LA Advisory Board
Each year, WISE Los Angeles honors the accomplishments of three women in the Los Angeles sports industry that exemplify the mission of WISE- to enhance the success and growth of women in the business of sports. These three women are also asked to join WISE Los Angeles in the form of an Advisory Board Member for the following year. As an Advisory Board Member, these women are asked to provide their expertise, knowledge, and advice that they have accumulated during their vast career in sports. The Advisory Board meets periodically with the WISE Los Angeles Board to discuss various topics that ultimately impact the chapter’s strategic development and growth.
Janet Evans is widely considered to be the greatest female distance swimmer in history. Despite her small size and unorthodox windmill stroke, she was a natural-born swimmer, completing laps by the age of two. In 1987, when she was 15 years old, Janetburst onto the international swimming scene, breaking world records in the 400m, 800m
and the 1500m freestyle.
A year later at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Janet won gold medals in all three of her races: the 400 meter freestyle, 800 meter freestyle, and 400 meter individual medley. In 1992 in Barcelona, Janet defended her gold in the 800 freestyle and added a silver medal in the 400 freestyle. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Janet swam in both the 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle but failed to medal. The highlight of those Games came at the Opening Ceremonies, where she passed the Olympic Flame to Muhammad Ali.
Through that once in a lifetime opportunity, she saw another side of the Olympic experience which changed her forever. She retired from competitive swimming at the end of the Atlanta Games.
During her career, Janet broke a total of seven world records in three events (400 meter, 800 meter, and 1500 meter freestyle). Her 1500 meter world record stood for 20 years, her 800 world record stood for 21 years, and her 400 world record stood for 19 years, making them some of the longest standing records on the swimming books. Janet was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. In 1989, she was awarded the prestigious Sullivan Award as the United States’ top amateur athlete.
In 2010, Janet mounted a comeback in the sport with the goal of competing at the Olympic Trials in 2012 in the 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle. She successfully qualified for the Trials, and, at the age 40, had the recent honor of trying out for the Olympic Team in both events in July of 2012. More recently, in September of 2015, Janet was selected to be the primary athlete voice of the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid. As the Vice Chair of the Bid Committee and Head of the Athletes’ Commission, she worked closely with Paralympians and Olympians to ensure they were effectively represented in the city’s bid for the Games. She will continue her role with the newly formed LA2028 Organizing Committee, as her team works to ensure that the athletes of the world have the best possible athlete experience at the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Out of the pool, Janet has also made a name for herself as a commercial spokesperson, author, reality television personality, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. Her first book, “Janet Evans’ Total Swimming,” was published in 2007 and offers fitness programs, workouts, and proper swim techniques to readers. Janet executes speeches for top companies in varying fields including: Technology, Healthcare, Real Estate, Telecommunications, Apparel, Banking, Insurance, non-profits and many others. She lives in Southern California with her husband Billy and their two young children, Sydney and Jake.
Valorie Kondos Field is the head coach of the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. She has led her team to six NCAA Championship titles and 29 Pac-12 and NCAA Regional titles. This preeminent coach was recently named the Pac-12 “Coach of the Century,” and in 2010, she became one of only two active coaches to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.
Valorie’s coaching success is due to her extraordinary leadership and mentorship of young student-athletes. “Miss Val,” as she is known, views gymnastics as an incredible avenue through which valuable life lessons can be taught. Valorie considers the late John Wooden, the legendary and most successful collegiate basketball coach of all time, as one of her inspirations, and closest mentor and friend.
Valorie began her career as a professional ballet dancer and choreographer. Although never a gymnast herself, she’s transferred to her student-athletes all she learned in the world of classical dance. The result has been nearly three decades of coaching one of the premiere athletic programs in any sport.
Countless student-athletes praise Miss Val for her guidance during their athletic careers, and after they’ve graduated from UCLA and have entered the next chapter in their lives. Included in the hundreds of athletes she has coached and influenced are Olympic champions Simone Biles, Jordan Wieber, Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian.
Valorie is also known as the nation’s foremost gymnastics choreographer. Her many credits include choreographing and directing a myriad of live variety shows, including the NCAA Opening Ceremonies for Women’s Basketball, a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar roast, and 26 years of cirque-type shows for Sea World’s Summer Nights. Current projects include live stage shows and the development of a theatrical musical. She is also a dynamic and charismatic speaker with an extensive speaking schedule including “Corporate Coaching” for the likes of JP Morgan Chase.
