Jen Welter, First Female Coach in NFL History, Will Speak at MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference

WLC 2017, now in its 11th year, is sponsored by The MGM Resorts Foundation and provides two days of networking, professional development opportunities and keynote presentations from nationally-recognized speakers
Jun 14, 2017 3:30 PM ET
Press Release

LAS VEGAS, June 14, 2017 /3BL Media/ – The MGM Resorts Foundation is proud to welcome Jen Welter, the first female coach in the National Football League (NFL), to WLC 2017.  This is the 11th year for the non-profit event which will be held at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV Aug. 7 and 8.

When Welter was hired by the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, she became the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL, breaking what was once seen as an impenetrable glass ceiling in the male-dominated sport.  It was undoubtedly a tough hurdle for a woman to clear, but Welter had already made history in 2014 when she signed with the Texas Revolution indoor football team, becoming the first woman to play a contact position in men’s professional football. 

Welter – who holds a Ph.D. in psychology and master’s degree in sport psychology – has written a book called, “Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the first Woman to Coach in the NFL,” detailing her experiences as a professional coach. 

It’s scheduled to be released Oct. 3 but WLC attendees will get a sneak preview of those lessons when Welter addresses what organizers expect to be a sell-out crowd of more than 1,000. She will use her love of football to share unique insights on authentic leadership, the power of sports and the mental acuity it takes to achieve what others may say is impossible. 

Each year, proceeds from the WLC, after costs, are donated to a nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare and development of women and children in Las Vegas. Dress for Success Southern Nevada, the local nonprofit that provides gently used professional clothing and career counseling services to empower women to achieve economic independence, recently received a $25,000 gift from the 2016 conference.

 “A trailblazer in every sense of the word, Jen Welter serves as a powerful role model and inspiring reminder that anything is possible and barriers are meant to be broken,” said Dawn Christensen, the conference’s organizer and director of National Diversity Relations for MGM Resorts. “I think conference attendees will benefit greatly from hearing the leadership stories she plans to share with us.”

The conference sold out earlier this month, the fourth year in a row that registration has reached capacity. No doubt, the demand signals that women are seeking the professional guidance, inspirational programming and networking opportunities WLC provides, Christensen said. 

Welter played professional football for more than 14 years as a linebacker, mostly with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Football Alliance. She helped lead them to four championships. Her on-field experience dates back to her time on the rugby pitch at Boston College.

Conference background:

The 2017 Women’s Leadership Conference theme is “Women Inspiring Women.” The conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, career guidance and personal growth tools, including:

  • Exposure to diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models. 
  • Two days of career-oriented workshops that will give women hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs. 
  • Three distinct learning tracks: Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives.

WLC is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. 

Registration costs $485 and includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand. Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other women attending while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other MGM Resorts International destinations.

Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. Current sponsors include: The Coca-Cola Company, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Bank of America, Everi Payments Inc., Cashman Photo Enterprises, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, R&R Partners Foundation, Cirque du Soleil, Agilysys, Inc., L3 Technologies, Inc., sbe, Las Vegas Springs Preserve, Winston & Strawn LLP and Large Vision Business Network Mixer. Conference supporters include Caesars Entertainment, McCarran International Airport, America First Credit Union, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Phyllis A. James.

For more information about WLC, please visit

About MGM Resorts International 
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland on December 8, 2016, and is in the process of developing MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts controls and holds a 76 percent economic interest in the operating partnership of MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE: MGP), a premier triple-net lease real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts. The Company also owns 56 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited (SEHK: 2282), which owns MGM MACAU and is developing MGM COTAI, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. MGM Resorts is named among FORTUNE® Magazine's 2016 list of World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at

About The MGM Resorts Foundation
The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation's Board.

Sonya Padgett
MGM Resorts International 

Callie Driehorst
MGM Resorts International