Human Biodynamics-Sports Medicine/Sports Administration
Favorite Berkeley Eats:
Favorite Study Spot at Cal:
Favorite Watering Hole While at Cal:
Come Back In/ Bears Lair on a sunny day/Tailgating at home football games
Favorite Cal Soccer Memory:
Traveling with Bill Merrill getting ice cream after games. Bill’s pre-game motivational speeches that rivaled Walter Mattheau. Road trips in the Cal Van - road trips were “literally the best”. Molly Goodwin from Denver, Co - our freshman year tryouts while running up the fire trail pulls Devon up by her shorts, “you are NOT walking, So Cal. let’s go!”
Devon (FitzPatrick) Flintoff (a.k.a. Devdog) is a force to be reckoned with. All 5’ 2” of her. Trust us when we say she is a POWERHOUSE on and off the field. Over the past year in Bear Lights, we’ve read how our fellow Cal Alumni embrace a common theme amongst all these women, and it is that they all are beyond resilient. Devdog does not disappoint in fitting into this theme. Her story is, in our opinion, the epitome of resilience especially when life throws you a curveball. Or in her situation, multiple curveballs.
Life after Cal brought her to Portland, Oregon where she jumped into a marketing position with Wieden+Kennedy - a global, independent ad agency. Nike hired the ad agency for their storytelling genius and in the early 90’s they were looking to bring “soccer authenticity to the Nike brand”. Although Devon had zero marketing experience, they believed her soccer credibility would be an invaluable asset to the team and legitimize W+K with their client. She worked for Wieden+Kennedy on multi-million-dollar campaigns with Nike for 3+ years before meeting her future husband, Timm in 1996. Timm worked for Nike in Footwear Production Creation, and in 1997 was asked to take an expat position in Vietnam. After only dating 9 months, Devon resigned from her marketing gig, packed it all up and took a leap of faith joining Timm in Vietnam.
It’s important to note that when you get relocated to another country, the “trailing partner” is automatically considered a non-working spouse. Devon’s resourceful and curious nature found a way to explore Ho Chi Minh City and still keep her mind active despite not knowing the language or any one in Vietnam. She immersed herself into the community by volunteering. Before she knew it, she found herself involved with the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam as the Membership Services Director. She gained invaluable international business experience working with Congressional Delegates that came through the US Embassy and Consulate looking to reach large American conglomerates like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Nike, etc. Her volunteer position quickly turned into a paid position. Just as she was finding a groove in Vietnam, Nike relocated Timm & Devon to Guangzhou, China.
In China, Devon found herself once again in a position where she had no job. But, in true Devon fashion, she got creative. “I am the kind of person that no matter what or where, I am going to make the best of any situation”, and that she did. Although Devon found Guangzhou not the easiest city to navigate, she did love their markets. Prior to flying back to the States every summer, she would purchase pearls, pottery, textiles and other local goods, to sell the merch at home parties she hosted with friends in the US. Returning to China, she would sell US merchandise to fellow expat friends. Creatively taking her life overseas into starting up her very own small import/export business.
Again, just as Devon was hitting her stride and becoming comfortable in China, Nike offered Timm a great position in the Soccer category at Nike World Headquarters. In 2001, they packed up and moved back to Portland. Devon started settling back into the US, when she learned her father was terminal with lung cancer. He passed away within 6 months of their return from China. Devon was devastated; “It was surreal to have lived this wild adventure, a sort of escape from reality, only to come home and have the death of a parent gut you like nothing you’ve ever endured”. After dealing with the death of her father, Devon began working once again at Wieden+Kennedy. In 2003, Timm and Devon became parents to a feisty Irish ginger boy, Owen Seamus.
Timm, Devon, and Owen were happily settling back into life in Portland with a strong family foundation when Nike reared its head again asking Timm & family to move overseas, this time to Taiwan. In late 2004, Timm, Devon, and Owen (only 6 months old) packed up and moved to Taiwan. While in Taiwan, Tim’s mom passed away suddenly in a horrific bike accident. It was an exceptionally difficult time to be living so far away from family and friends. Taiwan was only supposed to be a 2-year commitment, but Nike could not find anyone to replace them after almost 3 years. After 9/11 happened in 2001 it was extremely difficult to find employees interested in moving overseas. Timm spent most of his home leave in 2007 finding a role that would bring his family back to the states and landed his dream job in Action Sports with NIKE. They had been in Taiwan for 3 ½ years and in total, Devon spent 7½ years living overseas in Asia.
One piece of information we have not mentioned, is that Timm had been experiencing seizures throughout most of their time overseas. He was never diagnosed with a specific illness, and in 2008 he had a grand mal seizure. After the grand mal seizure, Timm visited numerous specialists to get answers. In 2010, he was finally diagnosed with epilepsy, but by 2012, none of the medications were controlling his seizures. In 2013, based on the recommendation from a panel held by specialists at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, it was unanimous that Timm was an excellent candidate to undergo brain surgery - temporal lobe resection. Going into surgery It was understood by Devon and Timm that only a small portion of his brain would be removed.
After a 7-hour surgery, Devon was in a state of shock when she learned they had to remove much more of his brain than expected due to severe scar tissue from years of seizures happening without intervention. Devon naively thought, “we just need to get Timm through surgery to stop the seizures and start our road to recovery”. While the surgery was a “success” in stopping the seizures for nearly 3 years, unfortunately it also left Timm with surgically induced TBI (traumatic brain injury). Devon was faced with literally redefining their family - it was a new life post-surgery with no instructions. Devon had once again returned to work with Weiden+Kennedy and was keeping life at home as stable as possible. Her ability to navigate through their moves to and from Asia, coupled with the passing of her dad, mom-in-law, and her eldest sister, caregiving through Tim’s medical issues, and learning to love her journey with dignity and grace, is in our opinion the definition of resilience. Devon truly is a force to be reckoned with and we are thrilled she is back home in the states.
Devon was recruited back to work at Wieden+Kennedy in 2009 by one of the Chief Operating Officer and owner. Same mentor/boss who took a gamble on her back in 1994 and hired me right out of college. Devon is currently working with W+K's Global Leadership Team and Stakeholders as a Senior Executive Business Partner.
Written By: Kim Brady & Lisa Luengo