This fall Valorie will be Co-Executive Producer and Choreographer for “Jump, Jive & Thrive,” airing on CBS Saturday, October 21, 2017. The show combines gymnastics, dance and music, with proceeds benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Valorie is currently completing a book with the working title “Winning In Heels” published by the Hachette Book Group and released in fall 2018. It expounds on her life philosophy: “Don’t wait to see what life is going to hand you, take control of your life and design ~ choreograph it exactly how you want it to turn out”.
As a recent breast cancer survivor, Valorie’s discussion of life lessons is even more impactful. The positive outlook she exhibited through 18 months of surgeries and chemotherapy resonated profoundly with her student-athletes and fans, as they were witnesses to the life-affirming outlook Valorie maintained throughout that journey. Since beating breast cancer, she now has another life motto… “Life is Short ~ Don’t Wait to Dance”
Christine Simmons is President & Chief Operations Officer of the three-time WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks. Celebrating its 20th season in Los Angeles, the Sparks are one of three founding teams from the league’s inception in 1997 and are the reigning WNBA champions.
Simmons is in her third season leading all aspects of the team’s business operations including ticket and sponsorship sales and service, marketing, game operations, communications, community relations and finance. Under her leadership the team has seen a 34 percent increase in ticket sales, doubled ratings and impacted over 60,000 lives through community programs. Prior to joining the Sparks, she was an Executive Vice President with Magic Johnson Enterprises where she would evaluate investment opportunities and was responsible for business development. With over a decade of leadership experience in creating strategic alliances, leading business development and driving corporate initiatives, Christine has worked with many Fortune 500 corporations and multi-million dollar companies. A proud UCLA graduate, she serves as President of the Board of the UCLA Alumni Association and in 2017 was named Remarkable Women of UC by the Office of the UC President.
She is an active member of the Los Angeles community, serving on the Board of Directors for the LA Sports Council, the Positive Coaching Alliance and on the NBA’s Global Inclusion Council. Her dedication and passion for giving back has earned her a number of honors including: LA African American Women’s Public Policy Institute’s 2015 Women in Action honoree, the LA Business Journal’s 2016 & 2017 list of 500 most influential in Los Angeles and the University of California President’s list of 2016 Remarkable Women of UC. She also volunteers for Better Futures for Thomazeau, a small, grass roots non profit that provides aid to Haiti.
Former Advisory Board
President & CEO
Renata Simril is President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation (www.LA84.org). Formed in 1985, originally as the Amateur Athletic Foundation, the LA84 Foundation (“LA84” or the “Foundation”) is a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games. The LA84 Foundation transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development.
Ms. Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 20 years of diversified experience with a commitment to leadership and service. She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects. Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs overseeing the restoration of the Dodgers brand and the Dodgers Foundation; and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc. Her public service included stints as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Housing in the Hahn Administration, where she worked to expand rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and as a Development Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, where she worked to help rebuild communities in South Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest. Ms. Simril began her career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. and Germany.
Ms. Simril is active in the community outside of LA84 Foundation, currently serving on the Boards of the LA2024 Olympic Bid Committee; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission; and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation; and as a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In 2016, she was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s inaugural list of The Los Angeles 500 Most Influential People.
Ms. Simril is a third generation Angeleno. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from USC. Ms. Simril resides in Studio City with her husband and two sons.
Shelley Smith is a four-time Emmy-winning reporter for ESPN. She has covered just about every sporting event in existence, and has done many long-form features and investigative stories for a multitude of shows. A former writer-reporter at Sports Illustrated, Smith has written extensively for ESPN.com and various ESPN in-house entities. She also has written three books – “Just Give Me The Damn Ball,” with former New York Jets and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson, “You Play to Win The Game,” with former head coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards and “Games Girls Play: Lessons to Guiding and Understanding Young Female Athletes.” In 2014, she was a Hearst Visiting Scholar for her alma mater, the Univrsity of Nebraska. In 2016, She also was named co-Journalist of the year by Sports Illustrated and by the Jim Murray Foundation. She also received the Rainbow Sports Life Beyond the Playing Field Courage Award from the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 2016. She is a three-time cancer survivor and the mother of Dylann Tharp, 30, an associate producer at NFL network.
Prior to working for Sports Illustrated 1988-1987, Smith worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Pacific Stars & Stripes and the Associated Press. While covering the 1988 Olympics, Smith was the first to land an exclusive interview with Ben Johnson, whose gold medal was stripped after he tested positive for steroids. Smith flew with him from Seoul to New York.
In May 2014, Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment, which ended June 2015. A recent mammogram showed no evidence of disease and she is considered cancer free.
