As professional athletes, entertainers, and / or media personalities, you are well compensated for being among the best in your respective fields. With that compensation, however, comes tremendous sacrifice. You have sacrificed the time it has taken you to hone your craft. You make sacrifices when you must be away from your home, your family, and your friends to do the work that you do. And you sacrifice your anonymity and some degree of privacy by being in the public eye. We understand these sacrifices and we understand people. At SSME, we take a "whole person approach" with each of our clients in an effort to foster happiness and satisfaction for those for whom we work.
Careers in sports, media, and entertainment do not always last forever. We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure that their time in the public eye is as long lived as possible, and that the compensation earned during this time in the spotlight (and beyond) is as meaningful as possible. Money is important but it is not everything. We work with our clients to help them achieve financial goals, life goals, and societal goals: giving back to communities that hold special meaning, and contributing to causes that resonate with our athlete, entertainment, and media clients.
Achieving professional milestones is important. Maintaining a public image that attracts fans is essential. But building on this by impacting the world? That's what will make you immortal.
Michael Burwick, is SSME's President and Primary Agent.
Michael brings with him more than 25 years of negotiating complex agreements as an attorney and dealmaker. Michael earned his B.A. with distinction, magna cum laude from Boston University where he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in sociology and psychology with a sub-focus on living out the dream of fellow B.U., alum, Dr. Martin Luther King, to live in a colorblind society with equality of opportunity for all.
Michael earned three law degrees, a J.D. (cum laude), an LL.M. in Securities Law & Financial Regulation, and a second LL.M. in Taxation (both with various honors) from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, and he attended the M.B.A. program at New York University’s Leonard Stern School of Business.
Before entering private practice, Michael was an Assistant Attorney General and a legal scholar in the United States House of Representatives, where he worked closely with the Congressional Black Caucus.
Today, Michael's work is regularly published in Bloomberg, on CNBC, in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and in many other national and international publications. He is a lifelong sports fan, movie buff, and audiophile, and has taken all of his negotiation experience and intellectual capital with him to SSME.
Michael is married to the former Nicole Greene and is the father of three children, two girls and a boy. He approaches everything with passion and determination and he gives 110% to all he undertakes.
Rochelle Fitzpatrick is SSME's Vice President and Director of Finance.
Rochelle comes to SSMA with more than 25 years of business development, consulting, and both public and corporate accounting experience. She holds a master’s degree in Accountancy with Distinction from Bentley University and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from San Diego State University.
Rochelle practiced public accountancy with KPMG's Audit Group with a focus on the securities and insurance industries. She also spent time in small firm tax and audit and corporate accounting in the finance, high tech, and not-for-profit sectors.
Rochelle's mission is to provide clients with personalized insights into industry connections in the athletic and entertainment worlds. She is known professionally for her strong ability to build strategic relationships and her communication style.
Rochelle is a passionate skier, and she loves spending time in the mountains and near the ocean when the snow has melted. She is a married mother of three young men, all NCAA athletes whom she shepherded through highly competitive recruitment processes.
Ikigai is a concept that many of our most successful clients have embraced. It is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." It is the source of value in your life, the thing you live for and the reason you get out of bed in the morning. At SSME, we are a bit different because we work with each individual client to establish what ikigai means for him or her.
According to Japanese culture, your ikigai lies at the center of four interconnecting circles:
Each of these elements helps contribute to your happiness, health, finances and intellectual pursuit; all four are crucial for you to find “the reason to wake up in the morning.”
If you are really interested in having an ikigai, then your focus should rely on much more than only having a career (Vocation) or getting paid (Profession). At the same time, Mission and Passion aren’t enough to sustain you financially if you don’t know how to turn it into a paying job.
As athletes, entertainers and media personalities, you are uniquely positioned to achieve your Ikigai.
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