It Never Gets Old: Mike Aylmer ’87SVC Still a Team Player
Teamwork, service and humility: these are three characteristics that Mike Aylmer ’87SVC learned as a pitcher on the St. John’s Baseball team. And over two decades later, those same lessons translated perfectly to his professional career in Hospitality.
“When you’ve been a part of a team, you look back years later and realize all the lessons you learned,” said Aylmer, who currently works as Vice President of Sales at Miraval Resorts. “You learn how to stand by your teammates, and I think the Vincentian message of service, of being there for others, applies not only to baseball, but to the professional world.”
In 1996, Aylmer was part of a group that launched Miraval, which emphasized wellness, peace and meditation as it related to spas and resorts, a concept that has today become mainstream.
“Nowadays, it’s all about service and the level of care and attention you show,” he noted. “Guests are no longer paying simply for amenities – they’re paying for fantastic service, and I fell in line with that mission very easily.”
Although he now resides in Arizona, Aylmer remains a strong supporter of Red Storm Baseball. In recognition of this, He received the “Coach Jack Kaiser Baseball Advocate Award” – the highest honor that St. John’s Baseball bestows – at the 2013 Jack Kaiser Golf Classic.
“I never get tired of speaking with Jack Kaiser ’49C and Lou Carnesecca ’50C, ’60GEd, ’00HON,” Aylmer explained. “Those men are St. John’s, the face of the University, and they’ve had such a tremendous impact on so many people. When I was first moving to Arizona, I remember telling Mr. Kaiser, ‘I will still come back to these events, because it’s a priority.”
Aylmer has certainly made good on that promise, recently attending the Eighth Annual Baseball Bullpen Winter Banquet to support this year’s squad. Like so many other alumni, Aylmer still feels as if he’s a part of the team, and he recalled being there for one of the Baseball program’s recent accomplishments – a 2010 regional victory over the University of Virginia.
“Here we were in the NCAA Regional Round, and my team came to town, which was a prideful moment,” he remembered.
SJU ended up with a phenomenal victory over the top-ranked University of Virginia, and I felt as much a part of it as the student-athletes.”
"I went down to the field afterwards to chat with the players and their families, and some people asked me, ‘Are you a dad to one of the players?’ I said, ‘No, I’m an alumnus who played in the ’80s, but this stuff never gets old!’”
Those overwhelming feelings of teamwork and camaraderie are precisely why Aylmer still supports the University. And, as he is quick to mention, his on-the-field mentality has never really left him.
“I even relate it to what I do today in Hospitality,” he explained. “As a pitcher, it was my job to throw the ball and rely on my teammates to make the play. Now, when I’m meeting with clients about a convention or a meeting, I serve it up and hand it off to the rest of the hotel to make that play.”
From his competitive mentality to his sense of serving others, Aylmer is still clearly a member of St. John’s Baseball. And thanks to his generous support, he plans to keep it that way.
“It’s a team sport,” he said. “And I’m just so glad to still be part of this team – part of the St. John’s community.”
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