Recently, ESPN featured a story about Smith and her relationship with Jake Olson, whom she met as a 12-year-old about to lose his sight to cancer and won collegiate story of the year in 2012. Despite so many odds, Olson made his high school football team as a long snapper and this fall is a walkon on the USC Trojans football team. Smith has documented his journey and in the most recent feature, talked with him about their battle to beat cancer.
Smith has one daughter, Dylann Tharp, 29, who was an All-Pac-12 Conference second team soccer player at the University of Oregon and is a free-lance producer with NFL network and other entitities. Tharp and Smith have teamed with Keyshawn Johnson to produce a 30-for-30 documentary, ‘”The Trojan War,” about the 2005 USC Trojans and their in the BCS national championship game against eventual victor Texas. It is scheduled to air in October.
Smith continues to help spread the importance of early detection in breast and other kinds of cancers and has consulted with numerous charities, including the V Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. In early August, she teamed with InfiniteLimitsMedia, a production group out of Seattle, to document her first post-treatment mammogram, done on state-of-the art 3D machinery. Entitled, “Triumphant,” for the first time, doctors had proof that the cancer is gone.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, FOX Sports & Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Fox Networks Grouper
Claudia Teran serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, FOX Sports, reflecting responsibility for all global business and legal affairs at FOX Sports. Ms. Teran leads a business and legal affairs team responsible for domestic and overseas sports rights acquisitions, including the media rights to US professional leagues and teams, collegiate conferences and international sports properties across the globe. FNG’s wide-ranging sports networks include FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports Net, FOX College Sports, BTN (Big Ten Network) and Fox’s 22 owned and operated regional sports networks. Also, Ms. Teran supervises negotiations and acquisitions for the company’s international sports businesses in Latin America, Europe and Asia.Additionally, Ms. Teran serves as Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel for Fox Networks Group (FNG). In this role, Ms. Teran is the number two legal executive for the division, responsible for all business and legal matters pertaining to FNG’s cable and broadcast network distribution, digital new media, and corporate/business development, in addition to her sports responsibilities.
Ms. Teran provides creative solutions to operational and strategic growth issues in rapidly evolving areas such as new media and international transactions. She helps management navigate complex matters, including those arising in international markets with diverse political challenges. Working with Fox’s international portfolio, Ms. Teran has advised on the expansion within FOX Sports’ international investments, including advising on acquisitions in Latin America and the launch of FOX Sports Brazil, as well as the acquisition in Asia of ESPN/STAR Sports. She also made key contributions to the digital and new media strategy surrounding the launch of FOX Sports 1.
One of Ms. Teran’s greatest professional successes was her role in acquiring rights to the FIFA World Cup. She was the lead legal advisor for Fox’s winning bid for the tournament rights in 2018 and 2022, and she had a key role in Fox’s negotiations which resulted in an extension of FOX Sports’ rights to the portfolio of FIFA events including the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup through 2026.
Previously, Ms. Teran served as Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, for Fox Cable Networks (FCN) where she oversaw the business and legal affairs for several FCN divisions, including corporate and digital media as well as several cable networks and the Fox Hispanic Media businesses. Her responsibilities included licensing, distribution, production, marketing, affiliate relations, and complex transactional guidance.
Prior to joining Fox, Ms. Teran was a transactional attorney at Sidley and Austin, where she worked on behalf of private and public entities addressing a wide variety of business dealings and regulatory issues.
Ms. Teran, who lives in Los Angeles, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from New York University School of Law. Last year she was selected as a member of Multichannel News and Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s 2015 class of “Wonder Women,” which honors a select group of accomplished and influential women within the television industry.
ESPN West Coast Production Center
Judi Cordray joined ESPN as the vice president in charge of ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center, which launched in April of 2009. Cordray came to ESPN from the Disney ABC Media Networks Group where she was vice president, Broadcast Operations & Engineering West Coast operations, overseeing the engineering & IT staff, daytime studio, master control and media center operations.
Prior to her role with BO&E, Cordray served as general manager of ENG (electronic news gathering) Operations for ABC News, Western Region, overseeing multiple bureaus. From conventions to celebrity trials, Cordray played a key role in production planning and facilities coordination of studio and remote operations, serving all platforms of ABC News. During her time there, she led the production planning and facilities coordination for live remote television and in-house technical facilities, supporting programming which included Good Morning America, 20/20, World News Tonight, Primetime, Nightline and ABC News Special Events. Remotes included Super Bowl 2003, Olympics 2003, 2000 Democratic and 1996 Republican Conventions and the 1997 Inauguration. Cordray has over 25 years of experience at the ABC-TV Network on the West Coast.
In her ESPN role, Cordray oversees all the day-to-day operations of the new Los Angeles facility; support all programming produced in it or remote traffic routed through it, and is ESPN’s most senior representative in the Los Angeles production community.
