Water work

For Mara Keggi '94MBA, an avocation has become a vocation. Keggi was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic women's rowing team that placed sixth in Seoul, Korea. Eight years later, she is the manager of the men's and women's rowing competitions for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Keggi came to the Goizueta Business School in 1992 to study sports event marketing. One of her first tasks in a summer 1993 unpaid internship with ACOG was to inspect Lake Lanier in Gainesville from a rower's perspective to determine whether it could serve as an Olympic venue. A year later, Keggi was working full-time for ACOG. "I graduated on May 10, 1994," she says, "and ACOG asked me to start work on the eleventh."

Keggi is responsible for coordinating the practice and competition sessions and overseeing facilities, equipment, and personnel at Lake Lanier. When the Olympic Games are underway, Keggi will supervise twenty-seven paid staff members and 275 volunteers.

Because the rowing venue is an hour away from the Olympic Village, Keggi will create a home away from home for the seven hundred athletes expected at the lake. "Once they leave the Olympic Village, [I'm responsible for them]," she says. "We'll be serving two hot meals a day, and we'll have a weight-training facility, team tents, sleeping tents, and a lounge."

Keggi anticipates a full, fast-paced summer. "I probably won't get much sleep," she says. "When the venue opens for the athletes at six o'clock in the morning, it means I'm there at four-thirty. And when the venue closes at eight o'clock at night, I'll have staff meetings until nine-thirty. But it will be incredibly exciting when the athletes come. [Lake Lanier] is the most beautiful place for rowing in the country, and I would say it's one of the top two courses in the world."

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