When Wendy Feldman Rummler’s husband had to travel for four months for his job, her friends and family worried. How was Rummler, a busy executive with three kids under age 7, going to do it all?
“I said, ‘I will do it,” Rummler says. “I’ll do all of it. I’ll work, I’ll cook, I’ll do the laundry, I’ll clean the house.”
“That all came from what I learned in sports in college.”
Rummler, a 1999 CMU graduate and former captain of the women’s volleyball team, is now vice president of finance at Credit Acceptance Corp., a Southfield auto finance company that specializes in loans for people who can't get funding elsewhere.
“I attribute a lot of my preparation for life to athletics,” she says.
“I learned you have to give things your all, even at the end of the day when you’re tired,” she says. “If you don't give it your all in sports, and prove your value to the team, you sit on the bench. In my job, I have to prove every day how I add value to this organization.”
There’s no better classroom for people skills, she says.
“You’re not going to like everyone on the team, but you have to work with them,” she says. “You learn to deal with a lot of different personalities and what makes each of them tick.
“If you weren't put on a team with all kinds of different people, how would you learn that? You’d probably choose to only hang around with people who were like you.”
As team captain, she learned how to motivate every type of personality, from tough love to tender nurturing.
Back in college, as an accounting major, Rummler figured she’d spend her career surrounded by the numbers she loves. She scored the highest in the state on the Certified Public Accounting exam.
But after two years in public accounting, she realized it wasn't for her. Now most of her job is managing people. And all those lessons in how to motivate different personalities have paid off.
Knowing the value of sports the way she does, Rummler encourages her kids, Peyton, 7, Brody, 5, and Brooklyn, 3, to be athletes.
“Sports can build confidence,” she says. “It teaches them a healthy lifestyle.” Plus, she adds with a laugh, they’ll probably be tall. She’s 6 foot and her husband, Kevin, is 6 foot 4.
Rummler knows female athletes who came before her didn’t have the advantages she enjoyed.
“We didn’t have anywhere near the budget the football team had, but I got to play a sport I loved and it was completely paid for,” she says. “There will be even more opportunities for my daughter.
“I can’t imagine college without volleyball,” Rummler says. “But I was there first and foremost to get an education. I’m so glad it wasn't one or the other -- it was both.”