Newsroom Archive

January 5, 2011

2011 WISE Women of the Year Awards BALLOT

The 17th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

The WISE Women of the Year Award honors three extraordinary women who have made a significant impact on the business of sports and events.

The WISE National Board of Directors has reviewed all nominees and recommends these candidates based on the following criteria:

  • women who in their careers are visible leaders and continue to be an influential voice for women in the industry;
  • women who have broken down barriers and helped create connections and new opportunities for other women while continuing to be a respected resource in the field;
  • women who exemplify professional excellence and are role models for others:


2011 Candidates
Stacey Allaster Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
Lisa Baird United States Olympic Committee
Jennifer Bazante Visa
Michelle Berg Team Epic
Doris Burke Basketball Analyst and Reporter
Ann Wells Crandall New York Road Runners  
Anne Warner Cribbs Anne Cribbs and Company 
Cheryl DeLeonardis Ocean 2 Ocean Productions
Rosalyn Durant  ESPNU
Donna Goldsmith World Wrestling Entertainment
Ilana Kloss   World Team Tennis
Amy Kule  Macy's
Wendy Lewis Major League Baseball
Suzanne Smith CBS Sports
Gillian Zucker Auto Club Speedway


Stacey Allaster
Chairman and CEO, Women's Tennis Association,  WTA Tour
Named Chairman and CEO in July, 2009, Allaster oversees 53 tournaments in 33 countries. She was responsible for securing new global sponsorships for the Tour, including the extension of the sponsorship with Sony Ericsson. In 2010, revenues were at an all-time high. After joining the WTA Tour in January, 2006 in the newly created role of president, Allaster became responsible for operations, business development, television, new media and tournament and player relations. She has played an integral role in several Tour advancements such as achieving equal prize money for women, which was completed in 2007, at Wimbledon and the French Open. There are now ten equal prize money events with winnings for women at an all time high. Allaster has been involved in adding other innovations such as on court coaching, electronic line calling and a revised doubles scoring format. A 15-year veteran of Tennis Canada, Allaster is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with an MBA from the university’s Ivy School of Business.

Lisa Baird
Chief Marketing Officer, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
In her current position since January, 2009, Baird directs the USOC’s sales and marketing division and oversees the development of corporate sponsorship and licensing. Since joining the USOC she has brought in Deloitte and P&G as new sponsors, and renewed AT&T, Polo Ralph Lauren, Visa, Omega and others. Formerly, she was with Brand Value Advisors, a consultancy that advised private equity and merger and acquisition clients. From 2005-2007 Baird was Senior VP, Marketing and Consumer Products for the NFL, overseeing more than 150 licensees that delivered $3 billion in retail sales. At IBM from 1999-2005, she rose to senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Baird is a graduate of Penn State University, holding both BA and MBA degrees.

Jennifer Bazante
Head of Global Brand Marketing and Strategy, Visa Inc.
n her role Bazante is responsible for brand strategy and marketing as well as developing the integrated marketing communications plans which employ the global sponsorship assets such as the Olympic Games and FIFA. Bazante has 18+ years of international experience in marketing and brand communications. Prior, she was vice president of Brand Marketing for Visa's Latin American and Caribbean region and also worked at length in South American for Colgate-Palmolive. She holds a BA from Florida State University and an International MBA from Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

Michelle Berg
Executive Vice President, Team Epic
In the newly-formed position at the company, Berg is responsible for account management of two of the agency's largest clients, AT&T and JPMorgan Chase, specializing in lifestyle marketing in sports and entertainment. Her duties also entail agency personnel management, overseeing all initiatives related to employee development, and agency integration for Velocity Sports & Entertainment and other divisions. In addition, Berg is responsible for new business development, including new client prospects and RFP pitching and presentations.. She has over 25 years of sports marketing, brand management and media planning experience. Berg is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in marketing.

