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Nolan Partners’ Emma Thomson named in 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

Original story here

Game Changers: Women in Sports Business Class of 2021

Jennifer Alvarez, Vice President, Creative and Digital Marketing, Miami Heat
Adrienne Barber, Vice President, Properties and Events, Major League Soccer
Melissa Baron, Head of Speakers, Excel Sports Management
Alison Birdwell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aramark Sports and Entertainment
Elise Bloom, Partner, Proskauer
Emma Thomson, Operations Director, Nolan Partners
Jennifer Bullano Ridgley, Vice President, Communications, Pittsburgh Penguins
Michelle Corse, Senior Vice President, Talent and Culture, PGA Tour
Tiffany Daniels, Associate Commissioner and Senior Woman Administrator, Southeastern Conference
Dora Delgado, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer, Breeders’ Cup Limited
Dedra DeLilli, Group Manager, Sponsorship Strategy, Integration and Activation, Toyota North America
Monica Dixon, Chief Administrative Officer and President, External Affairs, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Colie Edison, Chief Executive Officer, Professional Bowlers Association; Chief Customer Officer, Bowlero Corp.
Nicole Federico, Vice President, Partner Development, Boston Celtics
Crystal Fisher, Vice President, TV and Streaming, Strategy and Business Development, NBCUniversal
Alanna Frisby Hernandez, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Operations, Team Sports, Wasserman
Rachel Hoagland, Vice President, Consumer Products, Gaming and Partnership Management, National Football League
Amy Hopfinger, Vice President of Events, U.S. Soccer
Joanna Hunter, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Los Angeles Rams
Valerie Immele, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Operations, Turner Sports and Bleacher Report
Kate Jhaveri, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, National Basketball Association
Danielle Johnson, President, MogoSME, and Senior Vice President, Client Success, Learfield
Debbie Jordan, Senior Vice President, Administration and Human Resources, National Hockey League
Cheri Kempf, Senior Director, Athletes Unlimited
Pat Lindesmith, Chief Partnership Officer and Senior Vice President, Gold Jacket Relations, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Stephanie Maes, Director of Sports Partnerships, MGM Resorts International
Amanda Mann, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Rose Quarter Operations, Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter
Ndidi Massay, Senior Director of Workplace Culture and Diversity Initiatives, CBS Sports
Janey Miller, Senior Vice President, Octagon
Lisa Motley, Senior Director of Sports Marketing and Special Events, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Lagen Nash, Chief Revenue Officer, Misfits Gaming Group
Emily Neenan, Chief Marketing Officer, Olympia Entertainment
Lisa Peterson, Deputy Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator and Title IX Coordinator, University of Oregon
Deanne Pownall, Managing Director, Partnership Marketing, U.S. Tennis Association
Mel Raines, Executive Vice President for Corporate Communications, Community Engagement and Facility Operations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Desiree Reed-Francois, Director of Athletics, UNLV
Stephanie Rempe, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Director of Athletics, LSU
Jennifer Ridgeway, Executive Vice President of Social Responsibility, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
Tameka Rish, Vice President, Event and Game Day Experience, AMB Sports and Entertainment
Annemarie Roe, President, BaAM Productions
Amy Rosenfeld, Vice President, Production, ESPN
Becca Roux, Executive Director, U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association
Kristina Salen, Chief Financial Officer, WWE
Gina Scott, Vice President, Licensing and Partner Services, NFL Players Association
Shruti Sharma, Principal and Project Manager, Walter P Moore
Stephanie Smilowitz, Senior Vice President, Brand Experiences, CSM Sport & Entertainment
Danielle Snyder, Senior Vice President, Guest Services and Security, Staples Center
Andrea Weckstein, Brand Consulting Executive, CAA Sports
Katy Young Staudt, Vice President, Athletics Administration and Coaching, TurnkeyZRG
Karri Zaremba, Senior Vice President, Product – Ballpark Experience and Ticketing, Major League Baseball

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