“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”
— Henry David Thoreau
The quote atop Alissa Finerman’s website has deep, personal meaning for one of the nation’s top 45-and-over adult women’s tennis players.
Finerman was feeling unfulfilled after 10 years in the world of finance, and wanted to make a change. So the former Cal Berkeley All-American tennis star and current Santa Monica resident decided to quit her profession and instead began her dream of helping people achieve theirs, and eventually reaching the goals they had set out to accomplish.
“I enjoyed my time in finance but ultimately it wasn’t my path and wasn’t as rewarding as what I’m doing now,” said Finerman, an executive coach who teaches seminars to managers and business leaders. “The coaching uses my strengths more and the work is more diverse. It’s nice to make a difference and to be able to help people in their life.”
A longtime member of the Malibu Racquet Club, Finerman recently competed for the United States on the Margaret Court Cup Women’s 45s team that took home sixth place at the ITF World Young Senior Tournament. It was the third time she has competed for the U.S. and helped bring home a first-place gold medal with the team back in 2014.
Finerman said it’s not only her competitive tennis that has prepared her for professional career. “I think you do a lot of different things in life, and they prepare you for the next thing you do,” she said.
Finerman and her ITF teammate Julie Cass of Austin, Texas, finished 2015 ranked as the No. 1 doubles team in the USTA national women’s 45 rankings as the pair won three of the national titles. In April of this year they were at it again capturing the National Clay Courts.
Asked why she continues to play at such a high level, Finerman paused. “It’s multi-faceted,” she said. “It’s nice to meet new people and make new friends. I like the competition and just pushing myself while improving my game.”
In 1987, Finerman made it to the singles final of the Pac-12 collegiate event at The Ojai Tennis Tournament, and the next year she teamed with Tiffiny Silveria and won the doubles over a pair of Cal Bear teammates. She then spent a few years traveling on the women’s pro circuit.
A graduate of the Wharton Business School, Finerman’s business background includes 10 years in finance at such firms as Credit Suisse, a global investment bank; IPC, a former Goldman Sachs portfolio company serving the financial industry; and Guggenheim Partners, a boutique investment management firm.
Finerman’s success in competitive tennis has allowed her to share with others how to get to the top. “I think all of my experiences and doing anything at a high level — be it tennis, or in the corporate world or being a great musician or whatever it is – it’s helpful to understand the mindset and to understand the difference between moving from good to great and really how do you move up to that next level?” she said, adding. “The difference in many of these matches are just a few points. So I think for a lot of leaders the difference for them to move up to the next level is having confidence, sharing your voice and leveraging strengths to build successful partnerships. Sometimes people need a coach to help them see a different path and to shift their perspective to see new possibilities.”
To learn more about Alissa Finerman, go to her website at: http://alissafinerman.com/about/