wise5.jpg

Newsroom Archive

February 13, 2009

2009 WISE Women of the Year Awards BALLOT


The WISE Women of the Year Award is a prestigious honor that recognizes three extraordinary women who have made a significant impact on the business of sports and events. The 2009 nominees, along with their profiles, are posted below.

The deadline for voting is 5:00 PM (ET), Tuesday, January 27, 2009.

The WISE Board of Directors has reviewed all nominees and has recommended these candidates while considering the following criteria:

  • women who are visible leaders and continue to be an influential voice for women in the industry;
  • women who have broken down barriers, helped create connections and new opportunities for other women;
  • women who exemplify professional excellence, and are role models for others.

The top vote recipients will be honored at the 15th Anniversary WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

2009 Candidates

Kathryn Carter – Soccer United Marketing/MLS
Susan E. Cohig – National Hockey League
Beth M. Hirschhorn - MetLife
Sarah Hirshland – Wasserman Media Group
Deborah Hughes - MasterCard
Sally Jenkins – Washington Post
Roxanne Jones – ESPN The Magazine
Jamie McCourt – Los Angeles Dodgers
Tola Murphy-Baran – SIRIUS XM
Jacqueline Parkes – Major League Baseball
Jennifer Storms – Turner Broadcasting
Laurie Tucker - FedEx
Michelle D. Wilson - USTA
Jackie S. Woodward - MillerCoors


Kathryn Carter
Executive Vice President, Soccer United Marketing (MLS)
Under Carter’s tenure SUM has added 30 new partners since July, 2003. She oversees all sponsorship, advertising sales and marketing as well as fan development, creative services and partnership marketing activities for Major League Soccer’s commercial subsidiary. Carter serves as the U.S. representative on FIFA’s Standing Committee for Women’s Football (Soccer) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She has been honored by SportsBusiness Journal as a “Forty Under 40.” A graduate of William and Mary, she was a starter on the nationally-ranked soccer team.

Susan E. Cohig
Senior Vice President, Club Consulting & Services, National Hockey League Enterprises
In her current position since July, 2007, Cohig is responsible for managing the group at the League office that works with Member Clubs on sales, marketing and business operation initiatives in order to grow revenue and fan activation with the NHL. She joined NHL Enterprises in 1996. Before joining the NHL, Cohig spent several years with Ascent Entertainment overseeing sales and service with the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the NBA Denver Nuggets. She is a graduate of the University of Denver and New York Law School.

Beth M. Hirschhorn
Senior Vice President MetLife, Head of Global Brand & Marketing Services Division
Hirschhorn manages all aspects of advertising, promotions, customer information management, competitive intelligence, creative services, conference planning and Internet activities for both the U.S. and international markets. In this role she has developed alliances with the PGA, the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Madison Square Garden. In 1997, she was named one of Crain’s New York Business “Top 40 Under 40” executives. Hirschhorn is a graduate of Cornell and received her MBA from NYU. 

Sarah Hirshland
Senior Vice President, Wasserman Media Group’s Consulting Discipline
Hirshland leads the company’s corporate account teams in the development of enterprise-wide sponsorship strategies and the implementation of activation programs. Recently, she led the negotiation of the NASCAR Nationwide Series partnership, resulting in a seven-year title sponsorship for Nationwide. Prior, she was Senior VP of OnSport, a Raleigh, North Carolina consulting firm and before that, a founder of Total Sports. In 2008, at age 32, she was a recipient of the SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award. She is a graduate of Duke University.

Deborah Hughes
Group Head/Senior Vice President Global Sponsorships, MasterCard Worldwide
Hughes has worked at MasterCard for 20 years and in her current position is responsible for setting global sponsorship strategy and guiding regional sponsorship practices. She is directly responsible for the U.S. Sponsorship Group. Her responsibilities afforded her the opportunity to live and work for eight years in Europe at MasterCard offices in Brussels, London and Paris. She has directed teams that oversaw the world premier soccer properties, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Hughes is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sally Jenkins
Sports Columnist and Feature Writer, The Washington Post
Jenkins has been with the Washington Post since 1998 and writes a weekly column. She is the author of ten books including co-authoring the bestselling autobiography with Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About The Bike and Every Second Counts and two books with Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt, Reach for the Summitt and Raise The Roof. Jenkins’ writings have appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair, Golf Digest and Tennis Magazine. Prior, she was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and is a 1982 graduate of Stanford University.

