Honoring The 2021 Top Women in Sports at The National Sports Inclusion Conference

Sep 7, 2021 11:45 AM ET
Press Release

HOUSTON, September 7, 2021 /3BL Media/ - DiversityFirstTM will be hosting the National Sports Inclusion Conference from August 31- September 1, 2021. The conference will be held virtually with this year’s theme being “Inclusion = Innovation”. The two-day conference will honor a number of diverse talents from different industries.

The Top Diverse Leaders in Sports Award distinguishes a select group who exhibit exceptional leadership qualities in the sports industry. The focus of the award is to give prominence to the accomplishments of individuals who exceed the scope of what is expected in their organizations and communities. The award is open to upper-level executives who hold considerable clout within their organizations.

2021 Awardees

Alisha Valavanis
CEO and General Manager
Seattle Storm and Force 10 Sports Management LLC

Allison Corbett
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Briana Barker
VP of Marketing Operations
Utah Jazz

Cassie McBride
Vice President and General Counsel
San Jose Sharks

Cay Young
Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
LA Sparks

Christa Stout
Senior Vice President of Innovation & Technology
Portland Trailblazers

DeRetta Rhodes, PHD
EVP/Chief People Capital Officer
Atlanta Braves

Diane Penny
Senior Vice President & General Manager
NBC Sports Northwest

Emily Maguire
Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service

Jen Maurillo
Senior Vice President of Events
Major League Soccer

JoAnn Neale
President & Chief Administrative Officer
Major League Soccer

Julie Haddon
Chicago Red Stars

Kelly Flatow
Executive Vice President, Global Events

Kisha Smith
Vice President of Human Resources
Carolina Panthers

Laura Day
Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer
Minnesota Twins

Lexi Vonderlieth
Vice President of Partnership Marketing
Los Angeles Rams

Maya Mendoza-Exstrom
SVP of Legal and External Affairs
Seattle Sounders FC

Megha Parekh
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Jacksonville Jaguars

Nancy Elder
Chief Communications Officer
DAZN Group

Qiava Martinez
Vice President, Premium Service, and Guest Experience

Tara August
Senior Vice President of Talent Relations and Special Projects
Turner Sports

Tara Gutkowski Schwartz
Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility


About The National Sports Inclusion Conference

With hundreds of attendees, the 2021 Inaugural Sports Inclusion Conference pioneers the discussion of diversity and inclusion in the sports industry. Offering extraordinary networking opportunities, professional development, and critical conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion, attendees are able to curate their experience for optimal learning and growth. This year’s conference will take place virtually on August 31 and September 1, 2021. More information about the Sports InclusionConference is available on their website.

Media Contact:
Ashana Outler
DEI Project Specialist