We had the good fortune of connecting with Denny Lennon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Denny, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always had one business or another, even when employed by organizations or schools. This particular business, starting a video podcast that would grow into a production company, came by way of following through on a dream and taking the leap. We recently were encouraged when we won two awards for our mini-documentary interview with basketball legend Jerry West, a Silver Telly Award for Online Documentary and a Bronze Telly Award for Online Sports.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As the owner and president of Sports Stories, Inc., I feel the answer to these questions lie in solid business practices. However, the answers can be found in the journey I’ve taken in my life. I was born and raised in Venice (CA) and grew up the 70’s and 80’s in a large family. While I was number seven of seven in my immediate family, I was one of 60 first cousins on one side. The Lennon family had a large presence in Venice and beyond. My uncle Jimmy Lennon was a boxing hall of fame ring announcer (his son Jimmy Jr. carries on that tradition these days), my older cousins “The Lennon Sisters” stars of the Lawrence Welk Show and continued for decades as headliners in Las Vegas and Branson and the cousins I grew up with make up the band “Venice”. Those successes inspired me in my ventures into the sports world. After I was finished playing, I led a group in the founding of a legendary volleyball tournament, the “Venice Backyard Championships”. I was identified through that event by the Womens Pro Beach Volleyball Tour (WPVA) to handle announcing and promotions, then by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to partner and coordinate a national program for junior beach volleyball, which has become the AAU Junior Olympic qualifiers and championships. I had always served as an athletic director and coach while I worked on the volleyball projects and raised a family. All of that life experience informs how I run a business today. While I am mainly seen by the public as the “host” of Sports Stories with Denny Lennon, it is the work with our production team where my coaching background comes into play. Leading through the guidelines set by the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden in his seminal work, “The Pyramid of Success”, I find more often than not the answers to tough times and challenges can be found if you know where to look. My brand, my story, is my life in sports.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I will assume it is this week, the first week of May, 2021.
The next few days, we’d have plenty to do, including:
– Pick him up at LAX near my house, stop by Tower Pizza on Manchester to catch up and beat him in a game of Golden Tee. Crash at my place in the Centinela Adobe Corridor.
– Breakfast at Coffee Company near LAX, cannot go wrong there. Hopefully, my guy Norm Bass is there, he’s a legend and really funny. We’d join him at his table and he’d start “woofing” about stuff. Love that guy.
– Play a round of golf with my son Vaun at Mountain Gate Country Club, where he’s a member and I ride in on his coat tails. Vaun is better than me, but he always falls apart when he goes up against his old man. My best friend is terrible, but hilarious. It would be a blast.
– Grab an incredible dinner at Casablanca restaurant, the second oldest eatery in Venice . The Calamari steak with the garlic cream sauce is the “go to”.
– Hoagies is the oldest eatery in Venice, and we would certainly hit that up at some time.
– Go to a Dodger game or two. My tickets are in the upper deck, and that is the prime spot to enjoy a sunset and the best team in baseball.
– Attend a local high school game or two, because high school sports are awesome. This week, we would go watch the “Sports Illustrated Kid of the Year” from 2020, Juju Watkins, tear it up balling for the Windward School girls basketball team on the Westside of Los Angeles.
– Attend my friend Mark Verge’s Beach House poker night party. Hosted by ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, they raise money for the Hero’s Movement. Neither of us play poker well, so we’d just donate the cash and enjoy the sunset in Santa Monica.
– Spend a night eating at my house. My wife Christine is a cooking savant and should have her own cafe. That said, leave the gun, grab the lasagna.
– On the weekend head to Hermosa Beach, run a beach tourney for kids qualifying for the AAU Junior Olympics, give out the medals and then hit the Poop Deck before heading back to LAX to, thankfully, get rid of him until the next time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Roger Goudy. RIP (1951-2020)
Dr. Roger Goudy served as President, CEO and Volleyball Chair of the Amateur Athletic Union.
His encouragement and support were vital to the success of Sports Stories with Denny Lennon.
Other: Sports Stories with Denny Lennon is syndicated on Cable TV in Los Angeles county on LA36. Our show airs every day at 9:00am. SSDL has recently partnered with with legendary rock n’ roll author and documentarian Harvey Kubernik. Kubernik over the next few weeks will be providing his exclusive content on Motown, Ice Cube and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young via our website: http://SportsStoriesDL.com . SSDL is represented by top media professional Justin Pierce of JP Consulting Group, linked in profile: https://linkedin.com/in/justin-pierce-44a9345/…