WISE Women of the Year  |  Honorees  

 

  • 2016 Renie Anderson, Kathy Behrens, Karen Brodkin   |   

    Renie Anderson Renie Anderson
    SVP, Sponsorship & Partnership Management | NFL

    Renie Anderson oversees the league’s annual $1 billion sponsorship, new business and strategy divisions. The sponsorship department identifies open categories as well as maintains the relationships, activation and revenue growth of the NFL’s corporate sponsors. This group works to leverage the goals and brands of the companies associated with the NFL with key initiatives including the NFL’s high-profile calendar initiatives such as Draft, Training Camp, Kickoff, Thanksgiving, Playoffs, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

    Anderson is responsible for the most recent $1.5 billion, six-year partnership renewal with Anheuser-Busch (ABI), breaking the traditional sponsorship mold, integrating ABI with clubs domestically as well as building global support for the NFL with international rights from Bud Light. Anderson also oversaw the integration of the Microsoft Surface Tablet into the sidelines of all 32 clubs in 2014. In addition to overseeing key revenue growth and partners, during the 2015 NFL season, Anderson led the execution and platform of the NFL’s 50th Super Bowl celebration all-season long.

    In addition to her professional work, Anderson volunteers at a variety of places, including Iona College, where she provides career advice to business students. In 2015 Anderson volunteered with Safe Horizon in New York City, which focuses on victims of domestic and sexual assault as they transition back into the workforce. Anderson has also started a scholarship fund in her home town of Morganfield, KY. In honor of her parents, the Steve Anderson Farms Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior of Union County High School.

    Anderson is a three-time winner of the SportsBusiness Journal 40 Under 40, placing her in the SBJ Hall of Fame. She is only the second NFL employee to hold this distinction. She has also been recognized by AdAge (40 Under 40, 2014) and SportsBusiness Journal (Game Changer, 2014). Prior to joining the NFL, Anderson spent nine years at the Arena Football League, where she worked in a variety of positions and was also honored with the AFL Commissioner’s Award.

    Kathleen Behrens Kathy Behrens
    President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs | NBA

    As president, social responsibility and player programs for the National Basketball Association, Kathy Behrens oversees a group that manages all of the NBA’s programs that coordinate league and player social responsibility efforts, support player growth and development, and enhance the marketing opportunities for current and former players.

    Behrens joined the NBA in September 2000 as vice president, community relations, overseeing all of the NBA’s public service initiatives, community outreach and employee volunteer programs. She later worked as senior vice president of community and player programs and executive vice president of social responsibility and player programs.

    Prior to joining the NBA, Behrens served as executive director of New York Cares, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to help New York City’s neediest residents. Before joining New York Cares in 1995, Behrens served in the administration of former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo and was the executive director of the Friends of Cuomo Campaign committee during the 1994 governor’s race.

    Behrens serves on the board of directors for New York Cares and the Ad Council. She is also a trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

     


    Karen BrodkinKaren Brodkin
    President, Business Affairs | WME/IMG

    In her role at IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion and media, operating in more than 30 countries around the world, Karen Brodkin oversees business affairs across IMG’s events and media, college, golf, tennis, performance, IMG Academy, clients, consulting, licensing and joint ventures divisions.  In addition, Brodkin is actively engaged in IMG’s business and strategic development, sponsorship, and sports/media consulting.  

    Previously, Brodkin was the executive vice president of business and legal affairs at FOX Sports Media Group. While at FOX, she oversaw the business and legal affairs team that negotiated professional and collegiate media rights acquisitions with organizations including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, UFC, MLS, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and the ACC,  as well as all FOX Sports’  production, programming and talent agreements.  Brodkin was part of the team that launched the Big Ten Network in August 2007 and later FOX Sports 1, which launched in August 2013 in more than 70 million homes.

    Prior to joining FOX, Brodkin spent five years as an entertainment attorney at two Los Angeles-based entertainment firms, where her clients included Garth Brooks, Spike Lee, Warner Bros and New Line Cinema.  She began her career as a corporate attorney specializing in labor and employment matters in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker.

    Brodkin is the chairperson of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Sports Council, and serves on the Southern California advisory for CAL Athletics, the sports and entertainment leadership council for Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, and the host committee and advisory board to the Los Angeles Olympic Trials-Marathon.  In April 2015, she was honored by LA Family Housing for her work in helping families transition out of homelessness and poverty, and in June of the same year, joined their board of directors.

