WISE SF Bay Area Chapter
The leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports.

The WISE President's Summit: Female Leaders in Sports

Each year, Presidents from WISE chapters across the country gather in a chapter city to discuss organization best practices, events, membership, website, and hear from guest speakers. This year’s annual WISE President’s Summit was hosted by the Las Vegas chapter, and they did an excellent job in showing all of the attendees why this city is becoming one of the fast growing towns for sports business. Our summit this year had representation from 17 of 19 chapters, including Washington DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minnesota, Boston, NYC, Utah, and Houston. This group definitely likes to take group pictures, so I have included a few!

Vegas is proud of their hospitality and want to show the world they are a top destination to host local, national, and international sporting event! The success of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights has proven that professional sports teams can attract and grow a local fan base!  The sports community is looking forward to the move of the Oakland Raiders, as they build Las Vegas Stadium. Our first evening started out at WISE Las Vegas’ monthly networking event, where over 75 industry executives attended a panel on Vegas Sports – The Sports Capital of the World. The panel focused on a discussion around Las Vegas being a premier sports city to host events. The event was hosted at the South Point Hotel & Casino and included panelists from the executive team at South Point and Cathy Tull, CMO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. South Point is also known for being one of the finest indoor equestrian centers, with a 4,600-seat arena, a pavilion with two arenas, and a 1,200 climate-controlled horse stalls. These components allow the South Point Equestrian Center to proudly host some of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Our group was lucky enough to get a tour of the facility and see some of the horses!

Our President’s Summit was hosted by the Las Vegas chapter of WISE and held at the UFC offices. Our first official day included an optional morning workout at the UFC Performance Center. Little did we know, we would soon be having a class, taught by UFC Hall of Famer, Forrest Griffin. This was definitely a highlight of the trip! Our day continued with meetings at the UFC offices. WISE National President, Kathy Francis, flew in for the meetings from NYC and addressed the group about the future of WISE and our continued growth. WISE continues to grow and expects to launch chapters in Toronto and Charlotte soon! Expansion includes new chapters in recent years including Arizona, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Tampa Bay, and Utah. Our national focus will continue to include developing leadership through the WISE Within Mentoring Program, National Events (Women of the Year Luncheon & Symposium), and strengthening our WISE network through additional chapters and senior leadership.

As I settle back in my normal life routine after the summit, I have taken time to reflect on both this trip and my time as a Board Member and President for WISE SF Bay Area. I am heading into my second term and fourth year as the President for our chapter and I continue to learn and grow in this position!  It has been a great opportunity to represent our chapter at events and see our members being recognized on a national level, as well as see our members have success in their positions and grow into higher level roles. Our chapter has been fortunate during the last five years to align with major sporting events such as Super Bowl 50, America’s Cup, the College Football Championship, and see our Bay Area teams win multiple championships!

Our members include professionals from some of the largest technology companies in the world, sports marketing agencies, nonprofits, and of course all of the local professional sports teams. We take pride in having involvement from people of varying career levels from those in undergraduate programs to those 30 years into their career including those working at companies that work adjacently within sports and events. It has been exciting to see the variety in our events from celebrating local championships, to networking events, to informative panels on relevant topics.

As we continue to grow and make an impact in the Bay Area, we hope you will get involved with our board and committees, share your office as an event space, participate in our mentoring program, and be a panelist at an event!

Please feel free to reach out to me any time with questions or ideas at sf_president@wiseworks.org.