The Los Angeles Production Center features three production control rooms, two master control rooms; eight craft edit suites, a music room, a voiceover room and two studios totaling more than 12,300 square feet. In addition to ESPN content originating from this facility, the 1 a.m.
ET SportsCenter is produced from Los Angeles five days a week as well as other popular programs such as SportsNation, NBA Countdown, Audibles, A Los Golpes and Grantland Podcast. In February of 2010, Nación ESPN, the first Spanish-language program to be produced from ESPN’s Los Angeles studios, launched in the U.S. and now airs in more than 10 countries including Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to name a few. The LAPC also houses an international promo and creative services team supporting multiple productions for ESPN.
General Manager & Vice President
Blanca Gonzalez brings nearly 20 years of experience and leadership to the industry. She’s worked a large portion of her career in Nike Inc. In 2002, she started her Nike career in Los Angeles in Nike Entertainment Marketing, and then moved has the Brand Manager for Nike’s iconic “BLU House” energy center, connecting Nike with top influencers from LA and across the globe. She has moved to several positions within the organization where she has developed her merchandising and general management skills with positions across Geography, Territory and Global, including GM of Sportswear and Action Sports for Nike de Mexico, which allowed her to fulfill her dream of experiencing her culture and heritage once again. She currently holds one of her #DreamJobs as the VP/GM of the Nike West Territory. She has a strong passion for the city of LA, developing teams, mentoring women and being an advocate for children with special needs. She has relentless energy and values her career and being a mother of three beautiful children.
Jennifer Van Dijk
Chief Strategy Officer & VP, Partnerships at LA Clippers
Jennifer van Dijk joined Wasserman Media Group in 2008 and is now Senior Vice President of the Digital Group. In this role, van Dijk works with major sports, athlete and brand clients including Pepsi, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Airbnb, Samsung, Ironman and others. Focused on the development of unique revenue and brand partnerships, the Digital Group is a premier strategic content and marketing specialty at Wasserman.
Digital is about driving revenue today and van Dijk focuses on helping sports teams understand and create engaging ways to capitalize on these opportunities with sponsors, ticket buyers and merchandise sales. Van Dijk created a model for custom workshops that train commercial directors and sales teams to more creatively design and better sell these assets. The work with teams has lead to triple digit increases in fan engagement as well as direct revenue increases from sponsors and ticketing for our client teams.
The Digital work van Dijk leads at Wasserman extends from negotiating multiplatform digital rights packages around major sports to defining game changing fan experiences that infuse the human elements of technology into the game experience itself. She has a specialty in working with new technology and social platforms like Twitter and Facebook to create new content and services for fans and teams.
Jennifer is a 2015 member of the Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty Awards class.
Jennifer has recently accepted a position with the NBA as vice president, team marketing and business operations. She will be responsible for sponsorship innovation for teams and looks forward to settling into her new role this Fall.
Kristin Bachochin Klein
Senior Vice President AEG Sports
President, Amgen Tour of California and Executive Vice President, AEG Sports at AEG
Kristin Bachochin Klein, who was named the Executive Director of the Amgen Tour of California in 2010, is responsible for the overall production and management of the professional stage race considered to be the most prestigious and important annual cycling event in the United States.
A member of the ‘Tour de France-style’ event’s senior management team since the race’s 2006 inception, Bachochin Klein oversees all aspects of “Ameri ca’s Greatest Race” including race operations, security, marketing, public relations, merchandising, broadcasting, staffing, hospitality, community and fan engagement. Under her direction, the race has grown every year and consistently attracted the strongest and most decorated fields of participants
including a who’s who of Olympic medalists, Tour de France Stage Winners and World Champions.
Bachochin Klein, who joined AEG in 2004 as the Director of Marketing for AEG Events, was responsible for overseeing a vari ety of national and international sporting events and championships includ ing the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road Cycling World Championships, UCI Junior World Championships, UCI Track Cycli ng World Cup, the NCAA
College Cup (soccer championships) and the International Rugby 7’s. She was also responsible for overseeing a variety of annual professional, amateur and community events including the East West Bank Class ic (WTA’s Southern California tour stop) and The Home Depot Track and Field Invitational.
Prior to joining AEG, Bachochin Klein served as National Promotions Manager for the Wilson Sporting Goods Company, specializing in the racket division and overseeing all U.S. promotions. Bachoch in Klein attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she was a member of the nation’s Division 1 top-ranked Women’s Tennis Team. Bachochin Klein currently resides in Chicago, Ill. with her husband Eran and their two children.
