CHAPTER TO HONOR 3 INDUSTRY LEADERS AT WOMEN OF INSPIRATION CELEBRATION

NEW YORK, NY, November 22 , 2015 – The NYC Metro Chapter of WISE (Women In Sports and Events) today announced that on Monday, December 6, it will recognize Octagon Worldwide EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Murray; Wendy Hilliard, founder of the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation and Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief of ESPN, the Magazine and espnW, as its 2016 Women of Inspiration.

The Women of Inspiration celebration, which will be held from 6 to 8 PM at an exclusive midtown location, is part of an effort by WISE chapters across the country to recognize women who have achieved leadership positions in the sports and events industries while serving as role models and mentors for other women. The event will also kick-off the 2017 celebration of the New York Metro Chapter’s 10th anniversary. The Roaring 20s themed party will include an interactive game table sponsored by Citi Bike.

WISE NYC Metro Chapter President Van Adams said, “With so many sports-related businesses in the area, we were fortunate to have a plethora of worthy candidates for this award and are proud that these three women embody the standard for our Women of Inspiration – exemplary leadership, active support of other women, tenacity, entrepreneurship, and hard work. The industry segments they represent – philanthropy, media, and agency – are illustrative of the diversity of our membership and indicative of the opportunities that exist for women to excel in the sports arena.”

Murray oversees marketing and communications for Octagon globally and leads the firm’s marketing best practices development and deployment. She is responsible for driving cross-border growth of existing clients while leveraging her expertise across the largest global sports properties including the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.  Murray’s leadership extends across the entire Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network, where she is the key driver of multi-agency integration and shared best practices. Her continued work drives business growth and efficiencies across the sports, music and entertainment enterprise that encompasses Octagon, FRUKT and Rogers & Cowan. She has been named to the Sporting News annual “Power 100” list, SportsBusiness Journal’s top 20 most influential women in the industry and was named to the inaugural Game Changers class by SBJ. She continues to help foster talent by sharing her experiences as a female executive in the sports and entertainment industry, delivering keynote addresses for the Sports Marketing Association and SINC, and most recently at PGA Tour’s Executive Women’s Day.

Hilliard was the first African American to represent the United States on the Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team a record nine times; serving twice as National Team Captain. She competed in three world championships and the 1984 Olympic trials and was a four-time US National Team Coach, in addition to coaching 1996 Olympian, Aliane Baquerot Wilson. She’s a Master of Sport, an honor for developing an Olympic athlete. Hilliard was the athlete representative for gymnastics to the US Olympic Committee and served on the Executive Committee of USA Gymnastics for over ten years. She was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2008 and was also the first African American and gymnast to become the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation. The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation has provided free gymnastics for more than 15,000 urban youth in NYC since 1996. In 2011, she was awarded the US Olympic Committee Rings of Gold for her work helping children develop their Olympic dreams. She has been a TV commentator for many sports and gymnastics events, including the Olympic Games for NBC Sports and performed on numerous television shows and tours with the world’s top gymnasts as well as on Broadway. She was director of sports for NYC2012, NYC’s bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with responsibilities that included overseeing all sports and athlete matters. She was instrumental in bringing several international events to NYC including the Freestyle Wrestling World Championships held at Madison Square Garden, the Archery World Championships, the Fencing World Cup and was the lead in developing the NYC Triathlon. In 2006, she designed, programmed and directed the Gymnastics Center for Aviator Sports and Recreation; a multi- million/multi-sport complex in Brooklyn, NY. Hilliard currently serves on the boards of the Armory Foundation, Special Olympics Urban Initiative and the NYC Sports Commission. She was a founding member of the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, WISE, and Antigravity, an international performance company.

Alison Overholt returned to ESPN as Editor-in-Chief of espnW, in April 2014. In February 2016, she added the responsibility of Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine, for which she will continue to drive collaborative, innovative approaches to storytelling, with oversight of producing ESPN’s multiplatform enterprise content. She previously spent five years at ESPN, joining the company in 2005 as general editor, sports business and lifestyle. In 2007, she was elevated to senior editor, special projects, overseeing its enterprise and investigative team, as well as managing the publication’s Olympics and X Games coverage.  In 2009, Overholt was part of ESPN’s early efforts to research and develop a sports media offering for women and was espnW’s founding editor. She began her career as a writer and editor at Fast Company magazine, and her writing has also appeared in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, O: The Oprah Magazine, MORE, Working Mother, Cosmopolitan, Inc., Sports Illustrated: Women and Fitness. In 2011, she launched her own digital content strategy company, 183Ink, LLC, working with organizations including Hearst Publishing, NASDAQ OMX, The Robin Hood Foundation, Trinity Wall Street, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to develop apps, craft digital and social media content strategies, and manage digital redesigns. Overholt has also served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management since 2012. She was twice named to the TJFR/News Bios 30 Under 30 Rising Stars list (2003 and 2004), and received the AAJA National Print Journalism Award (2005, Unlimited Subject Matter) for her writing in Fast Company. Overholt was the editor on ESPN stories that earned the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award (2007) and both magazine and internet category wins from the New York Press Club Awards for Journalism (2010). She was a member of the ASME National Magazine Award-winning team for General Excellence in 2006.

NYC METRO CHAPTER OF WOMEN IN SPORTS AND EVENTS TO HONOR 3 INDUSTRY LEADERS AT INAUGURAL WOMEN OF INSPIRATION CELEBRATION

NEW YORK, NY, November 19, 2015 – The NYC Metro Chapter of WISE (Women In Sports and Events) today announced that on December 8 at the PlayStation Theater it will recognize CBS Sports Producer/Director Suzanne Smith; Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center Elisa Padilla and Karen Davis-Farage, president and co-owner of Pole Position Raceway as its inaugural Women of Inspiration.

Slated to become an annual event, the Women of Inspiration celebration is part of an effort by WISE chapters across the country to recognize women who have achieved leadership positions in the sports and events industries while serving as role models and mentors for other women. The NYC Metro Chapter will also pay tribute to the five women who met over breakfast in 1993 – WISE founder Sue Rodin; long-time National Board member and historian Ernestine Miller; Sylvia Allen; Glenda Brown and Raleigh Mayer — to brainstorm ways to bring together women working in the sports industry. Their discussion resulted in the formation of WISE as a national organization which has grown to 12 chapters in major U.S. sports hubs across the country.

The program will be emceed by WABC meteorologist Amy Freeze and will also include a sports-related fashion show in which “models” will walk the runway representing each of the Metropolitan area’s professional sports teams in a style showcase with fashions provided by G-III Sports by Carl Banks, as well as Fafa Khan, an international female DJ with an eclectic musical style who has spun alongside Wale, Drake, Timbaland and many more, throughout clubs and festivals around the world for clients such as Belvedere, Moet & Chandon and Virgin Radio.

Freeze, one of only a few women to earn the prestigious Certified Broadcast Meteorologist accreditation from the American Meteorological Society, was also the first female sideline reporter for Major League Soccer. Her work has earned her several Emmy Awards, including for “Best Weathercaster,” “Outstanding Host” and her weather special, “Surviving Severe Weather.” She is an avid runner, who has completed marathons in Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and New York. She’s also a certified SCUBA diver and has taken a swim with the dozen or so 300lb sharks that reside at the New Jersey State Aquarium. She also covered the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Atlanta.

WISE NYC Metro Chapter President Van Adams said, “Narrowing down the selection for Women of Inspiration from the New York area presented a surprising challenge in an industry that was historically male-dominated, demonstrating just how far we have come since the foundation of WISE 22 years ago. We were fortunate to be able to draw from a wide pool of strong candidates, who have not only blazed trails, but continue to mentor and promote other women along the way. We are proud that these three women epitomize the standard we intend to set for this award – demonstrating and exemplifying initiative, diversity, entrepreneurship, hard work, and support for other women.”

A six-time Emmy-award winner, Smith is in her 32nd year with the CBS Television Network. Currently the only woman either producing or directing the NFL for any network, she also serves as coordinating producer and director of We Need to Talk, the first nationally televised all-female sports show, airing on CBS Sports Network. She also has directed college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship since 1994 and is a member of the Network’s golf production team for the Masters®. She directed the NBA Playoffs for Turner Sports; the WNBA for the Oxygen Network; the Live Academy Awards Special for WE Entertainment; a holiday special for Martha Stewart, and “Pavarotti in the Park,” a live concert in Central Park and documentary. She formed the “Girls Nite” group, a network of professional women who work in the television and communications industry.

Padilla played a key role in establishing brand identity for Barclays Center and its five franchises and is leading the marketing efforts for its sixth franchise, the New York Islanders. She joined the Nets in 2010 as a director, was named vice president in 2012, senior vice president in 2014, and was promoted to her current role in 2015. Prior to joining the Nets, Padilla worked with high profile sports and entertainment companies such as AT&T, HBO Sports, Nickelodeon, the NBA and the New York Knicks. While at AT&T, she developed marketing plans that resulted in solid customer acquisition and retail distribution expansion in key highly Hispanic traffic areas and spearheaded marketing efforts for the opening of the first AT&T store in New York City’s Chinatown. At the NBA, Padilla developed the marketing plan for the 2002 NBA All-Star Jam Session, which sold out for the first time. She also served on the WISE national board and taught Sports Marketing at New York University, where she was an adjunct faculty member for five years.
Following a career of executive positions in the software industry, Davis-Farage, along with her husband Eyal Farage, licensed the right to bring Pole Position Raceway to the east – opening the first Pole Position Raceway indoor, electric karting facility in 2010 in Jersey City, NJ, followed by Syracuse in 2012, Buffalo in 2013 and Long Island and Rochester in 2014. In five years, the business has amassed more than 200 employees, raced hundreds of thousands of people and hosted countless events including for Fortune 1000 companies. In 2014, she received the Arline Simpson Leadership Award from the Meadowlands Regional Chamber and was the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders Women’s History Month Honoree. Pole Position has also raised and contributed more than $200,000 to community causes. She is a board member of the Meadowlands Region Chamber & Convention & Tourism Bureau, a member of the Hudson County Chamber, Syracuse Convention and Visitor Bureaus for Cheektowaga, New York Convention and Visitor Bureau, Visit Buffalo/Niagara and Visit Rochester and active in Meeting Planners International and International Special Events Society.

WISE is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE offers its members the opportunity to gain valuable insights and connections that can provide them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a membership organization headquartered in New York City with chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, NYC Metro, Pittsburgh, San Diego, South Florida, Houston and Washington, DC.

For more information on the Women of Inspiration celebration and to purchase tickets, visit www.wisenyc.org

Applications Available For Executive Leadership Program

The WISE Executive Leadership Institute is offered in partnership with Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Founded in 1900, the Tuck School of Business is the first graduate school of management and consistently ranks among the top business schools in the world.

In 2014, WISE launched its Executive Leadership Institute, a prestigious curriculum tailored specifically for the advancement and retention of female executives in the business of sports. A first for the sports industry, this highly competitive program was created for women at the vice president level or above, who aspire to senior-level positions — with the ultimate goal of establishing a deep bench of female leaders who are prepared to ascend to the C-suites. The 2014 inaugural class included executives from industry-leading organizations such as Coca-Cola, ESPN, MLB, NBA and Octagon, as well as major league teams.

Application Deadline: AUGUST 21, 2015  Click Here For More Information and To Apply.

WISE NYC METRO CHAPTER POWER PLAY PANEL TO SPOTLIGHT TOP WOMEN NHL EXECS, CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

NEW YORK, NY – A roster of women in senior positions at the National Hockey League will address WISE (Women in Sports and Events) NYC Metro Chapter members and their guests at the organization’s 6th annual Power Play panel at 8 AM, Tuesday, March 24, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.
Power Play is the Chapter’s signature event, held each March to celebrate Women’s History Month, as its only panel with an all-female line-up of individuals in leadership positions within the same firm or organization. This year’s panel will feature the NHL’s Susan Cohig, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Integrated Marketing; Carol Dann, Senior Director, Information Technology; Chrissy Rajala, Director, Media Planning; and Lynn A. White, Vice President, Integrated Sales, International.
“Power Play is a meaningful way to celebrate Women’s History Month each year, as a unique showcase of major sports institutions with multiple women executives, enabling us to highlight the success and accomplishments of leading female sports officials,” said Van Adams, Chapter president. “While all of our panel discussions are geared to providing attendees at all professional levels with new insight into the business of sports, Power Play is also an opportunity to further the goals of WISE by providing a focus on how much can be achieved by talented women working together in a supportive environment.”
Previous WISE Power Play panels have included: the women of ESPN (2010), the women of MLB (2011), the women of golf (2012), the women of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee (2013), and the women of the Big East (2014).
For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit wisenyc.org.
WISE is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE offers its members the opportunity to gain valuable insights and connections that can provide them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a membership organization headquartered in New York City with chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, NYC Metro, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington, DC, as well as Syracuse University’s WISE on Campus. More information on the NYC Metro Chapter can be found at www.wisenyc.org.

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WISE NYC METRO Chapter President Named Leading Woman Entrepreneur and Business Owner

Van Adams, president of the WISE (Women In Sports and Events) NYC Metro Chapter and president of VanAdams Sports Group, has been named one of 25 2014 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners by Leading Women Entrepreneurs, a media and events company that recognizes outstanding women business owners.

The award recognizes service, leadership, and contribution to the community based on four areas: Market Potential, Innovation, Advocacy for Women and Community Involvement.

Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Adams held positions in media and public relations, marketing, and business development for leading organizations including the United States Golf Association, Sports Illustrated, the Buffalo Bills and Grambling State University. She is the creator of Gathering on the Greens (a golf initiative for businesswomen), a frequent contributing writer for various industry publications, guest speaker for events, adjunct professor of sports marketing and has been affiliated with WISE for nearly a decade. With expertise in talent management, event marketing/management and corporate consulting, she represents a number of iconic sports celebrities and is proficient at negotiating deals and adept at strengthening the athlete’s brand and business ventures.

Kathleen Francis, chairman and president of the WISE National organization, said, “As a founding Chapter board member and more recently as president of the WISE NYC Metro Chapter, Van’s innovative leadership has been the source of career development and growth for hundreds of metropolitan area women as she has expanded the educational programming, outreach, and networking opportunities available for women in our traditionally male-dominated industry. In her professional capacity, she stands as a role model for young women in building a successful sports marketing agency from scratch and in giving back to the community along the way.”

Ms. Adams said, “This recognition is particularly meaningful to me as a milestone in the goals I have strived to achieve in my professional career and as president of the WISE NYC Metro Chapter of creating and supporting programs that enhance the success and growth of women. Contributing to the career growth of others signifies far greater accomplishment to me than any personal professional success.”

WISE is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE offers its members the opportunity to gain valuable insights and connections that can provide them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a membership organization headquartered in New York City with chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, NYC Metro, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington, DC, as well as Syracuse University’s WISE on Campus. More information on the NYC Metro Chapter can be found at www.wisenyc.org.