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Women Blazers

Women Blazers

By Dionna Widder
Women Blazers is a podcast that features interviews with women in the sports industry who are either breaking barriers or on a journey to blaze trails in the front office. Through the experiences of others, insights can be gained, new opportunities can be created, and many can be inspired.
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The One with Emily Maguire

Women Blazers

The One with Emily Maguire

Women Blazers

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The One with Shani Tate Ross
In this episode we welcome Shani Tate Ross, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. Shani shares her amazing experiences and insights from her incredible career. As someone who has always had a love for sports & entertainment, she made her passion her purpose. Now, over a 15 year span with the T-Mobile Center, she has been able to create lasting memories for many and make an meaningful impact in a community she loves.
43:49
June 20, 2022
The One with Erin Miller
In this episode we welcome Erin Miller, Sr. Vice President of Operations and Events for the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Erin shares her incredible career journey, starting out on a path to become a FBI Agent, but ultimately followed her gut which led her back to her roots in sports. Today, she celebrates 10 years of incredible experiences and valued relationships created at the National Basketball Players Association. Congratulations Erin on this remarkable career milestone!
34:24
June 06, 2022
The One with Mel Raines
In this episode we welcome Mel Raines, President & COO for Pacers Sports & Entertainment of the NBA and WNBA. Mel shares her incredible career journey, spending a significant portion of her career in politics with experiences working for US Senators, at the White House for the US Vice President, and running significant events - including multiple Republican National Conventions and the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. She has transferred her incredible skills to the sports industry and is establishing a double legacy transforming one of the most iconic arena’s in basketball to be the Fieldhouse of the Future.
59:28
May 23, 2022
The One with Kareeda Chones Aguam
In this episode we welcome Kareeda Chones Aguam, Sr. Vice President of Partner Strategy and Management for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Kareeda grew up in a basketball centered family where she learned the values of desire, determination, and dedication. It was those values that led her to become a Division 1 athlete at Marquette, and opened doors to not only launch her career with the Bucks but also dedicate over 24 years and counting in helping shape the organization she loves and that has become an extended family to her and her loved ones.
52:07
May 09, 2022
The One with Chelsea Drobnick
In this episode we welcome Chelsea Drobnick, Vice President of Premium Partnerships for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL . Chelsea shares her remarkable journey launching her career in ticket sales, where she found her calling in leadership amongst some of the best in the business. From season-to season, she challenged herself by taking the path where she would face adversity and established a strong belief system that has given her the confidence to be authentic and know that all paths will lead her to where she is meant to be.
53:05
April 25, 2022
The One with Marissa Daly
In this episode we welcome Marissa Daly, President & General Manager of Media for the LA Rams. Marissa shares her incredible journey, where she trades in her finance career in the big apple to pursue a new path in the sports industry. Thanks to her hard work and saying yes regardless of qualifications, she has had the honor to grow and create impact at two incredible organizations - Yahoo Sports and the Los Angeles Rams.
46:15
April 11, 2022
The One with Katrina Palanca
In this episode we welcome Katrina Palanca, Vice President of Global Partnerships for the San Antonio Spurs, as our featured guest. Katrina shares her incredible journey, born and raised in Guam, as a fan of the game of basketball she wrote her NBA career hopes in the stars and set forth a path that led her to that moonshot goal. Now, an SBJ 2021 New Voices Under 30 honoree, Katrina is focused on making an impact, inspiring others to follow their hearts, and leading a life at the center of her happiness.
54:29
March 28, 2022
The Season 3 Trailer
New episodes drop every other Monday starting March 28, 2022
01:11
March 24, 2022
The One with Meka White Morris
In this episode we welcome Meka White Morris, Chief Revenue Officer for the Minnesota Twins of the MLB. Meka shares her incredible and diverse career path, starting out with the Cleveland Cavaliers and taking a journey that gave her the experience of working in NFL, college, music, attractions and for a tech start up before completing the full circle back with a team. Now the Chief Revenue Officer with the Minnesota Twins and a SBJ 40 under 40 honoree, Meka is focused on making a significant impact on baseball, Minnesota, and the Industry she loves.