Roxanne A. Jones
Vice President/ Senior Deputy Editor, ESPN The Magazine
Having joined ESPN is 1997, Jones is one of the founding editors of The Magazine that currently has more than 14.7 million readers and three ASME awards for general excellence. Jones was tapped by ESPN to develop new television programs and in 2001 was nominated for an Emmy. She has been successful at creating and executing media content in print, broadcast, mobile and online platforms. Prior, she was Assistant Sports Editor at the New York Daily News. Jones is a graduate of Penn State and completed an executive MBA at UCLA.

Jamie McCourt
Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc. 
McCourt is the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball. She was named President in 2005, a year-and-a half-after joining the organization as Vice Chairman. Under her leadership, Dodgers fans have set all-time club attendance records each year. McCourt is very active in the Los Angeles community and is on the board of several civic organizations. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, holds both an MBA and a law degree. She was a practicing attorney for many years. 

Tola Murphy-Baran
Senior Vice President, Brand Management, SIRIUS XM Radio
Joining SIRIUS Satellite Radio in 2004, Murphy-Baran is responsible for all sports marketing and promotion and Sirius’ relationship with the NFL, NASCAR, the NBA, the NCAA, Arena Football, Wimbledon, in addition to other partners. Previously she was Senior VP of Market Development for the NFL, where she was founder and general manager of “NFL Sunday Ticket.” Murphy-Baran is on the NY chapter board of the National Sports Marketing Network. She is a graduate of Fordham University.

Jacqueline D. Parkes
Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, Major League Baseball
Parkes was promoted to CMO in 2008, the first executive to hold this position. She has worked for MLB since 1995 and in her current role is responsible for promoting the MLB brand and leveraging all assets to drive revenue, while overseeing the following units: advertising, marketing, promotion, research, design services and community relations. Parkes works with the 30 clubs and all department heads in the league office. In 2003 and 2005 she was named a “Forty Under 40” by the SportsBusiness Journal and in 2005 by Crain’s New York Business as a “40 Under 40 Rising Star.”

Jennifer Storms
Senior Vice President, Turner Sports Marketing & Programming
Since joining Turner in 1995, Storms has played an integral part in acquiring the cable rights for NASCAR, as well as overseeing sports programming on both TNT and TBS. She is also responsible for the marketing online properties which include NASCAR.com, PGA.com and PGATOUR.com. In addition, Storms oversees the NBA digital portfolio, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com and others. She was twice named Sports Business Journal “40 Under 40” and in 2008, was named to the “Marketers of the New Generation by Brandweek. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Laurie A. Tucker
Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing, FedEx Services
With a thirty-year career at FedEx, Tucker has experienced almost every facet of the business. In her current position she is responsible for developing marketing strategy, product innovation, retail product and promotion, business alliances, and sponsorship programs. She has instituted many growth programs for her employees including a diversity council, mentoring program and an awards and recognition program. The FedEx Super Bowl spot “Stick,” won a prime-time Emmy Award. She earned her BA and MBA from the University of Memphis.

Michelle D. Wilson
Chief Marketing Officer, Professional Tennis, United States Tennis Association (USTA)
Wilson joined the USTA in 2001 and currently oversees all marketing, advertising and entertainment for the U. S. Open, the Olympus U. S. Open Series, the USTA Pro Circuit, and the U.S. Davis Cup, U.S. Fed Cup and Olympic teams. She has developed innovative advertising and promotional campaigns for the U. S. Open that have significantly elevated the image and awareness levels of tennis in the U.S., consistently delivering record results for TV and ticket sales. Attended by over 700,000 fans annually, the U. S. Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. Wilson previously worked for WWE and the NBA. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jackie S. Woodward
Vice President-Marketing Services, MillerCoors
Woodward joined Miller Brewing Company in 2006 as VP-Media and Marketing Services. Prior, she was VP, Global Marketing at McDonald’s where she led the global lifestyle initiatives. In her current role at MillerCoors, she is responsible for leading marketing services, including media and digital: sports and entertainment alliances and business affairs. Woodward was named one of Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch” in 2004 and in 2008 a “Media Maven.” In 1999, SportsBusiness Journal named her one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Sports.” Woodward is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia.