Other than people and places, the change that revolutionized the way work had to be done at the office was the introduction of the computer. “She doesn’t like change. Computers weren’t a very good friend to her. She still used paper for a while,” Jackie shares. But Carol adapted, because “for her, this was home.” “No single person in our organization has dealt with more change than Carol Zanto,” Scott adds. “Her career started at a time when the organization was making a historic change from its founder to new leadership. Since that point, Carol has been present for every major milestone, pitfall, and success. She has literally lived through the digitization of the Association.” He points to the advent of the online points system, the development of a resource-driven website, and the creation of an online store and finance system as examples that created massive changes in the finance department both in size and scope. “The requirements of the organization’s finance department are five times what they were in the 70s. Carol retires having led the organization from a multi-thousand dollar non profit to one of multi-millions, all with a finance staff of no more than three.” Carol’s willingness to see the organization through change, and her commitment to learning what was
Keep ‘em Laughing
“...It is just so clear how much she loves her family and life, and you can’t help but want to jump on a motorcycle and have an adventure of your own. Her joy for life is infectious!” — Renee Motter, 2017 National Educator of the Year
needed to grow with the NFL, prompted her 1999 nomination to the Hall of Fame, the highest honor for any high school speech and debate coach to which only a handful of other non-coaches have been elected or appointed. “She truly belongs in the Hall of Fame, which it was my honor to present to her at the Phoenix Nationals,” says Jim Copeland.
Jackie recalls that one of her first impressions of Carol was her good sense of humor. Carol had that impact on coaches as well as coworkers. Cheryl Gilmore, a former coach and district chair from Louisiana, befriended Carol through their longdistance contacts about membership issues and eventually starting helping Carol at the National Tournament. “In 1999, when the tournament was in Phoenix, Carol and Jim Copeland were the first people I ran into when I got to the hotel. Carol had a small compact car that was packed full of boxes for the tournament. When I went to pick up my rental car, the agent saw that I had an AARP discount and gave me an upgrade. I ended up with a Lincoln Continental. When I told Carol the story, she decided she needed an AARP card, too. Our birthdays are only a few days apart, and we laughed about the advantages of being old!” The National Tournament was fodder for other laughs, as well. Marilyn and Carol used to assist James Hawker, a former NFL Board President, with judging assignments, which was one of the tournament’s toughest tasks before computers. As soon as tournament Monday hit, they began working on assigning judges with Mr. Hawker,
“Even though our hearts were always toward the work, it doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun on the side.” — Diane Rasmussen, former Financial Office Associate The NFL office staff sharing a fun moment during the 2006 Texas Nationals hosted by Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 30
ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017
Volume 91 Issue 4