59:41
December 20, 2021
The One with Maya Mendoza-Exstrom
In this episode we welcome Maya Mendoza-Exstrom, Sr. Vice President of Legal and External Affairs for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS. Maya shares her remarkable experiences and journey, rooted in the heart of Seattle, she fell in love with the game of soccer thanks to her parents. It was that foundation and her decision to lead forward with her heart, that has given her the opportunity to be a difference maker and contribute to strengthening the community she loves and represents.
53:45
December 06, 2021
The One with Iris Diaz
In this episode we welcome Iris Diaz, Chief Marketing Officer for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. Iris brings the energy in this conversation as she shares her remarkable journey, a journey with humble beginnings, a no quit mentality, and an inspiring determination rooted by her family to lead the life she imagined for herself.
47:59
November 22, 2021
The One with Jessica Smith
In this episode we welcome Jessica Smith, Head of Revenue for one of the the newest clubs in the NWSL, Angel City FC. You’ll hear Jess share her incredible journey, sparked by self determination and built on the foundation of a strong work ethic, commitment to her vision, and by differentiating herself as she climbed the industry. As the Head of Revenue for Angel City, she is one of the key leaders building a brand on a mission to make a difference in this world.
50:59
November 08, 2021
The One with Emily Maguire
In this episode we welcome Emily Maguire, Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service for the Denver Nuggets. You’ll hear Emily share her career journey, starting out in inside sales and working her way up through the challenges and personal breakthroughs. Emily’s dedication to her growth and commitment to her team has led her to be one of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s key and impactful revenue leaders.
42:54
October 25, 2021
The One with Carley Knox
In this episode we welcome Carley Knox, President of Business Operations for the Minnesota Lynx. Carley started out as a Division 1 soccer player with the goal to coach the game she loves, but she ultimately took a path beyond the field and that would allow her to live out her passion of fighting for women’s equality. Through the power of sports and the platform of the WNBA, Carley has been leading her life as a change agent for a better tomorrow for all marginalized groups and with a focus to create a better future for the next generation.
40:36
October 11, 2021
The One with Allie Dicken
In this episode we welcome Allie Dicken. Allie serves as the Director of Brand Marketing for the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. Allie started out knowing she wanted to work in professional sports while in High School and that vision helped drive her forward to make that dream a reality. Focused on contributing to the brand purpose, she left no stone unturned as she continues to make an impact in the industry through her love and passion for the game.
44:41
September 27, 2021
The One with Erika Swilley
In this episode we welcome Erika Swilley, Vice President of Community & Social Responsibility for the Detroit Pistons. Erika shares her career path, which has been a journey of serving communities and making an impact in the lives of others through the power of sports. Never settling, never stopping, just focused to create a life of purpose by leading a life of service.
36:44
September 13, 2021
The One with Lisa Walker
In this episode we welcome Lisa Walker, SVP of Business Development College Athletics for Eventellect. Lisa shares her career journey, starting out on a path to become a lawyer with the pursuit of a role in politics, but ultimately followed her passion to work in Collegiate Athletics - energized by the game and strengthened by the people who supported her along her path. A path where she followed her instincts and didn’t let fear get between her and any opportunity.
44:38
August 30, 2021
The One with Emily Jaenson
In this episode we welcome Emily Jaenson as our featured guest. Emily serves as the General Manager for the Reno Aces of Minor League Baseball and was the first women to hold this position in Triple-A ball. Emily shares her career journey, starting out in the Chicago Bulls sales internship program which led to a path where she discovered a passion for partnership development and leadership. Emily has built her incredible career off the foundation of hard work, making sacrifices, building strong relationships, and trusting the process.
43:43
August 16, 2021
The One with Molly Wurdack-Folt
In this episode we welcome Molly Wurdack-Folt as our featured guest. Molly serves as the VP of Corporate Partnership Activation for Olympia Entertainment which includes the Detroit Tigers of the MLB and Detroit Red Wings of the NHL. Molly shares her incredible experiences and learnings leading and growing in the sports industry. Powered by passion and by the incredible people she is surrounded by she leads an amazing career and life that just keeps on giving.
44:38
August 02, 2021
The One with Krystle Hogan
In this episode we welcome Krystle Hogan as our featured guest. Krystle serves as the VP of Ticket Sales & Service for the LA Clippers of the NBA. Krystle shares her incredible journey breaking into the sports industry and growing into the leader she is today. She pursued her curiosities, displayed perseverance and patience, and has been surrounded by leaders who have championed her growth throughout her career and now she leads a life that at one point she couldn’t even imagine.