Ronit Larone is the Vice President and Senior Coordinating Producer of Studio Production for NFL Network. In this role, Larone is responsible for the management and production of NFL Network’s year round studio programs. This includes oversight of strategic editorial content planning, production integration of promotional, programming and League initiatives, overall creative look, production innovation, social media integration, features, graphics, and budgets. Larone is part of the NFL Network senior management team who oversees the Network’s on-air talent and the staff who produce daily and weekly productions such as NFL Total Access, the GameDay franchises, Thursday Night Kickoff, Around the NFL, and Path to the Draft.
Prior to joining NFL Network in 2012 as the Coordinating Producer of NFL Total Access, the Network’s nightly news flagship program, Larone served as the Vice President and Executive Producer of DIRECTV Entertainment. While at DIRECTV, Larone was responsible for the on-air presentation of DIRECTV’s exclusive channels, original series productions, on-channel marketing & promotions, and program scheduling.
A six-time Emmy award winner, Larone’s career in sports television spans 25 years and began at ABC Sports as a Production Assistant for Monday Night Football, College Football, College Basketball and Wide World of Sports studio shows and remotes including: U.S Figure Skating Championships, Little League World Series, Horseracing Triple Crowns, Pan Am Games, Gymnastics and more.
In 1994 Larone joined FOX Sports in its inaugural season and spent over a decade leading production teams and producing features, opens and teases for hundreds of live sports events and studio shows. The shows included: FOX NFL Sunday, NHL & MLB on FOX, multiple Super Bowls and World Series. Larone also served as the Coordinating Producer for the FOX Sports daily sports entertainment studio show Best Damn Sports Show Period.
Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith was named the Dodgers’ Senior Vice President of Planning and Development in August 2012. Smith is overseeing upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium. This post reunites Smith with Dodger President Stan Kasten. Smith worked for Kasten in a similar position to create the Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field and the Atlanta Hawks’ Philips Arena.
Smith is probably best known in the baseball world for her work on the influential Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Smith worked for the Orioles from 1 gs9-94 as Vice President of Planning and Development during the design and construction of the park. Opening in 1992, Camden Yards immediately became the standard -bearer for a new wave of traditional baseball parks that have been built in subsequent years. Smith played an instrumental role in the design of the ballpark, creating a state-of-the-art unique facility that blends with the urban context of downtown Baltimore while taking inspiration from baseball parks built in the early 20th century.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Smith had a second tour with the Orioles as Vice President of Planning and Development from September 2009-August 2012. In that role, Smith directed renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ new spring training facility in Sarasota, Fl orida, as well as upgrades and enhancements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to ce lebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.
From 2002-2009, Smith served as Senior Vice President of Planning and Development for the Boston Red Sox,
overseeing the preservation of historic Fenway Park and leading the program that placed this significant ballpark on the National Hi storic Register.
From 1994-2000, Smith held the position of President of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development, a division of Turn er Broadcasting System, and was the Vice President of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves. Her work in Atlanta helped transform the 1996 Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, home of the Braves, and she also oversaw the development of the Philips Arena, home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks and NHL Atlanta Th rashers. In 2012, the Boston Baseball Writers honored Smith with a Special Achievement Award for her work at Fenway Park. In 2011, she was named in the Inaugural Class of the Sports Business Journal “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”
Smith holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning from City College of New York and a Bachelor of Arch itecture degree from Mississippi State University. She is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, and the American Planning Association. She also serves on the board of directors for Berklee College of Music in Boston and the advisory board for the University of Michigan Sports Management Program.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Smith resides in Baltimore with her husband, Bart Harvey, and their three children.
Lindsay Amstutz currently serves as Vice President of Marketing for FOX Sports Networks, helping lead marketing efforts across the FOX family of regional sports networks. Lindsay was recently Director of Marketing & On-Air Presentation for FOX Sports West & Prime Ticket, where she oversaw on-channel and off-channel marketing efforts, worked closely with the network’s team partners and ad sales to drive revenue across both channels of the regional sports network.
Previously, Lindsay served as Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of the Los Angeles Sparks, where she was responsible for developing and implementing innovative sales and fan development initiatives as well as recruiting corporate, media and community partners. Lindsay joined the Sparks after working closely with the team during her two years with the Team Marketing & Business Operations group of the National Basketball Association. While at the NBA, Lindsay served as Director, WNBA Team Business Development, where she consulted and advised teams on advancing all aspects of the business.
Prior to the NBA, she was an entertainment transactional associate for O’Melveny & Myers LLP. She has worked in the athletic marketing departments for both Santa Clara and Stanford University, including as a manager for the Stanford Women’s Basketball team, and interned for the NCAA, and USOC during law school.
