It's Not Just an Award!

Look hat came in the mail today! Thank you NYU for this honor.

Look hat came in the mail today! Thank you NYU for this honor.

Last Monday, I accepted NYU's School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Study Ambassador of the Year award on behalf of The Winning Edge.  I may have been standing on the stage alone that night but they are so many supporters that deserve recognition that helped us get to where we are in year three.  I want to take the time to acknowledge them and show my appreciation for their commitment to our mission of developing the next generation of women and minority leaders in sports business.

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In no particular order, I want to thank...

  • Kevin Carter, for donating the seed money in year one to get us off the ground and continued supported in year two
  • Brooks Downing, for providing opportunities for three game changers at BD Global events and eventually hire one full time
  • Alysita Moore, for always being the silent supporter coming through in the clutch and making sure our game changes were always represented at SEC and ACC Media Days
  • Jalaine Edwards, for stepping up on multiple occasions and being an example for our leadership
  • Mary Chaudoin, for being the best selfie stick and advocate an organization could ask for
  • Board members Suzette Taylor, Felecia Hall Allen, and Charlie Wend Wend, for bringing your skills to the table to launch this organization and wanting to be a part of something bigger than yourself
  • Advisory board members, Dr. Karla Jones, Dr. Robert Lyons, and Jeff Longo, for sharing our program with your students and providing guidance as we built our programming
  • Rick Barnes, for believing in our mission and making a significant donation after one conversation at SEC Media Days
  • Chris Fuller, for being a day one supporter, providing memorable experiences and opportunities for our game changers and continuing to support though you are wearing a different shade of Orange
  • Dr. Carla Williams, for believing in an unknown organization so much you created a opportunity in your athletic department for a game changer and put our name on it
  • Andy Landers and Nell Fortner, for always welcoming all the young ladies to the set at the SEC Tournament or WBB National Championship and making them a part of the team
  • Tennessee and Georgia WBB teams, for sharing your time and knowledge on game days with our game changers
  • Tennessee Athletics, for allowing our game changers to shadow members of your staff on game day
  • Association of Women in Sport Media (AWSM), for proving an opportunity for a game changer to attend your convention
  • ESPN, SEC Network, and College Game Day for not asking too many questions when Maria brings students to the set or studio to shadow her
  • Mentors Ron Chase and Imani Clenance, for being two-time mentors of the year and setting the example of how impactful a mentor can be for a young profession as they start their journey 
  • All our mentors, for wanting to be a part of influencing the life of another
  • All our WE Pep Talk hosts, for trying something new to share your story and provide insight on FaceBook Live
  • All our WE Huddle hosts, for providing skills that gave game changers confidence to enter any room
  • All the people who showed their support by making a financial contribution.  Without you we only make empty promises
  • The countless people who took the time to listen and learn more about our program
  • The game changers that trust we are here to help them identify and achieve their goals

And finally I want to acknowledge the best examples I had of how to live life as an ambassador, advocating for others and the greater good... Coach Pat Summitt and Lt. Col. Ida Widmann ... in their memory I accept this award.