48:21
July 19, 2021
The One with Catherine Carlson
In this episode we welcome Catherine Carlson as our featured guest. Catherine serves as the SVP/Revenue & Strategy for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. You’ll hear her amazing journey, which started 30 years ago in her home country of Australia where she fell in love with sports. As a student of the industry, she came to the states to earn her Masters at UMass and instead of heading back home, she set fire to a new path fueled by perseverance and passion that has provided her the opportunity to live out an amazing career and life leading revenue and partnerships for Disney and with teams in the NBA and NFL.
51:21
July 05, 2021
The One with Elizabeth DiLullo Brown
In this episode we welcome Elizabeth DiLullo Brown as our featured guest. Elizabeth serves as the SVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Little League Baseball. You’ll hear Liz share her amazing journey as she has knocked her career out of the park growing from agency life to becoming Little League’s first female senior executive. Her impressive path is the product of a strong work ethic, expanded experiences, a positive attitude, and her love for making an impact.
43:06
June 21, 2021
The One with Vanessa Scott
In this episode we welcome Vanessa Scott as our featured guest. Vanessa serves as the Director of Accounting for Houston Dynamo FC, Houston Dash, and BBVA Stadium. You’ll hear Vanessa share her incredible journey, starting out as a track athlete at Tulane University where she had to evacuate after her third day on campus due to Hurricane Katrina. That experience followed by many others taught her to embrace challenges and change, to create and lean in to her network, and invest in continuous learning that drives her growth and career.
40:18
June 07, 2021
The One with Ashley Clinkscale
In this episode we welcome Ashley Clinkscale as our featured guest. Ashley serves as the Senior Vice President of Communications, Community & Diversity for the Portland Trailblazers. Ashley has had an incredible journey powered by her passion for storytelling and by building strong relationships with an expansive network. Her authenticity, hard work, and love for the game has led to her crushing her career goals and the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others.
35:20
May 24, 2021
The One with Neda Tabatabaie
In this episode we welcome Neda Tabatabaie as our featured guest. Neda serves as the Vice President of Business Analytics & Technology for the San Jose Sharks. Neda is one of the pioneers of business analytics and intelligence in our industry. Her dedication, hard work, no fear mentality, and appreciation for a great work culture have earned her a seat at many tables where she has been able to make a difference and be a true game changer.
46:47
May 10, 2021
The One with Abbey Mathis
In this episode we welcome Abbey Mathis as our featured guest. Abbey serves as the Sr. Director of Premium Hospitality Development for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As a natural competitor most of her life, Abbey had aspirations of going pro as a soccer player and found herself going pro as a key contributor in the front office of a professional sports team. Abbey leads with compassion, works to deliver greatness, and she is honest not just with others but truly with herself, which I find is a rare and quality characteristic in leaders and incredible people such as Abbey.
36:55
April 26, 2021
The One with Amanda Verhoff
In this episode we welcome Amanda Verhoff as our featured guest. Amanda is the President of The Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD), which is where she dedicated her entire career to date starting out as an intern. She is an authentic and passionate industry leader, who plays a significant role in inspiring the innovation of the premium fan experience and has had an incredible ride with a front row seat to the evolution of arenas and stadiums across the country.
48:42
April 12, 2021
The One with Allison Howard
In this 21st episode we welcome Allison Howard as our featured guest. Allison serves as the Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the 17x NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. Allison has an amazing story starting out as a civil engineer before making a complete career change into partnership sales, where her authentic charisma, hard work, and dedication to developing as a leader has led to her amazing career with one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA.
50:33
March 29, 2021
The One with Liliahn Majeed
In this 20th episode, I am beyond excited to welcome Liliahn Majeed. Lil has spent the last 15 years of her career with the NBA, recently serving as the Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. She is dedicated to purpose driven work and making a difference in our society and the lives of others. Lil is a 2020 SBJ Game Changer and since the recording of this episode, was named the Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer at Universal Music Group. Lil will be sharing her journey with us all and to put a bow on the season, we’ll be diving into topics that were highlighted throughout the past 19 episodes.