    Brodkin has been recognized by the Alliance for Women in Media (Women in Sports honoree, 2015); the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks (#WeAreWomen honoree, 2015); Women in Sports and Events (WISE Los Angeles Woman of Inspiration, 2011); SportsBusiness Journal (Game Changer, 2011) and Broadcasting & Cable (Women in the Game, 2011).  She was a featured columnist in the summer 2015 edition of CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly (“Los Angeles: My Kind of Sports Town”).

     

     

  • 2015 Amy Latimer, Lara Price, Mary Scott   |   

    Amy Latimer Amy Latimer
    President, TD Garden

    In September 2012, Amy Latimer was promoted to president of the TD Garden. As president, Latimer is responsible for all day-to-day operating functions of the arena, one of the most active, highly regarded and successful sports and entertainment venues in North America. With almost two decades of knowledge and experience in the sports and arena industry, Latimer continues to champion the TD Garden as an industry innovator, overseeing the areas of premium service, fan experience and overall revenue generation.

    For six seasons as senior vice president of sales and marketing, Latimer was responsible for developing and leading all sales and marketing strategies for the Boston Bruins and TD Garden. This included the advertising, corporate partnerships, community relations, tickets sales, and Premium Club sales and service. A recognized leader in the sports and arena industry, she was name one of Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers in 2011.

    Latimer was part of the inaugural executive team at the TD Garden and started as the director of marketing in 1995.  She went on to launch the arena’s e-Business department, harnessing website strategies and database marketing. She served as the director of e-Business and then vice president of ticketing and then the senior vice president of sales and marketing for both the Boston Bruins and the arena before assuming her current position.

    Throughout her tenure at TD Garden, Latimer has overseen and participated in many of the arena’s charitable endeavors via Garden Neighborhood Charities, the arena’s philanthropic arm, and the Boston Bruins Foundation. Latimer currently serves as the executive director of Garden Neighborhood Charities and sits on the Good Sports board of directors. She continues to play a key role in developing and hosting annual events, volunteer opportunities and financial support of community partners such as The Salvation Army, Action for Boston Community Development, Friends of Boston’s Homeless and Toys for Tots.

    A native of Ellicott City, Md., Latimer received her degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island, which she attended on a full basketball scholarship. Latimer also took political management courses at George Washington University and worked for Empower America while living in Washington, D.C. She currently resides in Topsfield, Mass. with her husband, Jody, and their three sons.

    Lara Price Lara Price
    Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Philadelphia 76ers

    Lara Price, the 76ers executive vice president of business operations, is in her 19th season with the organization. 

    When she was elevated to vice president of marketing in August of 1998, Price became one of only 18 female vice presidents in the NBA. Price was named the team’s senior vice president in August of 2001 and senior vice president of business operations in June of 2003. She was promoted to her current position in January of 2014. 

    In collaboration with chief executive officer Scott O’Neil, chief revenue officer Chris Heck and chief marketing officer Tim McDermott, Price ensures the completion of all operational tasks and objectives as well as making sure the organization maximizes opportunities at a high quality level. She is the team’s primary contact with the league office and servers as a liaison between the business and basketball sides of the organization, helping to maintain and enhance that relationship.

    Price also helps oversee the operation of the Delaware 87ers, which is the Sixers NBA Development League affiliate, and coordinates communication between the Sixers and their ownership group, including entities like the Prudential Center and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. 

    The recipient of several awards for excellence in advertising and public relations, Price joined the Sixers in 1996 as director of marketing after serving as manager of team services for the NBA. She also served as director of team services for the Continental Basketball Association.

    A native of Boulder, Colo., Price is a graduate of Colorado State University, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team. Price resides in suburban Philadelphia.

    Mary ScottMary Scott
    President, United Entertainment Group

    Mary Scott brings more than 25 years of experience in the sports industry, leading global and national campaigns and providing strategic communications counsel for some of the world’s most recognized brands, leagues, sponsors and media companies.  Scott currently serves as president of United Entertainment Group, the sports, entertainment and experiential arm of Edelman, the world’s largest communications firm, where she has worked for the past 15 years.  

