Off the Cuff with Claiborne: Carolyn Kindle Betz
Carolyn Kindle Betz has two jobs. She’s the president of Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization her grandfather Jack Taylor founded. She’s also co-owner of St. Louis’ new Major League Soccer franchise, the first female-majority-owned franchise ever. She opens up about personal style and, yes, soccer.
How are things with MLS since the pandemic?
We’re moving along, and the team is busy. We’re waiting to see how the post-COVID world will look and what changes we may need to make. The stadium design is still being fine-tuned, and we’re also working on the club colors, crest and team name. Some recruiting is still happening. We have new hires who will add to the excitement of having an MLS franchise in St. Louis. Hopefully, we’ll make some announcements soon. Trust me, we are excited to start sharing some positive news.
What excites you most about being involved in MLS?
Everyday, I’m learning something new. Working at Enterprise Holdings for 22 years, I wanted to find new things to do with my career. Moving over to CEO of a sports team was exactly in my wheelhouse. I just like to learn. My days are never boring, which I appreciate.
What is your signature style?
Anything pink. Honestly, if my friends are out and see a pink hat, they’ll buy it for me. It’s become my favorite color. It makes me feel happy and sassy, so I have a lot of pink.
What’s your go-to outfit for an event or appearance? I’m guessing it starts with pink.
It does! It’s a pink shirt and white jeans. But I’ve also gotten into the dress and sneaker look. A lot of the events I go to are on pitches and fields, so it’s an excuse not to wear heels. I’ve had to add some sneakers to my shoe collection.
You wouldn’t be caught dead in what?
A tutu. No one over 40 should be wearing a tutu.
What is the best career advice you ever received, and who did you get it from?
This one’s tough. I’ve had a lot of great bosses. I just remember one, who will remain nameless, told me, “don’t screw this up.” And that that was literally the best advice because he was right. If I screwed up, I’d get fired, right?
What are the three qualities that got you where you are today? And obviously, one of them is that you didn’t screw up a lot.
Actually, I think it’s because I have an inquisitive mind and ask a lot of questions. I have no problem saying, “I don’t understand. Can we go back?” Honesty is also important, which goes back to not being afraid to admit that I don’t understand or need assistance. Finally, loyalty, because it is so key in being successful. It’s not only being loyal to your customers and employees, but it’s also having them respect you enough to be loyal back.
Where is your favorite local dining spot?
It’s going to have to be Sportsman’s Park.
Do you have a Plan B? If Sportsman’s Park is too crowded, where do you go next?
I’d probably go to Olympia Kebob House & Taverna for a gyro.
When you go there, your drink of choice is?
I have two favorites, but they aren’t at Sportsman’s Park or Olympia. I love Gourmet to Go’s Arnold Palmer and the Negroni you can get at the Niche Food Group restaurants.
What are your favorite activities, aside from soccer? And did you ever play, or have you always enjoyed from a distance?
I never played, but it’s been fun to get to understand the soccer world. I love playing golf with my husband, family and friends.
Do you let your husband win from time to time just to keep harmony in the family?
Well, my husband is a professional golf teacher, so I think the question is whether he lets me win.
Books or movies?
I’m a big fan of Disney movies. The Lion King is probably my favorite. And for books, I’ve been reading a lot about soccer and enjoying John Grisham recently. I’m always up for new suggestions. I like books that captivate me. I’m not someone who starts a book and stays up until 3 a.m. to finish it. I read a lot on vacation.
Speaking of vacations, what’s your favorite place to travel?
Oh, the Cayman Islands.
No argument from me. Okay, beach or mountains? I think the beach for you.
Oh yeah. There’s so much equipment you have to take to the mountains.
I’m a one carry-on bag going to the beach kinda guy for sure. Alright now, you can’t live without what?
What’s still on your bucket list?
I want to go to Greece.