Doris Burke
Basketball Analyst and Reporter, ESPN
Burke calls play-by-play for a wide range of both men’s and women’s professional and college games for the NBA, WNBA and NCAA. She was the lead sideline reporter for the 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals on ABC/ESPN and has worked with ESPN since 1991. She is the lead analyst for ESPN's coverage of the Women's NCAA Tournament and provides studio and game analysis for select WNBA games. In addition to other reporting work, she is a columnist for basketball publications. In 2008, Burke was appointed sideline reporter for ESPN’s marquee NBA games and she also provides analysis for other select NBA games. Since 1998, she has been a WNBA analyst for the New York Liberty on MSG Network, and previously a women’s college basketball analyst for CBS Sports. Burke holds both an undergraduate and Masters degree from Providence College where she was a basketball standout. She has received several awards including the Institute of International Sport, 15 Sports Ethics Fellow (2002) and Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame (2004).

Ann Wells Crandall
Executive Vice President, Business Development and Marketing Strategy, New York Road Runners
For more than a decade Crandall has built innovative programs that help drive revenue and awareness for the over 55 NYRR events, including the ING New York City Marathon, considered to be the "Super Bowl of Running." Crandall's team of 19 is responsible for all marketing and sponsorship programs, new business sales, digital, print and broadcast media deals, licensing, classes and training, international tour partners and registration. The "I'm In. We're In." integrated marketing platform developed in 2010 broadened the reach of the NYRR and ING New York City Marathon brands. Previously, she was director of Business Development for the NBA, and she also worked for DirectTV. She holds a BA in Communications and is an avid runner.

Anne Warner Cribbs
Women's Sports Activist, President, Anne Cribbs and Company
A champion swimmer as a young girl, Ann won a gold medal in the Pan American Games.  She placed fifth in the 1960 Olympics in Rome in the 200-meter breaststroke, and won gold on the 4 x 100 relay team.  She then parlayed her athleticism into a lifelong career in public relations, community service and advocacy for women in sports. Cribbs became president and CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASCO) in 1999, which led to the city bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games.  Most recently she was president and CEO of the Bay Area Senior Games in 2009. Cribbs was co-founder of the American Basketball League (1984-1986). She was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and is currently Vice Chairman of the San Jose Sports Authority.

Cheryl DeLeonardis
President/CEO, Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, Inc.
Having created and produced the Legends for Charity - The Pat Summerall Award in 2004, the event is now held every year during Super Bowl week. She has enlisted top sports executives to lend their names to the Legends for Charity Luncheon. In each Super Bowl city, DeLeonardis works to secure women-owned companies to work on the event. Summerall, a football and broadcast legend, received a life-saving organ transplant in 2004, and the award is in his honor. In 2011, the event will be brought to another level when DeLeonardis becomes the first woman to honor an entire network during Super Bowl weekend at the Legends Dinner - The NFL on Fox. She is the recipient of six national Telly Awards. As a result of her events, money has been raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the ALS Association and the Pulmonary Hypertension Center of New York, and other charities. In 2009, she received the South Florida Business Journal's Most Influential Woman Award.

Rosalyn Durant
Vice President, ESPNU
Durant was promoted to her current position in April, 2008 at this 24-hour college sports network, which was launched in 2005. She is responsible for maximizing the value of ESPN properties across the multimedia assets, including television, Internet, radio, broadband, and wireless. In addition, she oversees all programming and leads the strategic direction of the network. Previously, as vice president of programming and acquisitions, she managed ESPN's relationships with the NBA, Major League Lacrosse, Major League Soccer, FIFA, U.S. Soccer and other properties. She started as an intern in 1998 and worked her way up to her current leadership position. Durant is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in broadcast journalism.

