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How One Organization is Giving Professional Women in Sports and Events the Opportunity to Grow

How One Organization is Giving Professional Women in Sports and Events the Opportunity to Grow


Jun 10, 2016 Joe Kaufman

Women in Sports and Events (WISE), is the leading voice and resource for professional women in sports business. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE aims to offer its members the opportunity to gain valuable industry insights and connections that can give them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a membership organization headquartered in New York City with chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, NYC Metro, Pittsburgh, San Diego, South Florida, and Washington, DC.

The WISE NYC Metro Chapter was established in 2007 out of an increased need to provide dedicated programs and activities to support the New York tri-state area membership base. With more than 400 professional members, the NYC Metro Chapter is led by Van Adams president of the VanAdams Sports Group.

"For the past nine years we have worked tirelessly to increase membership and develop and implement programs that support our members professional development needs," said Adams “We are a volunteer led organization with dedicated board members and committee members the majority of them are working full-time jobs in the industry. These volunteers are the driving force behind the scenes responsible for more than a dozen activities over the course of the year. A true testament to their belief in the WISE mission."

The NYC Metro Chapter offers six signature programs that focus on different areas of professional development. In addition to the chapter's signature programs, a number of panel discussions, facilitated networking sessions, and social events take place throughout the year.

"I'm quite proud of what we have been able to accomplish with our signature programs, a few of which like Power Play and Financial Fitness have become national programs that the other 11 chapters are now presenting in their markets," said Adams.

This is no women’s only club though, men are also welcome to join the organization and often serve as mentors, speakers, and contributors to the organization.

In June, there is the annual WISE Woman of the Year event, a national event with over 700 people attending each year. The honorees of 2016 include Renie Anderson (NFL), Kathy Behrens (NBA) and Karen Brodkin (WME | IMG) and WISE Champion Award recipient, John Skipper (ESPN/Disney Media Networks).

Local chapters around the country hold similar "women of the year" events to acknowledge empowering women from their respective regions.

The NYC Metro Chapter presents a Women of Inspiration event in December of each year. The 2015 NYC Metro Women of Inspiration honorees included Karen Davis-Farage (Pole Position Raceway), Elisa Padilla (Barclays/Brooklyn Nets), and Suzanne Smith (CBS). The 2016 NYC Metro Women of Inspiration will be announced later this summer.

The mission of WISE is to create and support programs that enhance the success and growth of women in the business of sports. From entry level to senior management – WISE is no doubt fulfilling their mission.


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