    During her tenure, Scott has provided brand strategy, reputation and issues management and corporate positioning for Fortune 500 companies and C-suite executives, helping clients build campaigns that drive business results.  She has guided numerous clients to successfully navigate and leverage some of biggest sporting events in the world – including seven Olympic Games, more than 20 Super Bowls and most recently the World Cup in Brazil.  Her work has led to numerous industry awards for client campaigns.

    Prior to joining Edelman, Scott worked for the National Football League, where she holds the distinction as one of the first females in a management position with the corporate communications division. There, she led all communication initiatives on behalf of NFL Enterprises, the media development and technology arm of the NFL and its 32 member clubs.  Before her tenure at the NFL, she was with People & Properties, a sports and event marketing company working closely with the PGA and LPGA as well as professional tennis tournaments around the country.  She started her career with Silverman, Warren/Kremer, Inc., a sports PR firm.

    Scott is an active member of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN), an empowered group of women committed to increasing the presence and stature of women at the most senior levels of the agency to create an environment where women are encouraged to lead and succeed.  She is a former member of the WISE National Board was honored by SportsBusiness Journal as a "Game Changer" in 2012.

    Her leadership in sports started long before her career, as she served as captain of the University of Massachusetts nationally ranked women’s lacrosse team.

  • 2014 Val Ackerman, Chris Driessen, Barbara Paddock, Judy Sweet*   |   

    *WISE WOMEN OF DISTINCTION HONOREES

    Val AckermanVal Ackerman
    Commissioner, Big East Conference

    Val Ackerman was named the fifth commissioner of the Big East Conference in June 2013. She was the founding president of the Women"s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and a past president of USA Basketball. Ackerman joined the National Basketball Association as a staff attorney in 1988. She served as special assistant to Commissioner David Stern, later served as director and vice president of business affairs, and was then named the WNBA"s first president in 1996. She led the WNBA during its first eight seasons. Ackerman currently serves as the U.S. representative for men"s and women"s basketball on the Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the sport"s world governing body. In 2011, Ackerman was inducted as contributor into the Women"s Basketball Hall of Fame. Other honors include SportsBusiness Journal Champions Award and Brandweek Co-Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the adjunct faculty for Columbia University"s graduate sports management program and serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the board of trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the board of directors of the Women"s Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Christine DriessenChristine Driessen
    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, ESPN

    As executive vice president and chief financial officer for ESPN, Christine Driessen is responsible for overseeing all of the company"s financial operations worldwide. Driessen"s financial and strategic influence is key in all of the company"s acquisitions, new business ventures and in the multimedia programming rights deals, including agreements with Major League Baseball, Monday Night Football, the new college football playoff, the SEC, WNBA, U.S. Open Tennis and The Masters. Driessen has received many honors, including being ranked third by Sports Illustrated in its 2013 "10 Most Influential Women in Sports" list; SportsBusiness Journal"s 20 Most Influential Women and "Game Changer;" Girl Scouts Council"s Helping Girls Grow Strong Award; Girls, Inc."s one of America"s foremost women in media; United Way"s Women United in Philanthropy"s Woman of Excellence and Achievement Award; and Fordham Business Distinguished Alumna Award. Driessen founded ESPN"s Executive Women"s Forum, a group dedicated to helping women executives succeed in business and at ESPN. She has served on the board of trustees of Fordham University and serves on the board of trustees of the Women"s Sports Foundation.

    Barbara PaddockBarabara Paddock
    Senior Vice President, JPMorgan Chase

    In her role of senior vice president with JPMorgan Chase, Barbara Paddock has worked on the development and implementation of corporate sponsorships since joining Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (a predecessor to JPMorgan Chase) in 1977. In addition, she has been instrumental in numerous initiatives conducted by the firm"s philanthropic arm, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Paddock transformed the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge from a one-city running event into a worldwide phenomenon, with year-round races engaging more than 250,000 runners in seven countries on five continents. In 1996, she linked the bank"s then-new sponsorship of the women"s singles at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships with the renamed Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, opening up a new era of women"s events for the bank. Paddock has taught as an adjunct professor at New York University"s School of Continuing Education on sponsorships and event marketing. She is a member of the board of directors of the New York Junior League and also volunteers with Fordham University and the Ronald McDonald House of New York.

