The Philadelphia Union is proud to share success stories of local residents, especially those who have made an impact not only within our stadium, but also within the community.
Delaware County resident, former PPL Park concessions manager Kevin Carney is just one example. Carney who worked for the Union for just a season was recently named the general manager of the Patriot Center arena at George Mason University.
Carney unknowingly began his career as a teenager attending Ridley High School, working concessions selling snacks for swim clubs in his hometown and surrounding areas.
A student at Widener University, Carney continued down this path when he heard of a job opportunity from a lacrosse teammate. The position as concessions supervisor for Aramark at Lincoln Financial Field peaked his interest as an Eagles’ fan and Carney began working the job part-time to earn extra money while he was still in school.
Upon graduation, Carney needed to find full-time work. Aramark expanded Carney’s responsibilities to include supervising the concessions for Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park, in addition to Lincoln Financial Field, where he continued to develop his knowledge and skills in the food service industry.
To take the next step in his career, Carney interviewed with Ovations at PPL Park in early 2012. Inspired by PPL Park’s “Everything Fresh” campaign, Carney became a part of the Philadelphia Union team. As concessions manager, Carney led upwards of 30 different concessions venues within the stadium, striving to provide the freshest and most delicious menu to PPL Park guests.
At the end of the 2012 Philadelphia Union season, Carney was approached with the opportunity to move to Fairfax, Va. to become GM at the Patriot Center. In seeking his next challenge, Carney accepted the offer, and has since managed and hosted various events such as men’s basketball, concerts and kids shows.
The hardest part of this career choice has been his move away from his family, as one of seven children, and being away from the Delaware County where he was raised and has always lived. Carney is thankful for the opportunities that his life and education here have provided him. While he may not be here in Chester any more, the Philadelphia Union and PPL Park staff wishes him the best of luck as he furthers his career.
In addition to Carney, another person the Union and PPL Park are proud to announce is Ovations’ office manager Charles Whitehead.
Whitehead, a born and raised Chester resident, graduated with a finance degree from West Chester University and was looking to get his career underway.
In the spring of his graduating year, Whitehead attended the first job fair held at PPL Park, which has since been held annually – and at the time was trying to fill over 600 positions. Not long after submitting his application, he was welcomed aboard as a prep cook for the Philadelphia Union and PPL Park’s opening season.
Throughout most of the season, Whitehead worked as a prep cook, until an opening came about in the Ovations’ office. And at the end of the season he was promoted to the job of Ovations’ office manager. Facing each challenge head on, Whitehead began working behind the scenes, handling the business side of Ovations rather than the food.
For two years, Whitehead staffed the office and worked with businesses to ensure that everything was prepared for events in the stadium, but now he has been granted another opportunity. This season he faces yet another promotion and will leave the office side of Ovations as he expands his responsibilities to focus on the front lines – operations.
In preparation for the season, Ovations looked to fill over 150 position at this year’s job fair which was held on January 19, an event Whitehead knows all too well, and can speak to its importance.
He is extremely thankful, and credits his success this far to “taking advantage of every opportunity as it comes,” something he advises everyone to do and hopes to continue to do as he seeks another challenge.
Know of a Delco Success story? Suggest someone at firstname.lastname@example.org