We had the good fortune of connecting with Gina Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gina, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Without question: curiosity, perseverance and staying abreast of current events. You could argue that those are both traits but I look at them as habits that need daily dedication. Curiosity helped me throughout my career whether as a reporter, at networking events or in pitches. The habits that come with being curious have been invaluable. From approaching a situation with an open mind to understanding the importance of asking thought-provoking questions, being curious about people, their businesses and their stories has led to incredible opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, it’s helped me adopt a growth mindset that’s a necessity in our rapidly evolving world. Part of being curious, like I mentioned, is asking questions. A lot of them. While it’s important to avoid yes or no questions, in business you are ultimately looking for a “yes” or a “no”. You cannot fear the no. A “no”, many times, means “not right now”. I’ve worked for TV stations who said I wasn’t a right fit for an anchor or a reporter job. I’ve landed consulting contracts with clients who had previously not been in position to hire me. I’ve secured incredible interviews with athletes, team owners and coaches after repeatedly being told “NO”. These opportunities came from being professionally persistent following-up in a way that was thoughtful and confident. Perhaps my bias comes through when I mention my dedication to staying on top of current events because I worked in newsrooms for 20 years. The importance of knowing what’s happening in your community, industry and on a global scale absolutely helps you professionally. Whether giving you an opportunity to connect with a key prospect at a networking event or identify a business opportunity for a potential client, understanding the topical stories that impact your industry is critical to success. I’m committed to watching the news, checking social media and following trends that apply to my industry on a daily basis. These habits that will help you no matter what your goals are or in what industry you work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve spent my career as a storyteller: as a sportscaster, media consultant and now as the Vice President of Media & Communications for FC Dallas. Perhaps I’m most proud of the stories I’ve had the chance to tell throughout my career. Why? Because good stories always matter. The way we tell them has changed but the power of a strong story will always matter. Stories ranging from an Israel/Palestine Peace Team that competed in Dallas Cup and a veteran who was inspired by the Dallas Mavericks before he died to a day on the ranch with the late, great Bum Phillips and FC Dallas player Nkosi Burgess who saved a woman’s life at Stonebriar Mall by performing the Heimlich maneuver on her while she was choking, these have been powerful pieces that inspired others. That reporter’s curiosity will also be important to my business and career because while it can help find solutions for brands and businesses, at the end of the day it can also tell amazing stories that bring people together.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a Dallas native, I love bringing people to our city. From the architecture and shopping to the wonderful food and sporting events, there is so much to do. Sports is woven into the fabric of our community in Dallas/Fort Worth. I’d suggest the holy grail of a DFW sports experience. The sports calendar would need to align perfectly (and in the COVID-19 era, it did) but I would suggest kicking off the weekend with a high school football game on Friday night. There are few better games than the Oak Cliff Super Bowl: Kimball vs Carter. On Saturday, it’s an FC Dallas afternoon game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco followed by a Saturday night Mavs game. Sunday, you have to hit Arlington for a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium or Rangers game at the beautiful new Globe Life Field. If you can hit a Tuesday night Dallas Stars game, you’ve truly mastered the DFW sports grand slam. If you do Dallas, you have to do a great Tex-Mex lunch and I would do Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village for the food and people watching. You’ll likely run into a Bravolebrity or Pro Football Hall of Famer. I’m partial to the Rico Salad (no bacon) and a skinny margarita. Burn a few calories by window shopping at some of DFW’s best luxury boutiques: Hermés, YSL, Tom Ford. I’d follow that with dinner at Sachet and a drink at the Rattlesnake Bar in the Ritz Carlton. Another day should be spent in Oak Cliff. It’s one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Dallas. Drive the hills of old Kessler Park and get lost in the gorgeous architecture. Have lunch at Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District and stroll some of the independent stores that fill the District. From Oak Cliff, I would head east to White Rock Lake. Rent a standup paddle board or kayak at White Rock Paddle Co and spend an hour on White Rock’s waters. The Lakewood homes that line the lake are stunning. I’d finish the day at Gemma in East Dallas followed by a nightcap at Adair’s in Deep Ellum, a Dallas classic. If you follow that itinerary, you’ll be exhausted but it will be worth every second.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Too many to list! When I started in sports media, it was still a rarity to have a “woman on TV talking sports”. I was the first female sportscaster in Guam and Knoxville, TN. The scrutiny was hard because I made a ton of mistakes, like many of us starting our first jobs, but did so on television in front of thousands. Hiring me was seen as a risk or gamble. “How would the market react to a woman talking sports on TV?” In 2020, that discussion doesn’t take place nearly as much. I am so thankful for the news directors and leaders who gave me those opportunities.