Joining the PYB movement “just seemed right” for newly added board member, Brad Denning. “It was not a question of if I would get involved with PYB but when I would get involved,” Brad stated. Thankfully for PYB, Brad joined the diverse PYB Board of Directors in March and has already made a significant impact on the organization.
“I’ve played basketball for as long as I can remember, starting with pick-up games in the neighborhoods where I grew up in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Charlotte. I would pick up the basketball and then go play.” Brad competed in high school, making a run in the state tournament, and went on to attend the Big East powerhouse, Georgetown University. While Brad did not play on with his Hoya contemporaries, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning, he played his fair share of intramural basketball during and studied abroad (and played basketball) for a year in China, before graduating with a degree in Mandarin Chinese and a concentration in Finance.
Upon graduation, Brad worked for four years at Wells Fargo within the International Banking division, where he spent time in Manila, Sydney, and a year long stint in Bongkok. Brad then moved to Chicago and attended the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he earned his MBA. Following business school, Brad held leadership positions at a startup consulting firm named Diamond Technology Partners, as well as Microsoft, and now PwC.
During Brad’s early years at PwC, when he “did not have a great track record, and struggled with the pace,” a junior partner took time to work with Brad and mentored him while working on a project together. “From that time forward, I made a vow to look for younger professionals and try to help them the way [my mentor] helped me. I recognized the importance of coaching and mentorship, not particularly for those that are rockstars, but for those who have potential and are willing to try.”
Furthermore, Brad recently led an organization within PwC called, The Academy, where junior resources that are 1-2 years out of school form a structure that builds a sense of community and collaboration, and provides a common platform where they can discuss challenges and lessons learned, share ideas, and network with senior resources. “I was blessed to be able to run The Academy for three years and touch roughly 350 people a year. Every year I also make a pledge to take 4-5 graduates onto my projects.”
Brad’s meaningful work at PwC has also translated into his personal life where he has dedicated much of his time to volunteering within the community. Most recently, Brad served on the Board of Directors at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education before joining PYB. “When I look at the mission, the history of basketball in the city, and the resources available through the City of Philadelphia, there is so much opportunity to help kids better themselves and learn the tools to become positive citizens and leaders through the context of basketball. To me, PYB is a no brainer.”
Brad has passed along his passion for basketball and commitment to mentoring others to his three children. Brad’s daughter, Amanda, plays on the varsity girls basketball team at Archmere Academy in Wilmington, DE. In early February, Brad, Amanda, and Archmere’s Head Coach, Dan Pisani, organized a field trip for a group of girls in PYB’s Middle School Partnership Program to tour Archmere Academy’s campus, participate in the team’s pregame warmup, and watch the team compete against St. Elizabeth’s. After the game, all of the girls enjoyed a pizza party where the the girls were able to interact and learn from each other. “The varsity girls still talk about it. We have 3-4 girls on Amanda’s team who will participate at the PYB summer camp because of the positive experience they had at Archmere.”
From the beginning of Brad’s service on PYB’s Board of Directors, Brad has added great value to the organization. Among many things, Brad brings a unique perspective on the magnitude of the game of basketball, a multitude of experience in senior level positions in banking and consulting, as well as a deep appreciation for positive coaching and mentorship. PYB is truly fortunate to have Brad on our team.
Brad has lived across the U.S. and internationally including New Jersey, Charlotte, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Chicago, Manila, Hong Kong, Sydney, Taipei, Bangkok, and Philadelphia. In Brad’s spare time he enjoys BBQing and is an avid golfer.
On his experiences playing basketball internationally:
“I think basketball is a fantastic game that brings everyone together on a common platform. I don’t care where you are from, how much money you have, or your experience level, you can play one on one, three on three, pig, 21, make up a game, and it is an amazing way that you can connect with people from anywhere.”
By Diana Venezia, Manager of Fund Development and Operations