Chamber Insider Blog

Meet the ’19 SBA Finalists! Loudoun Soccer

Congratulations to Loudoun Soccer for being a finalist this year for the 25th Anniversary of the Loudoun Small Business Awards! View the full list of finalists here. These awards will be held on November 8, 2019 at The National Conference Center. Register Here!

Loudoun Soccer is up for Health and Wellness Business of the Year! Post written by Colin Smith, Executive Director of Loudoun Soccer.

1.  Tell us your story of how your business evolved into what it is today.

Long before I came on the scene, we started out of a garage in 1978. Kinda like Google. So fast forward to today, where we operate the largest rec league in the region, we own a 12-acre soccer facility, we devote almost $150,000 annually to financial assistance and college scholarships, and our travel teams compete at a national level … it sort of blows your mind.

2.  What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?

And to win this award really would be a validation of all the blood, sweat, and tears, and hundreds of thousands of people – I’m talking volunteers, coaches, players, referees, board of directors, staff, etc. – have poured into our organization for 40 years. So for me, this is a tribute not only to our current families and staff, but all who came before them.

3.  What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?

It’s really the focus on delivering high-quality programming. That’s what keeps our players and families with our club year after year.

4.  Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

My old boss at Georgetown, Lee Reed, taught me that any amateur sports operation should be player-centered, coach-driven, and administrator assisted. Every decision we make at Loudoun Soccer comes down to one question:  What is best for our players? And we’re definitely coach-driven. Mark Ryan and his staff are the best in the country – bar none. They’re men and women who are on the front lines with our kids each and every day teaching them life skills through the game of soccer. My job as an administrator, along with our staff and board, is to help develop a culture and provide the necessary resources to help our kids reach their full potential both on and off the field.

5.  What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?

Personally, my favorite part is level of engagement we have with so many residents and how supportive everyone is of our mission. From our families to the county staff to the local business community, everyone understands what we’re about and supports us on so many levels. It’s hard to go to the grocery store wearing a Loudoun Soccer shirt and not bump into five people who stop you and say, “Hey, Loudoun Soccer!”

6.  How do you see your business evolving in the next 10 years?

I see continued growth alongside the County population as a whole. New soccer fields scheduled to come online over the next few years will help us more kids out on the field and active on a daily basis. We’re also actively looking to build an indoor training facility at Loudoun Soccer Park which will open up a whole new set of programming for our kids.

7.  If you’re not in the office where can we find you?

I have two young children so you can probably find me exploring/chasing them around at one of the County’s parks, playgrounds, or other family-friendly events.

8.  What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?

My father was a rabid Yankees fan, so I grew up wanting to play shortstop for the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter had a stronger throwing arm, so it didn’t work out.

9.  If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?

I’d sleep in, Facetime with the kids, and invite some friends over to cookout and watch a game.

10.  What is the one book that you would recommend everyone read?

High Output Management by Andrew Grove

Thank you to Colin and the whole Loudoun Soccer team! Good luck at the Small Business Awards this year.