FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WOMEN IN SPORTS AND EVENTS NAMES
12th ANNUAL WISE WOMEN OF THE YEAR AWARD HONOREES
New York City, April 12, 2006 -- Women in Sports and Events (WISE), the leading voice and resource for professional women in the sports and events industry, announced today the honorees for the 2006 WISE Women of the Year Award. The award recipients are Sheila Johnson, Washington Mystics president, BET Co-Founder; Beatriz Perez, Vice President Media, Sports and Entertainment, Coca-Cola North America; and Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO, New York Road Runners.
The three women will be honored at the 12th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon to be held in New York City on May 24.
"These outstanding women have made such important and impressive contributions to the industry and we are proud to shine a spotlight on their great work," said Sue Rodin, President and Founder of WISE. "Not only are they reaching milestones in their careers, but they serve as role models for the next generation of young women in the field."
The honorees are chosen by a vote by the WISE membership nationwide. Criteria for the honorees include leadership in their field, service as a voice and resource for women in the industry, and general professionalism and performance on and off the field that have significantly affected the business of sports.
A further look at this year's honorees:
Johnson is believed to be the first African- American woman to be an owner/partner in three professional sports franchises. She holds titles of president, managing partner and governor for the Mystics and with her partnership in Lincoln Holdings LLC, Johnson is also part owner of the Capitals and Wizards. She co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), spending 17 years to help build the foundation that turned the first cable television network aimed at African-American viewers into a nationwide media powerhouse. She is currently CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC a hospitality company.
Perez develops the strategic direction for and oversees the company's national sports and entertainment partnerships such as: CAA, Premier Entertainment, NASCAR, NHRA, NCAA, NHL, NBA, LeBron James, Lance Armstrong and other premier partnerships in film and television. Additionally she is responsible for the management of media strategy and planning across broadcast, print, radio, outdoor and digital mediums. Prior she was the Director of The Coca-Cola Company's award winning Motorsports marketing platform. Perez was the recipient of Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award for three consecutive years, 2001-2003 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2005, she was named Sports Business Journal's Top 25 Women in Business
Wittenberg became president and CEO of New York Road Runners and race director of the ING New York City Marathon in April 2005, making history as the first woman ever to oversee a major city marathon. She has expanded NYRR's goal of becoming an ever-greater national and international force in the sport of running. In the past year alone she has overseen the awarding of record prize money, partnered with four of the greatest marathons in the world to create the World Marathon Majors series, and hosted the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships, among other initiatives.
Headquartered in New York City, WISE was founded in 1993 and currently has over 500 members in seven chapters across the country in Atlanta, Bay Area, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New England and Washington D.C.
The 12th Annual WISE Women of the Year Luncheon will take place on May 24 in New York City at the Marriott Marquis. For information on attending the luncheon, joining WISE or becoming a sponsor, please visit wiseworks.org.