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A Special Connection: Silver Sisters and Colleagues

A Special Connection: Silver Sisters and Colleagues

It must have been the luck of the Irish that caused Ariann Williams ’08, Autumn Ceppi ’17 and Emily Hinman ’20 to all work for the Boston Celtics during the same summer in 2023. While they were in different areas of the organization — community engagement, marketing and partner development — they share the same passion for creatively solving any problem thrown their way. We caught up with the alumnae as they discussed the best parts of their jobs, what it’s like to work for the hometown team and how Dana Hall shaped them into the confident women they are today.

Director of Community Engagement
12th season with the Celtics

Ariann Williams ’08 never pictured herself as a “development person.” An economics and finance major with a deep love for the City of Boston, she was hired by the Celtics out of college as a boots-on-the-ground employee serving the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Community Relations team. It was a role she knew well.

Williams told of how her sister was hospitalized at Boston Children’s Hospital when they were younger and wouldn’t be home in time for Christmas. One day, in walked then-head coach M.L. Carr and some Celtics players who visited her sister’s bedside. Before they left, they took a Polaroid photo together, which they all signed. When she interviewed with the team, Williams slid that photo across the table.

“It’s a full-circle moment that has really stuck with me,” Williams said. “I’ve now gone on to host that event for other kids.”

More than a decade later, she’s taken on a development leadership role within the Shamrock Foundation that allows others to execute these community events. “I didn’t expect to get here — to become so specialized — which is why I love it so much,” Williams said of her work as a fundraiser. “It’s a safe place for me to take risks. How great is it when you can do that?”

She focuses on three aspects: executing successful events and campaigns, amplifying digital presence, and relationship building with the philanthropic and grant making community. Williams loves the work she does, from the annual gala in October to golf tournaments, yard sales and Giving Tuesday. She’s been involved in raising funds for Curbside Care for Moms and Babies, a retrofitted former ambulance that travels through Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan providing care for moms and infants during the first six weeks of life. She oversees the Boston Marathon program, where runners get a charity bib in exchange for raising thousands of dollars for the foundation. Recently, she encouraged her senior colleagues to list a popular auction item at a higher price when the terms changed; not only did they get one taker — they got three.

What she’s most proud of is the launch of the Celtics’ online raffle program, which took more than three years to bring to fruition. The program offers exclusive online raffles featuring autographed memorabilia and meet-and-greets along with other exclusive experiences for Celtics fans, with entries starting as little as $10. In the program’s inaugural year, she ran three raffles which amounted to more than six figures in revenue for the foundation; this year, she’s running 12. “This online raffle program is the first of its kind in the history of the foundation,” she said.

“To know I helped open a new source of revenue for the foundation, that will hopefully exist long after my time, is extremely meaningful to me.”

While Williams, Ceppi and Hinman worked in different departments within the organization, Williams cites the audaciousness that ties the three alumnae together. “We’re bold,” she said proudly. “From navigating the corporate world and the sports industry to red tape, approvals, the pace... there are so many things on a professional, social and intellectual level that we can do because of Dana Hall. Someone says no, so you have to pivot. We’re never short of ideas or solutions to make it work. Dana prepared us for this.”

Marketing Coordinator
1st season with the Celtics

Autumn Ceppi ’17 knows basketball inside and out. She was a standout Varsity Basketball player for Dana Hall who went on to play Division I ball at Bucknell University. For her, landing a job at the Celtics was a dream position: one that combined her passion for the sport with her marketing major background.

“Every day at the Celtics consists of a new challenge, and I can use my strong problem- solving and communication skills to creatively find solutions,” she said.

As a member of the Marketing Team, Ceppi interfaces with every department across the organization to facilitate different campaigns and initiatives, whether it’s ticket sales and corporate partnerships or community engagement. She also works closely with the team’s social media accounts, overseeing influencer marketing and assisting with game-night social posts.

“It’s really fun to engage with the players, and find fresh new ways to bring out their personalities and passions through community relations and social media. I love how fun and creative the work environment is.”

Echoing Williams’s sentiments about Dana Hall, Ceppi talked about how the School gave her “the confidence to speak up and share my thoughts and ideas without judgment, especially now that I work in the male-dominated sports field,” she said. “I can share and present my ideas no matter the size of the group. I am also able to recognize the challenges that exist in these environments, and acknowledge and stand up for female co-workers around me. Dana Hall prepared me well for the working world.”

Partner Development Intern
Summer 2023 intern for the Celtics

Event planning has always interested Emily Hinman ’20, so when she learned about an internship opportunity with the Celtics, she jumped at the chance. As a member of the Partner Development Team, Hinman supported the team that develops brand activations and events for Celtics partnerships and sponsorships, assisting them as they planned for the upcoming season. She also got the chance to work on several summer events, including the annual Boston Celtics Partner Summit, the Mass State Lottery Heroes Among Us Ceremony, a TD Bank Pride Event, and a JetBlue/Encore Boston Harbor Schedule Release Party.

Hinman, a senior at Boston College, found that while her internship was not directly related to her economics major and management and leadership minor, she did find some overlap with the content taught in her elective classes. “I learned about financial decisions made by the Celtics and the revenue generation element to partnerships,” she said, but on the events side, “I learned how much work the Celtics employees do that goes on behind the scenes.”

Her favorite event was a TD Bank Pride Event at the Waltham House, a safe haven for LGBTQ+ youth, which demonstrated to Hinman how the Celtics make community engagement a priority within their organization. The Celtics mascot Lucky made an appearance as well as several Celtics dancers who performed for everyone.

She also loved the opportunity to connect with other Dana Hall alumnae. “Ari and Autumn made me feel more comfortable and welcome at the Celtics, and I am grateful to them both for their kindness and support,” Hinman said. “It was one of the best surprises of my internship!”

Like Williams and Ceppi, Hinman credits Dana Hall for its role in shaping her into the confident woman she is today, she said.

“Women are underrepresented in the sports industry in general, and people sometimes doubt your interest or knowledge because you are a woman. Dana Hall taught me to use my voice, and that I am capable and deserve to be where I am.”

Do you work with another Dana Hall graduate? We want to share your story in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin! If you have an alum colleague (or colleagues) and want to be featured, email us at for future consideration.