Finding Time to Give Back
Brian Consolino has athletics in his blood. He grew up on the ice, eventually playing hockey for the University of Arizona. He works on the hard wood, albeit refinishing gym floors as owner of Consolino Facility Services, LLC, an Atlanta-based refinishing business and manufacturer's rep firm. And his recent volunteering efforts have now exposed him to the Friday night lights.
Brian currently serves as the volunteer director of operations for the Kell High School football team in Marietta, Georgia.
“I got involved in the Kell football program because my son, Vinny, is a 14-year-old high school freshman. He asked me to volunteer, so I went to a parent meeting and heard that the operations director position was open. Vinny said, ‘You’re going to apply for this, right?’, so I did,” Brian recalls.
The role is extensive and has him tackling a variety of responsibilities.
“On game days, I’m there for six or seven hours, in addition to four to six hours on non-game days,” he says. “It adds up to about 10 to 12 hours each week.”
For home games, Brian oversees parking lot setup at the football stadium, makes sure the announcer in the press box has all his notes for the game, manages the “chain crew” (the people who keep track of the first down marker), helps prepare and set up the field before kickoff, and cleans up the field and equipment afterwards.
“I also watch for college coaches who often stand on the sidelines to watch our players,” says Brian. “Sometimes, we know they’re coming, and other times, they just show up.”
For away games, preparation starts early in the day. Brian often arrives at the school as early as 3:00 a.m. to load up a trailer with everything that might be needed on the sidelines before, during and after the game later that day.
Hours are long and excitement is high during the season, but Brian’s role doesn’t have much downtime. It’s a year-round job. During summer months, Brian hosts a field clean-up day which includes mowing grass and trimming trees. Volunteers also do other ad hoc projects, such as re-designing the school’s history wall that celebrates past trophies and retired jerseys which are meaningful to the team, the school, and the community.
Volunteering for the program is a family trait, which includes his dad, Phillip Consolino, a 50-year jan/san industry veteran who donated his time in the kitchen preparing 27 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 100 meatballs, 100 pieces of sausage, salad, bread, and dessert to feed the varsity football team before a recent game.
“Different sponsors step up to feed the team before every home game,” says Brian. “My dad and I sponsored the meal that night, so while I was at the recent ISSA Show, my dad and my sons were cooking for the football players.”
In addition to his volunteer work at Kell, Brian also recently signed on as the volunteer president of the booster club for the middle school basketball program.
“My 12-year-old son, Dominic, is in seventh grade and plays on the team,” Brian says with a smile. “My kids are very good about helping me out whenever I need them, and they can count on me to be involved in their programs, too.”
Obviously, Brian works very hard, but he insists that it comes with rewards — the biggest being a true family environment. When asked why he loves this sort of unpaid hard work, Brian’s answer was simple: “I’m with my kids.”
Gretchen Roufs, a 25-year janitorial supply industry veteran, owns a marketing and public relations company in San Antonio. To suggest someone you think should be featured in “Freetime,” contact her at Gretchen@GretchenRoufs.com.