    Judy SweetJudy Sweet
    Co-Founder and Board of Directors President, Alliance of Women Coaches

    Judy Sweet was elected to a two-year term as membership president of the NCAA in January 1991 and was secretary-treasurer of the NCAA from 1989 to 1991, becoming the first woman to serve in each of those positions and the only woman to serve as president. Sweet was a member of the NCAA Television Negotiating Committee, resulting in the first $1 billion, seven-year television contract with CBS beginning in 1991. She later returned to San Diego, where in 1975 she had become one of the first women in the country to direct a combined men"s and women"s intercollegiate athletics program at the University of California, San Diego. Among her numerous honors are the W.S. Bailey Award as the nation"s distinguished athletic administrator, the Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women"s Collegiate Athletics, and SportsBusiness Journal"s Champion Award. Sweet serves on several boards, including the espnW advisory board and the Women"s Sports Foundation advocacy committee. She provides Title IX consulting for universities and organizations and is co-founder and board president of the Alliance of Women Coaches.

  • 2013 Sharon Byers, Danielle Maged, Carol Stiff   |   

    Sharon Byers.jpgSharon Byers
    Senior Vice President, Sports & Entertainment Marketing
    Coca-Cola North America

    Sharon Byers has been with The Coca-Cola Company for twenty-five years.  In her current role, she is responsible for the development of national marketing programs across the portfolio of brands for the Company’s premier partnerships with American Idol, NASCAR, NCAA, Olympics, top Colleges and Universities, and many others. Additionally her work includes development of Coca-Cola’s sports and entertainment marketing strategies, league and talent relationship management including LeBron James, Jennifer Aniston, Kobe Bryant, Carrie Underwood and other key partnerships.  She leads a large team of professionals dispersed throughout the United States and is accountable to a multi-million dollar property portfolio budget.  Throughout her career, Byers has worked in Europe, Africa, Eurasia, the Americas, and the Middle East allowing her to develop a multi-cultural, holistic view of global business.  Byers is an active member in her community and holds numerous board positions including the Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Zoo, College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta Tipoff Club, Atlanta Basketball Host Committee and The Great Pyrenees Rescue of Atlanta.   Byers is an award winning marketer with recent awards including one of Sports Business Journal’s 2012 “Game Changers” and to the Sports Business Journal’s 2012 “50 Most Influential” list. 

     

    DanielleMaged.jpgDanielle Maged
    Global Head of Business Development & Partnerships
    StubHub

    Danielle Maged is responsible for both domestic and international business development and partnerships for the company: strategic, sports, music and technology. She has been with StubHub for more than 10 years, and has been a key part of the company’s growth from disruptive start-up to widely known consumer brand. She serves on the StubHub Executive team, and works very closely with parent company eBay on larger corporate deals involving PayPal and eBay.  As a sports and entertainment consultant with StubHub in its launch years, Maged brought the company’s first NFL partners on board in 2004. She joined StubHub full time in early 2006, playing the lead role in StubHub’s ground-breaking partnership and recent renewal with Major League Baseball and its clubs.  Today, Maged’s group manages 85+ partners, including:  AEG, the Staples Center, the LA Kings, Major League Baseball and 28 of its clubs, the Washington Redskins, Premier League Football teams Tottenham Hotspur, Everton & Sunderland, Paciolan Ticketing, the University of Texas, University of Michigan, USC, Alabama, Philadelphia 76’ers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Apple. Previously, she served as Vice President of New Media & Marketing for Madison Square Garden. Prior to MSG, she was Director of International Strategic Planning at ESPN International and spent six years at the NBA.  Maged is a Sports Business Journal 2012 “Game Changer” and holds a BA and MBA from Columbia University. 

     

    CarolStiff.jpgCarol Stiff
    Vice President, Content Program & Integration
    espnW

    In her newly created role, which she assumed in February 2013, Stiff focuses on integrating the content and stories from the comprehensive multiplatform espnW initiative and elevating its presence across the ESPN.  Stiff joined ESPN in 1990 and previously worked in ESPN’s programming department, ultimately serving as a vice president, programming & acquisitions since April 2010. She oversaw the acquisition and scheduling of a variety of sports on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, including NCAA women’s basketball, NCAA championships (the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, Football Championship Series, College World Series, Women’s College World Series, lacrosse), WNBA, professional softball and more. Before joining ESPN, she gained experience in the college coaching profession as a women’s basketball assistant and recruiter at Brown University, as well as a stint at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Western Connecticut State University.  Stiff is a member of several professional groups, including the Women’s Sports Foundation, the USA Women’s Basketball Standing Committee, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards Board. Stiff was inducted into the Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2005; was named the “Top Advocate for Women’s Basketball” by the Tampa Tribune in 2008; in 2009 Sports Business Journal recognized her as one of the most influential executives in women’s sports; and was recently awarded the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award for her commitment to women’s basketball and advancing the role of the media in the game.  
     

