Welcome to the continuation of the district’s Alumni Series! This year, we aim to deliver quality content surrounding former students, faculty and administrators that have played a significant role in showing that success does begin at South Colonie.
Today, we introduce you to Ms. Kim Corbitt. Does that name sound familiar? Ms. Corbitt’s name is synonymous with success in our district. In 2001, she played a key role, along with her coaches and teammates, on the 2001 South Colonie Girls’ Varsity Basketball championship-winning team. Twenty years ago, they were celebrating their triumphant 2001 New York State Class A championship. This team battled East Islip to become the 2001 New York State Class A championship winner, along with capturing the 2001 New York State Federation Championship by beating New York City-based Murry Bergtraum. You can find that article here.
Adding to that athletic resume, she continued her playing career at the University at Maine where she played a role on three America East Conference Championships. If that wasn’t enough, she was also selected as America East Defensive Player of the Year twice during her time at the school. She was also named America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice and America East Player of the Year. Ms. Corbitt is also an inductee into the CCHS Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 2019. The Colonie Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame was formed to recognize and honor Colonie Central High School athletes, coaches, teams, and sports contributors for their achievement and/or contributions to the Colonie Central High School Athletic program.
Off the court, she has achieved a successful career in the corporate sector. She has played an integral role in the success of firms such as Proctor and Gamble and Cincinnati-based The Hillman Group. Before joining Hillman in 2017, Ms. Corbitt spent nearly a decade serving in several roles at Procter & Gamble (P&G). She led the Diversity Recruiting team for Human Resources in North America, and additionally had roles in Global Leadership Development, Talent Management and Executive Coaching. In her final role at P&G, she served as an HR Director for Research and Development supporting P&G’s largest sector: Baby Care, Feminine Care and Family Care across five global regions and supporting over $15 billion of business.
Recently, she has been hired by the NBA’s Phoenix Suns as Senior Vice President, People & Culture. According to the team’s announcement, Ms. Corbitt will lead all human resources functions for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Phoenix Suns Arena and affiliated entities, and serve as a member of the organization’s senior executive team.
We are excited to share with you some of Ms. Corbitt’s insight into her pathway from South Colonie to her experiences in today’s corporate environment.
How did your experiences at CCHS shape your outlook towards your future?
My experiences at CCHS, both on and off the court, helped me learn what it meant to be a good teammate, to be humble, and what it looked like to have support. I had teachers and coaches who cared about me and challenged me. I can remember sometimes doing workouts with the boy’s team and Coach Kilmer and Carmelo investing in me. Coach Bono and Coach Carroll always pushed me to get better every day — as a player and person. I remember all of the support from students, parents and the community for our team. I think all of those factors have helped make me believe I could achieve anything and that being a great teammate, who is always willing to learn and get better, is a cornerstone to success.
What specific traits did you acquire at CCHS that you utilize in your career to this day?
From a leadership standpoint, I started playing high school basketball in eighth grade as a point guard. My coaches put a lot of faith in me to lead the team, run the offense and make difficult decisions. Often, as the youngest executive in the room, I use those lessons to help me in my career. In addition to basketball, I took AP classes and I think the time management that I learned, along with the reliance on working in small groups, helped to push me in that setting.
What classes/experiences at CCHS prepared you for a corporate career?
I don’t think anyone is ever ready for a corporate career, but I think CCHS helped prepare me for college because my high school classes in some ways were harder and more competitive than some of my first-year college classes. I was able to start college with credits and it gave me a huge amount of confidence as I pursued my engineering degree. I think the biggest thing in my experience, as I left high school and college, was my confidence and belief in myself. That started with teachers and coaches who believed in me.
What would you encourage today’s students to adopt to shape their future?
Be a sponge and get involved in as many things as you can. I played softball, tennis, participated in engineering clubs, played basketball, worked at Hannaford, participated on student council, and all of those experiences taught me different things and provided me diverse ways to grow.
Finally, Lakers or Suns in this year’s NBA Western Conference Finals?
Well, as a part of the job I can’t make predictions on the game, but I can say we had a great run last year and are excited about what this season holds.