50:14
December 21, 2020
The One with Catie Griggs
In this episode we welcome Catie Griggs as our featured guest. Catie is the Vice President and Chief Business Officer for Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. You’ll hear Catie share her unique journey, not knowing she would end up in the sports industry- she followed her curiosity and interest in human connection as she blazed a career path that was driven by the power of relationships and her courage to consistently not let fear hold her back from stepping up to each opportunity presented to her.
52:22
December 07, 2020
The One with Samantha Hicks
In this episode we welcome Samantha Hicks as our featured guest. Samantha is the Chief Revenue Officer for the Reno Aces and Reno 1868 FC of MiLB and USL. You’ll hear her share her incredible journey, knowing sales was her pursued career and combining it with her passion for sports, she has blazed a path to the C-Suite. Crushing sales, being on and leading great teams, and loving the work ever my step of the way.
35:06
November 23, 2020
The One with Shelly Cayette
In this episode we welcome Shelly Cayette as our featured guest. Shelly is the Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. You’ll hear Shelly share her incredible and unique journey, never allowing herself to be put in a box - she navigated up in her career through hard work, pursuing opportunities that excite her, and being powered by the responsibility of representation and blazing trails for women in the industry.
31:18
November 09, 2020
The One with Laura Dixon
In this episode we welcome Laura Dixon as our featured guest. Laura is the Head of External Affairs for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA and the President and Founder of the Pro Sports Assembly. You’ll hear Laura share her incredible journey, after breaking into sports with the Dallas Sports Commission, she blazed forward with her entrepreneurial mindset and action oriented style to career growth. Which earned her an opportunity to join the Spurs organization where she has been able to unleash her passion for advocacy and be an intentional difference maker for the past 11 years.
49:31
October 26, 2020
The One with Qiava Martinez
In this episode we welcome Qiava Martinez, Vice President of Premium Service and Guest Experience for the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL. You’ll hear Qiava share her incredible journey, growing up in a large family and being raised by inspirational parents and alongside supportive siblings. It was in this environment that inspired Qiava to be a creator of experiences and to give back to others, which she has been able to do along her career path and for past 12 years with the now Las Vegas Raiders and with her own amazing family by her side.
38:12
October 12, 2020
The One with Jill Snodgrass
In this episode we welcome Jill Snodgrass, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. You’ll hear Jill share her incredible journey, breaking into sports with a life changing internship with the Atlanta Hawks and building a career on the foundation and love for service and building off that foundation over the past 7 seasons with the historic Philadelphia 76ers. Along the way, learning to trust the process and that the power of passion is energized by the incredible people you surround yourself with.
42:31
September 28, 2020
The One with Kendall Tyson
In this episode we welcome Kendall Tyson as my featured guest. Kendall is the Vice President of Strategy & Analytics for the Seattle Kraken of the NHL. You’ll hear Kendall share her journey, growing up as an athlete in Minnesota with a dedicated focus to become an Industrial Engineer. Combining her love for sports and optimizing complex processes, data, and structure, she ultimately engineered an incredible career path that landed her in a position to bring professional hockey back to Seattle.
48:22
September 14, 2020
The One with Jodee Bowness
In this episode we welcome Jodee Bowness as my featured guest. Jodee is the Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service for the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. In this episode you’ll hear her share her journey, basically born into the industry, having the opportunity to grow up observing her Dad lead a successful career in sports. But she was determined to lead her own path in the industry and that’s exactly what she has done. Her incredible career has provided her the opportunity to grow as a leader in the NHL tapping into her passion for service, sales, people and the game.
33:12
August 31, 2020
The One with Erica Bernadas
In this episode we welcome Erica Bernadas, Sr. Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans of the NFL and NBA as our featured guest. You’ll hear Erica share her journey starting out by taking an unexpected position in Inside Sales and finding early sales success that set the foundation for her career. Erica has followed her passion for the art of the sale, creating personalized partnerships, and ceasing opportunities that connect with her personal and professional goals which has provided her with an incredible career that includes working in the NHL, MLS, NBA, and NFL.
45:40
August 17, 2020
The One with Danita Johnson
In this episode we welcome Danita Johnson, President and Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. You’ll hear Danita share her journey dedicated to leading a meaningful career in the Sports Industry, which without a doubt has been accomplished. Danita has had an incredible career path working in the WNBA, NBA and G-League, leaving a legacy at each destination and solidifying that hard work, passion, and belief in ones self leads to a fulfilling and successful career.