Lindsay is also the founder of Get in the Game: Sports for Women, a non-profit focused on encouraging physical activity, networking, and charitable giving among professional women. Lindsay earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics, and a master’s degree in Communication from Stanford University. She received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Lindsay currently resides in Pasadena, Calif.
Jennifer Lau is Vice President of IMG Action Sports, based in Los Angeles. The Action Sports division specializes in the development of lifestyle and entertainment properties and is instrumental in building the global business for IMG.
Marshaling IMG’s resources and expertise in athlete management, television, events and consulting, IMG Action Sports has established a formidable position in action sports and youth entertainment. During the past 14 years, Jen has developed some of the most renowned youth and lifestyle events in the industry including the US Open of Surfing (USOS), Street League Skateboarding and Hurley Pro.
In 2012, Jen helped expand the multimillion dollar US Open of Surfing franchise with the creation of the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney, Australia. In addition to her expertise in action sports, Jen has lead teams to produce some of the most sought after endurance sports and lifestyle events in the country including the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (LA). As a leader within the division, Jen has and continues to play an integral role in discovering and retaining new clients. She has cultivated and created strategic marketing platforms for iconic brands such as Nike, Fiat, Skullcandy, Billabong, Hurley, Pacifico, Accenture and more.
Prior to IMG, Jen worked at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in business development focused primarily entertainment technology. Providing consulting services for multiple clients, Jen also identified business opportunities and created strategic alliances between entertainment and technology companies.
Jen graduated with a BA from California State University, Long Beach in 1996 and lives in Los Angeles.
Amy Taylor started with Red Bull in 1999, in the early days for the brand in the US. Today she runs the East Business Unit for Red Bull North America, now based in New York City as Vice President/General Manager, reporting to the CEO. She is responsible for leadership across the brand and the business: marketing, sales, distribution and operations/finance. Prior to this role, she was based in Santa Monica, CA for five years serving as Vice President of Marketing. There she led the brand’s overall strategic marketing and positioning in the US, working in partnership with the Global Headquarters in Fuschl, Austria. Amy and her team built up the brand marketing, sports marketing and culture marketing departments, and launched the US arm of a global endeavor, the Red Bull Media House. Together, they all support the mission to “give wings to people and ideas.”
Previously, Amy held several field and HQ positions at Red Bull, building the local face to a global brand. Before Red Bull, Amy started out in sports and events. She logged six years in sports marketing, holding positions with the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and producing events for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, among others.
Paula Lentini is the Senior Vice President of Retail for Pacific Sunwear with responsibility of Core and Outlet Stores, Operations, Loss Prevention, Store Design and Construction. Paula joined Pacific Sunwear in April of 2010 and has led the Retail strategic vision through transforming the field leadership team, reinventing the customer experience and creating a results based performance culture. Pacific Sunwear’s commitment to an engaging customer experience is exemplified by the roll out of iPads in over 500 stores to date. Paula’s ongoing vision to build a powerfulfield team, stay focused on the customer experience, grow the business through technology and create seamless operating practices will enable Retail to continue to be successful. Prior to joining Pacific Sunwear, Paula was the Vice President of Stores and Operations at T-Mobile USA, Zone Vice President of Canada/Central US at Gap, Senior Vice President of Retail at Giorgio Armani/Emporio Armani and Zone Vice President at Victoria’s Secret.
Trista Schroeder joined Wasserman Media Group in 2007 as General Counsel. Schroeder provides legal counsel to Wasserman’s corporate management team regarding mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, employment mattersand strategic development across all Wasserman divisions. Prior to joining Wasserman, Schroeder was an associate at the law firm Proskauer Rose in its New York and Los Angeles offices, where she focused on the music industry. Her clients included Smashing Pumpkins, Tom Petty, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani. Immediately after graduating law school, Schroder clerked for the Honorable George H. King, Federal District Court Judge for the Central District of California. Prior to her legal career, Schroeder was director of research for “Charlie Rose,” the late-night talk program on PBS. Schroeder received a J.D. from Georgetown University and holds a B.A. in history from Trinity College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She resides in Los Angeles, California.
Karen Brodkin is the President of Business Affairs at William Morris Endeavor/International Management Group Worldwide (WME/IMG). IMG, acquired by WME in December 2013, is the global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 30 countries around the world. In this role, Brodkin oversees business affairs across IMG’s Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance, IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, and Joint Ventures divisions, as well as creative management agency Art + Commerce. In addition, Brodkin is actively engaged in IMG’s business and strategic development and sports/media consulting.
