What's your story?

Welcome and howdy! My Vietnamese parents unwittingly named their first-born American son Huy Nguyen - which some folks in the United States pronounce as "we win." Sure, there are more accurate and culturally-correct ways to pronounce it but since I was working in Texas sports at the time I discovered this pronunciation, I allowed it... and as lucky charms would have it, "Nguyening" also worked for the teams with whom I worked.

I started We Win, Inc. to tell stories. Growing up with digital, I spent two decades discovering new mediums and ways to tell the human stories of major league organizations like the Texas Longhorns, the Seattle Sounders FC, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Gates Foundation. I lead with empathy, I center the impacted, I believe Black lives matter, and I thrive being a part of a high-functioning team where collaboration is the norm. A believer of ubuntu. I am because we are, and I win when we all win.

What is your story, and how can we best tell it?

Our Name image

"I come in a world of iron to make a world of gold." - Don Quixote


Life Is Beautiful

The second child of refugee parents and their first born in America, I am extremely proud of my heritage, my very American upbringing (baseball, football, school dances, and class president... twice), and humbled by the sacrifices my parents and family made so that I would have this opportunity free from persecution.


Office Space

My first "real" job after college was as an IT Management Consultant in a nondescript cubicle for a big consulting firm. Hired in anticipation for a Y2K bug that never came, I spent most of my time waiting for work by playing Doom over the WAN with my other "On the Beach" colleagues. The salary was generous for a middle-class kid straight out of college, but in the end, this job taught me there was more to a career than TPS reports and money. I knew there had to be more to a career and a life.



The final meeting of the millennium between the hedges with the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers completely changed the trajectory of my professional career. The fans, the tradition, the culture, the pomp and circumstance of college football was intoxicating and inspirational. I didn't even know if there were jobs in sports, but it was this fateful weekend in Athens, Georgia, that convinced this underdog to find out.


Friday Night Lights

When I graduated from undergrad I sent letters to all 32 NFL clubs seeking employment. The NFL was a dream since I started playing in junior high. I received 13 rejections and no responses from the others. I needed practical industry experience. I knew a master's in sport management would start me on the right track and the eyes of Texas were soon upon me.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

After seven of the most prolific championship years in Texas Longhorns history, I decided it was time to hang up my horns. I took the opportunity of free unadulterated time to circumnavigate the globe walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu and getting into adventures. Seventeen countries and five continents later, I reaffirmed a world perspective that completely changed my life.


Major League

I was working as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, ready to make an impact in the young lives of high school students, when I got the call from the National Football League. The parent company of the Seattle Seahawks was adding a new professional soccer franchise under their management, and they needed me to double their digital team and work both. After a decade of dreaming, the NFL (and now the MLS) was asking to be my reality. To be honest, I thought I was done working in sports after Texas, and was truly ready and excited to become an educator. Lou Brown seemed indifferent when he was first asked to manage a professional baseball team, but much like Lou Brown, I eventually accepted and went on to win another championship.


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Two Super Bowls, one ring to show for them, a Pro Bowl, several U.S. Open Cups and a digital staff that had grown from two to 10 later, it was time to make a new impact. Our popular web host at the Seahawks was retiring to run for Congress and he wanted me as his campaign manager. We were rookies to politics running on a platform of campaign finance reform against a six-time incumbent. We made it through the primary but did not win in the general election. The fire of public service, which I've had since Mr. Yanak's eighth grade history class, was indelibly reignited within me.


Ted Lasso

I returned to my early roots as a consultant when one networking phone call led to a whirlwind project in London where a new startup football (soccer) website wanted to grow its digital footprint. Though I've travelled the world, this was my first time living abroad. The experience not only slayed my doubts about whether I was cut out to be a consultant, it validated my penchant for living and traveling internationally. Within a week, I was offered the contract, booked a flight and landed in my new foreign home the day before Christmas Eve.


Big Fish

Arrive curious. Leave inspired. What could a guy with 15 years of digital experience in sports have to offer the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? The world's largest foundation tackles the world's most pressing issues of inequity, and there were plenty of big fish in this river. Once I got past the imposter syndrome, the answer turned out to be quite a bit.


The Jungle Book

I arrived curious, and after four years of managing two CEO voices at the largest philanthropy in the history of mankind, I left inspired... but still curious. Always curious. A bear once taught me not to spend my time looking for something I want that can't be found. The bare necessities of life will come to you. As I venture into the exotic unknown opportunity of the Amazon, I revert to my wolf upbringing and the Law of the Jungle: The strength of the jungle is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack. I still like being a bear.


Up In the Air

My nephew is in the midst of a gap year after his senior year of high school, and told him I was jealous of his choice. He was unencumbered, had no debts, no real "adult" obligations. He delayed his acceptance into college for a year to find himself. I decided to not be jealous, and chose the same path. Not sure what the future holds after next year, but I plan on enjoying an unencumbered life (a luxury I have spent a lifetime earning) connecting with many friends around the world for the next year. Tonight most people will be welcomed home by jumping dogs and squealing kids and thousands more will ask about their day and tonight they'll sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.


"Don't follow your passions. Follow your effort." - Mark Cuban

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