  • 2012 Gail D. Hunter, Kim Williams, Marla Miller   |   

    GailHunter_headshot_200x225.jpgGail D Hunter
    Senior Vice President of Events and Attractions, National Basketball Association

    Hunter is responsible for managing the NBA and WNBA's domestic and international grassroots marketing programs. Events across the United States include NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Jam Session, NBA Jam Van, NBA Summer League, and NBA Nation. Hunter oversees the production, operations, sponsorship management, execution, public relations, marketing, and advertising for these events. During 2010-11 season, the international grassroots events portfolio grew to more than 200 events in 94 cities in 34 countries, including NBA Madness, community outreach programs, touring basketball festivals, camps and coaching clinics, and basketball tournaments. Hunter joined the NBA in 1999 as Senior Director of Events and Attractions. She was promoted in January of 2002 to Vice President. Before joining the NBA, Hunter was employed as Director of Corporate Marketing for the Seattle Mariners, where she was involved in corporate development and sponsorship sales, marketing, and ballpark planning for Safeco Field. Hunter served as Director of Promotional Events for Major League Baseball from 1991-98, where she developed and managed baseball's premier All-Star event, All-Star FanFest. Hunter earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre arts from the Fredonia campus of the State University of New York and earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

    KimWilliams_headshot_200x225.jpgKim Williams
    Chief Operating Officer, NFL Network

    Williams is responsible for managing the National Football League's cable television assets. She played an integral role in the launch of NFL RedZone channel in 2009, which won a Sports Emmy nomination in the Outstanding New Approaches category. Her responsibilities include overseeing the NFL's facilities and studios in Culver City, California, operational home of NFL Network, NFL RedZone and NFL.com. Williams previously served as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for the NFL, and previously held the same position with NBC on the West Coast. She also served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for NBC Business Development. Prior to joining NBC, she worked with General Electric companies in several European countries. Williams is on the Global Advisory Council for the Women's Tennis Association and a board member for the Animal Cancer Foundation. She holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management (“Thunderbird”).

    MarlaMiller_headshot_200x225.jpgMarla Miller
    Senior Vice President Special Events, Major League Baseball

    Miller began her career at Major League Baseball in the licensing department where she rose to Senior Director of Licensed Apparel. She was named Vice President of Special Events in 1998, overseeing many of the League’s largest initiatives, including the All-Star Game and World Series. As the first female named Senior Vice President at Major League Baseball, Miller has helped to expand the scope and audience of MLB’s biggest events which included overseeing the first ever All-Star Summer during the 2008 All-Star Game in New York City. Highlights from the celebration included a free Bon Jovi concert in Central Park and the All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade presented by Chevrolet. These initiatives, as well as many of her contributions, have drastically increased the range and scope of MLB’s events. In the last year alone, the 2011 All-Star Game and World Series were carried around the world by 47 broadcast outlets to 220 countries. Prior to MLB, Miller worked at Grey Advertising and at NFL Properties. She is active in many community and charitable organizations and serves as a Director on the Grand Central Partnership. Miller holds a BA in journalism from New York University.

  • 2011 Stacey Allaster, Lisa Baird, Wendy Lewis   |   

    2011_stacey_allaster_189x283.jpgStacey Allaster - Named by Forbes magazine as one of the "Most Powerful Women in Sports", Allaster began her tenure as Chairman & CEO of the WTA in mid-2009 but her impact on the organization began while a member of the WTA's Tournament Council in 2001. As president of the WTA, Allastar brought innovation to women's tennis by allowing for on-court coaching, electronic line calling, revised doubles scoring format. She also was a champion of the Roadmap, the WTA's long term strategic plan aimed at streamlining the calendar to enhance the overall health and well-being of the athletes and delivering top players on a more consistent basis to tournaments and fans.