Donna Goldsmith
Chief Operating Officer, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE)
Named COO in 2008, Goldsmith is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of WWE. She also oversees the global growth and profitability of WWE's four business units including Live and Televised Events, Consumer Products, Digital and WWE Studio. Her leadership of WWE's business development initiatives includes WWE Studio's slate of nine new motion pictures, a multi-year master toy license with Mattel, WWE's expansion into emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, and the introduction of new products and apparel. She serves on WWE's board of directors. Prior, she served as executive vice president of Consumer Products. Before joining WWE, Goldsmith managed global licensing at the NBA, and earlier worked at Swatch U.S.A. and Revlon, Inc. In 2009, Goldsmith was named by Forbes as the second most powerful woman in sports. She is a graduate of SUNY Oswego with a BA in Communications.

Ilana Kloss
CEO/Commissioner, World Team Tennis (WTT)
World Team Tennis is a professional, coed sports league founded on the philosophy of gender equity. Kloss oversees the ten-team WTT Pro League and the nationwide grassroots WTT Recreational League. A former world number one-ranked doubles player and U.S. Open doubles champion, she has made the transition from athlete to executive. Kloss is actively involved in the Women's Sports Foundation and serves on its Executive Board of which she is the immediate past Board Chair. She is on the executive board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Billie Jean King WTT Charities, and the Tennis Industry Association. She was also appointed to the USTA executive committee. Kloss is a member of both the National and International Jewish Sports Halls of Fame, and in 2007 was named Sports Businesswoman of the Year by the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

Amy Kule
Group Vice President, Macy's Parade and Entertainment Group
Kule is the Executive Producer of the multiple Emmy-Award winning Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks, both of which are televised nationally on NBC. In addition, she spearheads the creation of strategic corporate partnerships with major entertainment brands within film, network television and cable platforms, as well plays a pivotal role in the Macy's Spring Flower Show. She leads a team of 150 people across the United States who annually produces more than 1,000 events, many with celebrity appearances, product launches and fashion shows. Kule began her career at Macy's in 1996, as the regional director of Macy's Special Events. She is a member and on the board of directors of the Girls Scouts of Greater New York.

Wendy Lewis
Senior Vice President, Diversity and Strategic Alliances, Major League Baseball (MLB), Office of the Commissioner
Lewis implements MLB’s Diversity Economic Impact Engagement (DEIE), one of the newest initiatives to advance the level of MLB’s current workforce and supplier diversity efforts. In addition, the program implements methodologies and economic platforms and industry-wide diversity training. She is the leader and strategist for MLB’s Diverse Business Partners Program (DBP), the premier minority procurement program in professional sports, designed to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority-owned and women-owned business. Lewis has a BS from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has received numerous business and civic awards, including most recently Diversity Plus Magazine's 2010 Diversity Star Award, and has been featured in numerous publications.

Suzanne Smith
Producer/Director, CBS Sports
Smith is in her 27th year with the CBS Television Network and is currently the only woman at any of the five networks producing or directing the NFL. In addition, she directs college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, U.S. Open Tennis Championship and the PGA Tour. In 2010, Smith worked her fourth Super Bowl as Replay Director and segment producer. A three-time Emmy Award winner, Smith joined CBS as a production assistant in 1983, and over the years worked the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, Lillehammer, Norway, and Nagano, Japan, as well as the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. She graduated from Temple University where she played volleyball and softball and received the first-ever volleyball scholarship awarded by the school. Smith is involved in many civic and educational programs and founded ‘Girls’ Nite Productions,' a networking group for friends and colleagues in the media business.

Gillian Zucker
President, Auto Club Speedway
Zucker became the organization’s fourth president in 2005 (formerly California Speedway). She is the first woman president of a track that hosts auto racing's most popular event, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Zucker oversees all of the Speedway's business units, including marketing, public relations, ticketing, accounting and operations. The track is active for more than 320 days a year. She has spearheaded the development of a new business plan, including a comprehensive re-branding strategy, a wide-ranging capital improvements plans, parking and traffic management and increased focus on community involvement. An avid community leader, Zucker was recently named chairman of the California Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Committee and also serves of the Los Angeles Sports Council. She previously served as Daytona International Speedway's VP of business operations and development, and worked for several minor league baseball teams, Zucker her career in advertising sales at Sports Illustrated. She holds a BA from Hamilton College.