Sometimes, a great opportunity presents itself simply because you’re in the right place at the right time. For Justin Prettyman BS ’07, his big break came while he was a student at Suffolk and working part-time at Paradise Rock Club.
Prettyman had recently completed a Sports Crisis Management course taught by Wayne Levy of the Boston Celtics’ Shamrock Foundation. It was through that class he figured out what he wanted to do for his career: to work on the charitable side of the sports industry.
When he found out that (now former) Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein would be hosting his Hot Stove Cool Music fundraiser at the club, Prettyman offered his services to the Red Sox as a volunteer. His hard work and determination impressed the program coordinator, who subsequently asked him to volunteer more and more. “It reached a point where I told them, ‘I need to start getting paid for this,’” Prettyman says. So they did.
In his current role as assistant director of marketing and development for the Red Sox Foundation, Prettyman is responsible for branding the foundation across New England through events and fundraising. That involves working with sponsors, donors, and social media.
Despite having no web background, Prettyman created a website for the Foundation (the only one among MLB charities) and cultivated the largest Twitter following of its kind. All told, his efforts have helped the Red Sox Foundation become the largest team foundation in professional sports.
But Prettyman’s proudest accomplishment is his involvement with Red Sox Scholars, the Foundation’s academic cornerstone. “I’m proud of the fact that it’s not just a ‘checkbook charity,’” Prettyman says of the program, which recruits middle school students and offers them mentoring opportunities in addition to college scholarships. In total, there are 240 students in the program, including two from Suffolk: Aunnakalia Boyce BS ’14 and Lidia Zayas ’15. Both offer high praise for their mentor and friend.
“My favorite thing about Red Sox Scholars is mentoring younger children, just like Justin has mentored me,” Boyce says. “Whether he knows it or not, Justin’s my mentor," adds Zayas.
As someone who is on the job during each of the Red Sox’ 81 home games, Justin Prettyman works hard for his success. But it hasn’t hurt being in the right place at the right time—just ask him to see his two World Series rings.