, a local business leader told Utica Community Schools students.

“Make a commitment to excellence in everything you do,” said Andy Appleby, owner of the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL).

Appleby, who opened the Jimmy John’s Field in Utica nearly a year ago, spoke to more than 2,000 UCS sixth graders at the annual UCS Career Focus Luncheon.

The luncheon, sponsored annually by the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence, allowed sixth graders to meet in small groups with area business leaders to talk about their career goals and develop an electronic resume.

The sixth graders also heard about the career path of keynote speaker Appleby, who called his new league a “10 year overnight sensation” based on his years of planning and work to make the park a reality.

Appleby said his career dream growing up was to be a general manager of the Boston Red Sox.

His background includes being one of the youngest executives at Palace Sports and Entertainment, owner of a minor league team in Indiana and owner of a professional football (soccer) club in England. 

He now serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Sports and Entertainment and owner of USPBL.

“I could not have had my success without my dedication to education, excellence and hard work,” he told students.

In speaking to students, he share four important pieces of advice for a successful career:

  • Perseverance - “I can hardly remember anything in my life that started with a yes. I have had to work harder and harder to achieve my goal.”
  • Making Mistakes - "Don’t ever not do something because you are afraid to make mistakes. The key is to learn from your mistakes and get better.”
  • Always do the right thing – “If you keep doing all the right things, positive things will happen to you.”
  • Work hard at everything you do – “That goes for your schoolwork and whatever profession you choose – if you always work hard, and are always on time, then you are more than likely going to be a success.”

Appleby said he has already seen the commitment to excellence in Utica Community Schools during his time as owner of the league.

“I could tell that by the students at my table - a lot of you in this room already live by that commitment to excellence,” he said. “It’s something that you need to do all of your life.”

Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns told students their UCS background will allow them to set high standards as they grow older.

“Build your own field of dreams,” Dr. Johns said. “Think about those courses you are going to take at secondary level to reach your goals, and make a difference in your lives and the lives of others."