Director, team strategic partnerships and business development, Columbus Crew SC
About: Former professional soccer player Dante Washington has landed somewhere he loves as a director leading business development for Columbus Crew SC, a team he played with from 2000 to 2002. Washington went on to spend eight years at Nationwide Insurance leading the creation of an initiative meeting the financial services needs of law enforcement officers. He now manages the Crew’s affiliation program with youth soccer clubs and its alumni relations.
Working together to accomplish a goal is easier said than done, but the Columbus Way ensures that the best interests of the city are always at the forefront.
Outside of work: Eight-year rider and fundraiser for Pelotonia; volunteer soccer coach for Big Walnut Soccer Association; U.S. Soccer board of directors; former national spokesperson for the Office of National Drug Control and Policy for Major League Soccer; former literacy spokesperson for Time Warner Cable in Columbus; former celebrity spokesperson for Muscular Dystrophy Association in Dallas.
What does Columbus need to thrive? We need to continue to be inclusive and collaborative. Working together to accomplish a goal is easier said than done, but the Columbus Way ensures that the best interests of the city are always at the forefront. Columbus also needs to stand proud. This city has so much going for it!
Washington’s idea: We could address children’s mental health by focusing on activity. Activity is critical for children, and there is research that shows children are less active than prior generations due to a number of issues, with technology like social media and gaming being a major driver. The added stress and isolation during the pandemic may compound children’s mental health issues. Provided it’s safe, the group could work with local partners including sports stores, professional teams and university athletic departments on bike and helmet donations, free sports camps and recess takeovers at schools. Virtual activities should be considered if close contact is not permitted.