Previously, Brodkin was the Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at FOX Sports Media Group. While at FOX, she oversaw the business and legal affairs team that negotiated professional and collegiate media rights acquisitions with organizations including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, UFC, MLS, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and the ACC, as well as all FOX Sports’ production, programming and talent agreements. Brodkin was part of the team that launched the Big Ten Network in August 2007 and later FOX Sports 1, which launched in August 2013 in over 70 million homes.
Prior to joining FOX, Brodkin spent five years as an entertainment attorney at two Los Angeles-based entertainment firms, where her clients included Garth Brooks, Spike Lee, Warner Brothers, and New Line Cinema. She began her career as a corporate attorney specializing in labor and employment matters in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker.
Brodkin received a B.A. in Political Science/Art History from University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she graduated Order of the Coif.
Brodkin is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Sports Council, and serves on the Southern California Advisory for CAL Athletics, the Sports and Entertainment Leadership Council for Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, and the Host Committee and Advisory Board to the Los Angeles Olympic Trials-Marathon. In April 2015, she was honored by LA Family Housing for her work in helping families transition out of homelessness and poverty, and in June of the same year, joined the LA Family Housing’s Board of Directors. Brodkin has been recognized by Broadcasting and Cable (Women in the Game, July 2011); Women in Sports and Entertainment-WISE (Los Angeles Woman of Inspiration, December 2011); and The Sports Business Journal (Game Changer, October 2011). Brodkin was a featured columnist in the Summer 2015 edition of CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly (“Los Angeles: My Kind of Sports Town”). She resides in Pacific Palisades, CA, with her husband, Chris Watson, their son, Quincy, and two adopted beagles.
Susan Rosenbluth, Senior Vice-President of AEG Live/ Goldenvoice, started her career at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, in 1978. She spent her first three years learning about facility management at the world-renowned amphitheatre and was named general manager of the Greek Theatre at the age of 24 in 1982. Over the next thirteen years Susan managed concert presentations at the Greek Theatre, the Pantages Theatre, the Pacific Amphitheatre and the Honda Center for the Nederlander Organization. In 1995 she became a talent buyer at Nederlander, with the primary responsibility for programming of the Greek Theatre. In 2003, Susan moved to Goldenvoice as its General Manager, buying talent for concerts throughout California, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona and Nevada, including programming at the Staples Center, the Home Depot Center and, starting in 2006, the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. Her favorite artists include Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Mana’, Mumford & Sons and Damien Rice.
Amy Stanton founded Stanton & Company LLC with the belief that there remains untapped potential in the marketing world, particularly in terms of the marketing and promotion of female athletes, lifestyle experts, and women’s brands. Since 2006, when the company opened its doors, Stanton & Company has built a roster of exceptional athletes in various sports as well as various top experts in the health and wellness space. In addition to representation, Stanton & Company consults for various companies and brands in the healthy, active lifestyle space, working to build platforms, content and programs that will create real impact and results.
Before founding Stanton & Company, Amy served as the first-ever Chief Marketing Officer for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. While at MSLO, she focused on creating a unifying brand and marketing strategy, and as part of that process initiated the development of key marketing vehicles for the company, including a new brand identity and advertising campaign.
Prior to that, Amy was the Director of Marketing & Communications for NYC2012, New York’s Olympic bid, where she developed and executed both the local and international campaigns for this first-ever endeavor. Working with companies in every industry throughout the city, she mobilized New York’s creative community and some of the city’s most valuable resources, icons, and VIPs behind the Olympic effort.
Before NYC2012, Amy worked in account management at advertising agencies including BBDO, JWT and BBH on blue-chip clients including Kodak, Pizza Hut, Lipton, and Axe. With an entrepreneurial upbringing, she always planned to start her own business and, inspired by her work with athletes during the Olympic bid, recognized an important and underleveraged opportunity to help promote and build the area of women’s sports. As the company has grown, her traditional marketing background and passion for health and wellness have influenced the expansion of the business. While Amy’s tennis career never made it past captain of her high school team, she has completed the Boston to New York AIDS ride twice, dabbled in triathlons, and has completed five marathons.
Leslie Billinger has enjoyed over 18 successful years in the field of Sales and Marketing with two Fortune 500 companies. Leslie began her career with the Miller Brewing Company. At Miller she held several key roles such as the Northeast Division Market Manager, Regional Music Marketing Manager, and National Promotions Manager.
In 1993, Leslie joined Coca-Cola North America. While at Coke she has held positions such as National Customer Account Manager, Manager of Multi-Cultural Marketing, Group Manager of Marketing Activation and currently the West Region Customer Execution Leader. Leslie leads a team that manages Coca-Cola North America’s local sports and entertainment partnerships within the 10 Western States.