    Allaster was instrumental in the WTA's longstanding quest to achieve equal prize money for women tennis players at all four Grand Slams, a feat finally completed in 2007 when Wimbledon and Roland Garros committed to offering equal prize money to male and female tennis players. Moreover, Allaster helped secure equal and record prize money at the year-end Championships, adding to a total of ten equal prize money events. Allastar's tenure as Chairman & CEO has been marked by maximizing the WTA experience for fans, increasing sponsorship revenues, and enhancing the health and well-being of the athletes. Prior to joining the WTA, Allaster was President of Tennis Canada, where under her leadership, the Canadian Open (currently the Rogers Cup) witnessed the highest tournament revenues and attendance figures on the Tour. Allaster holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Physical Education from the University of Western Ontario, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.

    2011_lisa_baird_189x228.jpgLisa Baird - Since becoming CMO of the USOC in January 2009, Baird has signed nine new corporate partners and renewed seven others in one of the most challenging marketplaces in recent years. She launched a number of innovative new marketing platforms, including a national fundraising campaign-America Supports Team USA - and a program which enabled fans to follow the making of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team - The Making of Team USA-Vancouver Bound.  Baird also refreshed the USOC brand and recently re-launched the licensing business under the Team USA brand mark. In addition, Baird has been a public proponent of strengthening anti-ambush measures for the sports industry and sponsored a proposition to prevent unfair advertising targeting Olympic sponsors, which was unanimously approved by the National Governing Body Council. 

    Prior to the USOC, Baird served as senior vice president of marketing and consumer products for the NFL where she directed the league's consumer products, direct marketing, e-commerce, entertainment marketing and advertising programs.  Baird also worked at IBM, first as vice president of advertising and then as senior vice president of worldwide marketing communications where she led IBM's global marketing communications initiatives, including advertising, sports marketing, direct marketing, events and digital marketing in more than 70 countries. Additionally, Baird was responsible for the IBM e-business campaign, which won the 2006 Grand Effie award.  She also held a series of marketing positions at General Motors, including a stint as chief creative officer of e-gm.  Baird is a graduate of Penn State University where she received a bachelor's degree and MBA. 

    2011_Wendy_Lewis_184x283.jpgWendy Lewis - A highly recognized executive for her pioneering career in creating opportunities for minorities and women, Lewis began her tenure at Major League Baseball in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs and joined MLB's Central Office in 1995. As Senior Vice President of Diversity and Strategic Alliances for Major League Baseball, she implements MLB's Diversity Economic Impact Engagement initiative (DEIE).  The DEIE is one of MLB's newest initiatives to advance the level of MLB's current workforce and supplier diversity efforts as well as create methodologies for cultural assessments, diversity economic platforms and industry-wide diversity training. She has developed an internal consultant model that is currently underway and will be utilized throughout MLB.  Lewis also established the team that developed MLB's uniquely strategic talent pipeline, The Executive Development Program (EDP), a two-year rotational career development program whose goal is to add to MLB's high-potential talent pool for MLB Clubs and the Central Office.  One of her most notable roles is managing the leadership of MLB's Diverse Business Partners' Program, the leading supplier diversity program in sports. This major league procurement initiative has produced significant economic opportunity for MLB, its franchises and local communities. Under Lewis' leadership, a greater number of diverse businesses have had an opportunity to participate in the procurement process for MLB's desired goods and services.  Her strategic implementation of the "DBP" Program has resulted in over $800 million dollars being spent with thousands of minority and women-owned businesses. 

    Prior to her current role at MLB, Lewis served as Vice President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity following her position of Vice President of Human Resources and Office Operations. In these capacities, Lewis directed the recruitment, compensation, benefits, performance planning, training and development for MLB's Central Office in New York and its satellite offices. Lewis has a BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

  • 2010 Jean Afterman, Roxanne Jones, Jennifer Storms   |   

    2010_jean-afterman_small.jpg Jean Afterman
    Vice President and Assistant General Manager, New York Yankees
    Afterman completed her eighth season (seventh as VP) as only the third female to hold this position in MLB history, with the team winning the World Series in 2009. In addition to her day-to-day managerial roles for the Yankees, Afterman has been instrumental in spearheading the organizations operations in Asia and the entire international baseball community. In 2007 she was profiled in Crain's New York Business' "100 Most Influential Women in New York Business" and in 2008 Forbes named her one of the top female executives in baseball. For her civic involvement, she received the "Exploring Leadership Award" for providing high school students career opportunities. Afterman also works with PENCIL, a non-profit mentoring program for the purpose of creating positive change in the public schools. Afterman is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. She also has a J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