44:27
August 03, 2020
The One with Raven Jemison
In this episode we welcome Raven Jemison, Vice President/Team Marketing Business Operations at the NBA as our featured guest. You’ll hear Raven share her journey starting out on a path dedicated to becoming an Optometrist and discovering it was not the life she wanted to lead. She tapped into her passion and blazed a new path in the sports industry, which now has been a 15+ year career journey that has provided her with the experience to work in all four of the major leagues, impact the lives of many as a sales leader, and build trusted and lasting relationships with colleagues at each stop and now as a strategic partner with teams in the NBA, WNBA, and G-League.
42:42
July 20, 2020
The One with Kristen Kuhn
In this episode we welcome Kristen Kuhn, Senior Vice President of Partnership Marketing, Brand, & Community for LAFC of the MLS as our featured guest. In this episode you’ll hear Kristen share her journey starting out on a path of discovery, which required her to take bold moves that led to experiences that not only built the career she leads today, but just as importantly, placed her in a position to meet incredible people and mentors along her journey who saw her value and believed in her talent to present doors of opportunity for her to earn and open.
47:05
July 06, 2020
The One with Angela Spence
In this episode we welcome Angela Spence, Director of Sales for the Atlanta Hawks and College Park Skyhawks as our featured guest. In this episode you’ll hear Angela share her journey starting out as a collegiate basketball player with plans to become a coach and making the decision to shift that dream which led to discovering the world of Ticket Sales. Along Angela’s path she has had to face adversity, but she pushed through the challenges by honoring her commitments and seeing the successful outcome of her hard work and perseverance. Angela is truly a rising star in the industry.
37:57
June 22, 2020
The One with Gretchen Sheirr
In this episode we welcome Gretchen Sheirr, Chief Revenue Officer for the Houston Rockets. You’ll hear Gretchen share her journey starting out in ticket sales and deciding to double down and stick with it at a time when people didn’t see it has career path with lots of future upside. She now celebrates an incredible 19 season career and counting with the Houston Rockets where she blazed a path to the C-suite and has been a key contributor to growing the Houston Rockets as a top franchise in the NBA.
45:16
June 08, 2020
The One with Sara Daniel
In this episode we welcome Sara Daniel, Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service for Carolina Hurricanes. In this episode you’ll hear how Sara, an elite collegiate athlete who won 2 Big Ten Championships and made 4 NCAA tournament appearance as a captain of her volleyball team at Ohio State University, broke into the sports industry and blazed a trail with self determination, support from trusted mentors, and making moves that gave her the opportunity to work with great leaders and be a difference maker.
46:38
May 25, 2020
The One with Alison Roscoe
In this fourth episode we welcome Alison Roscoe, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for Austin FC as our featured guest. In this episode you’ll hear how Alison navigated up through a non-traditional path, starting out managing pop up fan fest, and has had to face unscripted experiences that not only challenged her but motivated her growth in the industry.
42:29
May 11, 2020
The One with Michele Kajiwara
In this third episode we welcome Michele Kajiwara, Senior Vice President of Premium Sales for the Staples Center at AEG as our featured guest. In this episode you’ll hear how Michele landed a job at the Staples Center by chance and made the choice to navigate upward through a dynamic environment to lead the premium sales business for the sports & entertainment center of the world.
41:23
April 27, 2020
The One with Jamie Morningstar
In this second episode we welcome Jamie Morningstar, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service for the Milwaukee Bucks as our featured guest...or should I say Blazer? In this episode you’ll hear about how she followed her roots in sports to build an amazing sports career that has given her a lifetime of experiences that has taken her on a journey all around the country that she wouldn’t change for anything.
43:14
April 13, 2020
The One with Lisa Feigenbaum
I am excited to be launching the first ever episode of this podcast with Lisa Feigenbaum, Vice President of Group, Premium Hospitality & Event Sales for the Sacramento Kings! In this episode you’ll hear about how she has repeatedly created opportunities for her career path when there were potential dead ends, her experience leading sales initiatives for a new arena project, and what she has learned along the way. (Note: from 6 min -8 min mark there is a glitch due to WiFi issues)
33:05
March 30, 2020