Introducing SBJ’s Game Changers Class of 2021

As Sports Business Journal enters its second decade of honoring the women who are leaders, trailblazers and innovators in the sports industry, we are pleased to announce the 11th annual class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”

Together, these 50 women make up one of the most accomplished groups of executives ever assembled. They are the thought leaders across their organizations — teams, leagues and colleges; agencies and brands; law firms and media companies, and more — and their impressive work extends from events and venues to social responsibility and diversity, equity and inclusion. As their achievements have come in a largely male-dominated industry, these Game Changers also serve as role models and mentors to young women striving to enter and succeed in sports business. 

SBJ will profile each of these women and offer a glimpse into their lives away from work in a special section on Sept. 27. They will be further recognized during the 9th annual Game Changers Conference on Oct. 20 in New York City.

For more information about the conference, please visit

Game Changers: Women in Sports Business Class of 2021

Jennifer AlvarezVice President, Creative and Digital Marketing, Miami Heat
Adrienne BarberVice President, Properties and Events, Major League Soccer
Melissa BaronHead of Speakers, Excel Sports Management
Alison BirdwellPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Aramark Sports and Entertainment
Elise BloomPartner, Proskauer
Jennifer Bullano RidgleyVice President, Communications, Pittsburgh Penguins
Michelle CorseSenior Vice President, Talent and Culture, PGA Tour
Tiffany DanielsAssociate Commissioner and Senior Woman Administrator, Southeastern Conference
Dora DelgadoExecutive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer, Breeders’ Cup Limited
Dedra DeLilliGroup Manager, Sponsorship Strategy, Integration and Activation, Toyota North America
Monica DixonChief Administrative Officer and President, External Affairs, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Colie EdisonChief Executive Officer, Professional Bowlers Association; Chief Customer Officer, Bowlero Corp.
Nicole FedericoVice President, Partner Development, Boston Celtics
Crystal FisherVice President, TV and Streaming, Strategy and Business Development, NBCUniversal
Alanna Frisby HernandezExecutive Vice President, Business Affairs and Operations, Team Sports, Wasserman
Rachel HoaglandVice President, Consumer Products, Gaming and Partnership Management, National Football League
Amy HopfingerVice President of Events, U.S. Soccer
Joanna HunterVice President, Corporate Affairs, Los Angeles Rams
Valerie ImmeleSenior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Operations, Turner Sports and Bleacher Report
Kate JhaveriExecutive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, National Basketball Association
Danielle JohnsonPresident, MogoSME, and Senior Vice President, Client Success, Learfield
Debbie JordanSenior Vice President, Administration and Human Resources, National Hockey League
Cheri KempfSenior Director, Athletes Unlimited
Pat LindesmithChief Partnership Officer and Senior Vice President, Gold Jacket Relations, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Stephanie MaesDirector of Sports Partnerships, MGM Resorts International
Amanda MannSenior Vice President and General Manager, Rose Quarter Operations, Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter
Ndidi MassaySenior Director of Workplace Culture and Diversity Initiatives, CBS Sports
Janey MillerSenior Vice President, Octagon
Lisa MotleySenior Director of Sports Marketing and Special Events, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Lagen NashChief Revenue Officer, Misfits Gaming Group
Emily NeenanChief Marketing Officer, Olympia Entertainment
Lisa PetersonDeputy Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator and Title IX Coordinator, University of Oregon
Deanne PownallManaging Director, Partnership Marketing, U.S. Tennis Association
Mel RainesExecutive Vice President for Corporate Communications, Community Engagement and Facility Operations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Desiree Reed-FrancoisDirector of Athletics, UNLV
Stephanie RempeChief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Director of Athletics, LSU
Jennifer RidgewayExecutive Vice President of Social Responsibility, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
Tameka RishVice President, Event and Game Day Experience, AMB Sports and Entertainment
Annemarie RoePresident, BaAM Productions
Amy RosenfeldVice President, Production, ESPN
Becca RouxExecutive Director, U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association
Kristina SalenChief Financial Officer, WWE
Gina ScottVice President, Licensing and Partner Services, NFL Players Association
Shruti SharmaPrincipal and Project Manager, Walter P Moore
Stephanie SmilowitzSenior Vice President, Brand Experiences, CSM Sport & Entertainment
Danielle SnyderSenior Vice President, Guest Services and Security, Staples Center
Emma ThomsonOperations Director, Nolan Partners
Andrea WecksteinBrand Consulting Executive, CAA Sports
Katy Young StaudtVice President, Athletics Administration and Coaching, TurnkeyZRG
Karri ZarembaSenior Vice President, Product - Ballpark Experience and Ticketing, Major League Baseball

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: November 16, 2021

Meet the Mets new GM, Endeavor beat the Street in Q3 and Guaranteed Rate expands its sports sponsorship portfolio.

SBJ I Factor: John Brody

SBJ Spotlight: November 10, 2021

This episode looks at the hottest news in the industry, including how sports deal are helping crypto enter the mainstream; the NFL’s social push and the buy-in from players; why so many networks are bidding for next Premier League rights deal; and Angel City FC’s hot start on the business front.

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