Being a member of growing communities in North Texas has its challenges. But being a local leader, trying to manage balance in your life, is even harder. Local Profile reached out to nine leaders in the Collin County community that have learned through trial and failure how they create balance in their daily lives, and just maybe, you can learn from their advice and experiences to find balance in yours. 

Gina Miller is a proud mother and the current vice president of media and communications for FC Dallas. Miller has worked as a sportscaster for the CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. She also worked for the Dallas Cowboys and interned for the Houston Rockets. She has covered Super Bowls, Final Fours, World Series, the NBA Finals, the BCS title game, Breeder’s Cup and many others. 

What does “productivity” look like to you?
Maximizing my time to ensure I reach my professional goals while also allowing me the time to spend it with family and loved ones.  

What are some ways you struggle with productivity and how do you fix it?
I’m a pretty task-oriented person. At the beginning of each week, I outline the things I want to accomplish over the course of the week and break them down into daily chunks. I tend to work in the “breaking news” area of our business at FC Dallas, though. This means that if a player move happens or I receive an urgent media request, I need to prioritize that over what I had originally planned to do. Delegating is the best way to counter that but, many times, it’s difficult to delegate the scenario-specific conversations that need to occur with these unique situations.

What is one tip you would recommend to someone else?
Never stop learning. Technologies and processes in every industry evolve. We must continue to grow, learn and evolve to stay relevant professionally.    

What books have influenced you?
Daniel Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – I work in an industry in which time and timing are critical. Whether it was hitting my 6:23 p.m. slot for three minutes as a sportscaster, timing a press release perfectly or knowing how to perfectly time a 30-second introduction, understanding the timing rhythms and the optimal times to make decisions and do things have been important throughout my career.

Buzz Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights – I feel like it’s cliché for a native Texan who works in sports media to include this book but it is one of the best ever written. I was in high school when it was released and, while I knew I wanted to be a sportscaster and work in sports media at a young age, this was that “sign” that I needed to tell sports stories for a living.

What everyday thing do you excel at?
Research. I’m a reporter at heart. Don’t ever underestimate a reporter’s ability to find someone, find the answer to something or some other utilitarian piece of information. We joke at the office that I can find just about anyone. It’s true.

How do you decompress or relax?
I love to walk for exercise or run the stairs at the high school stadium near my house. I put on a podcast and go. I usually extend my walks or stairs runs (which usually turn into slow walks up the stairs!) when I’m really into a particular episode. Movement and exercise are one of the best ways to relax.

When are you happiest?
Traveling with my daughter. We have trips to New Orleans and Paris planned at the end of the year and cannot wait. We have so much fun together even going to places we’ve previously visited. She’s getting into her teenage years, so I hope she’ll continue to want to hang out with me!

What motivates you?
As a former newsroom person, I am absolutely deadline driven. Fortunately, I still work in a pretty deadline-oriented industry which suits me and is well-suited for anyone else who is a deadline-driven professional. I also love connecting with people. It’s the true Gemini in me. Getting the opportunity to meet interesting professionals or reconnect with them drives me.

What do you wish you were better at?
I asked my boss to help me with this one because I would have cited a list of at least 100 areas of improvement. He indicated I could do a better job of celebrating my wins. He’s right. I tend to be the kind of person who focuses on the missed opportunities on a successful project rather than the overall accomplishment.

What is your drink of choice or comfort meal after a long day?
I would love to say herbal tea or some sparkling water (both beverages I love) but a strong spicy margarita is hard to beat.

What kind of goals do you set for yourself?  
Personal, professional and wellness goals are my areas of focus. I just finished my 2023 strategic plan and I saw on there that we accomplished the majority of the goals we outlined for our departments ranging from increasing our number of speaking engagements to growing our overall number of social media followers we have across all of our properties. Setting the quantifiable goals made it easier for my team and me to reverse engineer tactics to reach them. That sense of accomplishment in looking back and seeing we reached is incredibly fulfilling. From a wellness standpoint, I am focused on getting five good days of exercise per week and eating in a way that gives me energy. Personally, I have three unwritten books in my head that I’m trying to put to paper. I’m probably failing in that area more than any of them.

Who is a role model to you?         
As a woman who aspired to be a sportscaster, it was so valuable for me to be able to see others doing that role. I’m old enough to have grown up in an era when there weren’t many women “talking sports” on TV. Telling my friends and family I wanted to do that professionally resulted in ridicule and responses like “there’s no way you can do that!”. When I was younger, watching professionals like former WFAA sports reporter Susie Woodhams and former KPRC (Houston) sports anchor Lisa Maloskey served as inspiration for me to understand that I could follow that career path. It’s important that we see representation diversity on the air and while we’ve made great strides recently, I still remember the challenges of being the first full-time female sportscaster in two media markets. It was hard but keeping professionals like Susie and Lisa in mind helped.

To find out more about how to be the best at work, at home and in the community visit Local Profile’s latest issue.