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Tighe O'Sullivan

Soccer has been the source of inspiration in Tighe O’Sullivan’s career. He’s played it, coached it, refereed it, managed it and traveled the world to and from it.

Tighe O'Sullivan

“Pretty much every where I’ve gone I’ve incorporated soccer in some way, shape or form,” he says.

Now the 37-year-old O’Sullivan, a 1997 graduate of Dominican in International Business with an emphasis in international studies, is kicking his passion for soccer in a new and diagonal direction. He is transitioning into CEO of Viaports International LLC, a diversified international consultant management company.

“Viaports to me is my everything- that-I-can-do emblem,” O’Sullivan says.

It’s the umbrella, the brand, which surrounds O’Sullivan’s assorted business dealings. Soccer, of course, is at the core of his business. He is owner and director of Pro-Am Beach Soccer tournaments around the country; owner of Super Club Soccer Tours that take players to places like Real Madrid; owner of Grasshopper Soccer, which teaches soccer to kids ages 3-9 in Marin and San Francisco, and owner of Club Marin, which gives adults a chance to train and play soccer in a more organized and intense environment.

“The biggest thing about being an entrepreneur for me is keeping an open mind and watching for the opportunities that come about and that present themselves to you and don’t drag your feet. That’s what set me back and has catapulted me forward. Motivation and discipline.”

But, Viaports is branching out beyond sports. O’Sullivan is involved with exporting copy toner to the United Kingdom. He has hired a personal assistant for his office in San Francisco and has reached out for interns to gain from his experience. It’s been an uphill climb.

“It can be a real gut shot some times,” O’Sullivan says.  “You don’t really know that all the work you are doing is really going to turn out to be successful and there have been a few times honestly I was wondering if I was going to make it through the next month.”

O’Sullivan was once “hours away” from choosing classes at USF when Dr. Francoise LePage, Dean and Professor Emerita of the School of Business and International Studies, convinced and inspired him to go to Dominican. He played soccer for the Penguins and he traveled a lot – to 27 different countries from 1995-2006. Eventually O’Sullivan applied his fervor for soccer and stuck with his ideas and goals.

“I was doing whatever I could to make ends meet at a young age then it just sort of ballooned into something that was much bigger than I ever thought,” O’Sullivan says.

“The biggest thing about being an entrepreneur for me is keeping an open mind and watching for the opportunities that come about and that present themselves to you and don’t drag your feet.  That’s what set me back and has catapulted me forward. Motivation and discipline.”

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