    2010_Roxanne-Jones_small.jpg Roxanne Jones Vice President, ESPN Publishing
    Jones joined ESPN in 1997 and was one of the founding editors of ESPN The Magazine, which has 14.7 million readers and received three ASME awards. In her role, she develops editorial initiatives and oversees a national team of sports writers and editors. Jones helped create the TV shows "ESPN Hollywood" and "Cold Pizza" - ESPN2's first morning sports and entertainment program. She has been successful at creating, monetizing and executing media content in print, broadcast, mobile and digital platforms. Formerly, Jones was Assistant Sports Editor at the New York Daily News. She is the author of Say it Loud, an Illustrated History of the Black Athlete (2009) and is involved with several civic and professional organizations. An alumna of Penn State University, she received an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Business.

    2010_Jennifer-Storms_small.jpg Jennifer Storms
    Senior Vice President, Gatorade
    Storms leads a team of marketing professionals as Gatorade continues its evolution from a sports beverage company to an innovative leader, expanding its reach to a broader range of athletes and active consumers. She oversees the brand's relationship with the NFL, NBA, WNBA, AVP, NHL, U. S. Soccer, MLS, as well as with other professional, collegiate and amateur teams. Storms joined Gatorade in June, 2009, after 14 years with Turner Broadcasting Network. At Turner, she was Senior VP of Turner Sports Marketing and Programming, overseeing both TBS and TNT networks, as well as online properties, such as NBA Digital Portfolio, NASCAR.com and PGA. For three consecutive years, Storms was named to Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Journal's "40 Under 40," and in 2008 Brandweek named her to "Marketers for a New Generation." She graduated with a B.A. from Northwestern University.

  • 2009 Kathy Carter, Jamie McCourt, Jacqueline Parkes   |   

    2009Kathryn_Carter.jpgKathryn Carter – Executive Vice President, Soccer United Marketing/Major League Soccer

     

    2009Jamie_McCourt.jpgJamie McCourt – Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers

     

    2009Jacqueline_Parkes.jpgJacqueline D. Parkes – Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Major League Baseball

  • 2008 Rita Benson LeBlanc, Pam Oliver, Molly Solomon   |   

    2008bensonleblanc.jpgRita Benson LeBlanc
    Owner/Executive Vice President, New Orleans Saints


    LeBlanc oversees the business and administrative operations for the Saints, including sales, marketing, community and youth programs, game entertainment, and stadium operations. She led a record selling sales and marketing effort for 2006 with a season ticket sellout for the reopening of the Superdome, followed by another sellout in 2007. LeBlanc also chairs the NFL Employees Benefit committee and has made the rebuilding of New Orleans a business and personal priority.

    2008oliver.jpgPam Oliver
    Reporter, FOX NFL Sunday / NFL on FOX


    Since joining the NFL on FOX in 1995, Oliver has established herself as one of the premier sports reporters on network television. Oliver contributes feature stories and sideline reports for FOX NFL SUNDAY and reports from the NFL on FOX’s top game alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Prior to joining FOX Sports, Oliver served as a sports reporter at ESPN, covering Monday Night football, the NFL Playoffs, the NBA Finals, and Dream Team II at the 1995 World Championships of Basketball. She also worked as a reporter for KHOU in Houston, WTVT in Tampa, WIVB in Buffalo, WAAY in Huntsville, Ala., WALB in Albany, Ga., and WFSU in Tallahassee, Fla.

    2008solomon.jpgMolly Solomon
    Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics


    In her role, Solomon is involved in every facet of production and planning of NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games, including program development, operational planning and hiring and assigning on-air-talent and production staff. During the 2004 games in Athens, she oversaw all aspects of the 415 hours of Olympic cable coverage on MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and USA and will continue these responsibilities in Beijing in 2008. In 2006, she won a Prime Time Emmy award as a producer of the Opening Ceremony in Torino.