Leslie serves as a big sister in the National “Each One, Teach One” mentor program, and is a board member of the Venice Boys and Girls Club. Leslie enjoys theatre, reading, and creative arts.
Women’s Sport Foundation President Jessica Mendoza, is also an ESPN color analyst for College Softball and a sideline reporter for ESPN College Football. She also serves as an athletic ambassador for Team Darfur and Right to Play to help children in Africa, and is a board member of the National Education Association Foundation.
Since 2001, Jessica has been proud member of the U.S. Olympic softball team, which captured Gold at the World Championships in Venezuela this year. Also in 2010, she won the National Pro Fastpitch Championship with the USSSA Florida Pride. She also served as a field reporter for Yahoo! Sports at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Jessica was named 2006 USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, as she led the United States to its first gold medal at the World Cup of Softball – cumulating three home runs, 16 RBI and a 1.167 slugging percentage. She also led the team to the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship title in Beijing, with five home runs, 16 RBI and a slugging percentage of .969. That same year, she was inducted into the International Latin Sports Hall of Fame.
Jessica graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Social Science in Education. She is an exceptional world class athlete, businesswoman, mentor, and proud mom.
Julie Solwold is the Vice President, Global Sports & Event Marketing for John Paul Mitchell Systems (JPMS), the largest privately owned, professional salon hair care company in the world. Currently producing over 90 products that are manufactured within the United States (including the brands Paul Mitchell, Modern Elixirs™, The Tea Tree Collection, and JPMS the color™) Paul Mitchell products are available in approximately 90,000 salons across the U.S., and in over 45 different countries.
A nineteen year veteran of the company, Julie co-created the Sports Marketing department based on the company’s desire to reach “new users” by tapping into the underserved youth and male markets. Crafting partnerships with cutting edge sports that engaged these users, yet maintained the corporate philosophy of being environmentally friendly and cruelty free, the department invested in events and tours that were televised on the rapidly growing cable sport networks. Under her guidance, Paul Mitchell’s family of event partners has grown to include the U.S. Freestyle Team, U.S. Snowboard Team, Burton Demo Tour, The Dew Tour, the Association of Volleyball Professionals, U.S. Open of Surf, Roxy Chicken Jam, XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon Series, and the U.S.A. / World Hip Hop Championships to name a few.
Julie grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She currently resides in Valencia, California.
Game changer: two words that perfectly describe Fabiola Torres. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a Master’s degree in International Business, Fabiola moved to Los Angeles with her husband and two children in 2009 to serve as the Nike West Marketing Director. Fabiola exemplifies, leads and inspires a highly energetic and innovative group by stressing the importance of teamwork, creativity, authenticity, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and “be a sponge”.
Fabiola has a proven track record for developing innovative strategy, generating comprehensive action plans and creating incomparable marketing activations and brand experiences that effectively reach consumers on the West Coast and across the globe. Fabiola launched her career in advertising and international marketing at Cuauhtemoc and Moctezuma Brewing Company in Monterrey, Mexico. In 1999, she joined the Nike Mexico team as the Country Advertising Manager and later became the Multi-Category Brand Manager in 2002. In 2003, she moved to Nike’s World Headquarters in Oregon to serve as the Brand Manager for the Americas Region, with oversight in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. In 2005, Fabiola returned to Mexico as the country’s Marketing Director where she drove Nike’s relationship with the Mexican Soccer Federation, signed key soccer clubs and broke records in participation numbers for two consecutive years for Nike Mexico 10k races. Additionally, she was named one of the top 10 marketers in Mexico in both 2008 and 2009 by Grupo Expansion, also known as “The Monsters of Marketing in Mexico”.
Fabiola Torres. A true game changer. She makes great things happen wherever she goes, consistently elevates the game, effectively drives the Nike brand, amplifies the biggest sports moments and brings unsurpassed value to the marketplace.
Founder and principal of 10 Fold Entertainment and original co-founder/owner of Entertainment League Productions and the E League. Previously, as the NBA Entertainment Directer of Live Programming & Entertainment for nearly a decade, she evaluated all NBA and WNBA teams, orchestrated multiple live productions, and collaborated with teams and consulted them to improve entertainment operations. The regional Emmy Award winner, who also served as the Phoenix Suns’ and Phoenix Mercury’s Director of Entertainment, has booked top-line performers for teams and major events such as NBA and WNBA All Star-Games, and has produced games internationally as we as championship ring ceremonies.