  • 2007 Cindy Alston, Mary Carillo, Donna Orender   |   

    2007a.jpg 

    The 2007 Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Women of the Year Awards celebrated the outstanding achievements of three women in industry at the Marriott Marquis, New York Cityon May 16, 2007. Pictured left to right: Sue Rodin, founder and president of Women in Sports and Events (WISE); the three honorees -- Donna Orender, president, WNBA, Cindy Alston, CMO, The Gatorade Company; Mary Carillo, Peabody and Emmy® Award-winning television journalist; and Andrea Joyce, awards host, NBC Sports.

    2007b.jpg

    The 2007 Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Women of the Year honorees, recognized for their outstanding achievements in industry celebrate their awards with their presenters and colleagues at the Marriott Marquis, New York City, on May 16, 2007. Pictured left to right: Honoree Donna Orender, president, WNBA; presenter Robin Roberts, co-host, Good Morning America (ABC), Andrea Joyce, awards host, NBC Sports; honoree Mary Carillo, Peabody and Emmy® Award-winning television journalist; Sue Rodin, founder and president of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), presenter Kristine Lilly, international soccer star; honoree Cindy Alston, CMO, The Gatorade Company; and presenter Geraldine Laybourne, CEO, Oxygen Media.
  • 2006 Sheila Johnson, Beatriz Perez, Mary Wittenberg   |   

    Sheila Johnson, Owner, Washington Mystics, Founder BET

    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.

    Beatriz Perez, Chief Marketing Officer, North American Division of The Coca Cola 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

    Mary Wittenberg, President and Chief Executive, New York Road Runners

    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.

  • 2005 Christine Brennan, Christine Driessen, Jo Ann Ross   |   

    Christine Brennan, Sports Columnist, USA Today
    Christine Driessen, Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, ESPN
    Jo Ann Ross, President, Network Sales, CBS
  • 2004 10th Anniversary Commemorative Luncheon   |   

    The 10th Anniversary Awards Luncheon honored all former WISE Women of the Year honorees.

  • 2003 Dockery Clark, LeslieAnne Wade, Deborah Yow   |   

    Dockery Clark, Senior Vice President, Olympic Sports and Event Marketing, Bank of America
    LeslieAnne Wade, Senior Vice President, Communications, CBS Sports
    Deborah Yow, Athletic Director, University of Maryland
  • 2002 Billie Jean King, Lesley Visser   |   

    Billie Jean King, Founder/Coach, World Team Tennis, and Sports Pioneer
    Lesley Visser, Broadcaster, CBS Sports
  • 2001 Lee Ann Daly, Kathleen Francis, Stephanie Tolleson   |   

    Lee Ann Daly, Senior Vice President, Marketing, ESPN
    Kathleen Francis, Vice President, Marketing, Major League Baseball
    Stephanie Tolleson, Senior Vice President and Head of Women’s Tennis, IMG
  • 2000 Marla Messing, Kim Ng, Sue Wellington   |   

    Marla Messing, CEO, Organizing Committee, 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Kim Ng, Assistant General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Sue Wellington, Quaker Oats/Gatorade
  • 1999 Nancy Brinker, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Pat Summitt   |   

    Nancy Brinker, Creator of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
    Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic Champion, Track and Field
    Pat Summitt, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, University of Tennessee
  • 1998 Val Ackerman, Robin Roberts, Elizabeth (Eli) Primrose-Smith   |   

    Val Ackerman - President, WNBA
    Robin Roberts - News Anchor, Good Morning America
    Elizabeth (Eli) Primrose-Smith - VP, Worldwide Olympic & Sports Sponsorships, IBM

  • 1997 Liz Dolan   |   

    Liz Dolan - Co-Founder, Satellite Sisters, and formerly VP, Global Marketing, Nike
  • 1996 Lydia Stephans   |   

    Lydia Stephans - Former President, Oxygen Sports
  • 1995 Sarah Levinson   |   

    Sarah Levinson - President of Women’s Publishing Group, Rodale Press

 

 

 

WISE Champion Award Recipients

2015 | Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group

2013 | Dick Ebersol, former chairman of NBC Sports

2012 | Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports

2011 | Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports

The WISE Champion Award annually recognizes a male executive who has championed the advancement of women in the workplace. The recipient is selected by the WISE national board based on the following criteria:

  • A man who champions the role of women in the business of sports through the successful creation of new jobs, mentoring and networking opportunities
  • A man who clearly communicates a vision for women in the industry and their continued advancement
  • A man who shows consistent commitment to the promotion of women's careers and recognition of their professional accomplishment