Top-Notch Speakers Headline First-Ever USTFCCCA Women’s Summit

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

November 30, 2011   

From one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX to the co-chairs of the NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium, an outstanding line-up of speakers headlines the first-ever U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women’s Summit, to be held in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, December 15, 2011, following the 2011 USTFCCCA Convention.

The Summit seeks to provide women coaches with tools that they can use to advance professionally. It is geared to inspire and empower coaches in Cross Country and Track & Field through a series of sessions led by speakers at the top of their professional careers, as well as a networking session for attendees, all directed toward real-world strategies to address the major issues facing women coaches.

“We are ecstatic to have such an exceptional group of women lead our first-ever Women’s Summit,” said USTFCCCA President Ted Bulling. “It is very important that we support women coaches in Cross Country and Track & Field in achieving professional fulfillment. I believe that one of the keys to that support is working with and learning from other talented and successful individuals, like the women in this group.”

The scheduled speakers for the Summit are:
Joni Comstock – Senior Vice President for Championships, NCAA
Laura Gentile – Vice President, espnW
Alfreeda Goff – Founder & Co-Chair, NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium
Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Legal Advisor, Women’s Sports Foundation
Ann Salerno – Co-Founder, The Change Cycle Series
Bonnie Tiell – Co-Chair, NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium

The Summit is open to both men and women to attend. Admission to the Women’s Summit is included at no additional cost to 2011 USTFCCCA Convention attendees; an RSVP to attend the Women’s Summit is required at the time of Convention Registration. More information about the Women’s Summit and the 2011 USTFCCCA Convention is available at http://www.ustfccca.org/ustfccca-convention

More Information about the Speakers:

Joni Comstock, NCAA Senior Vice President for Championships and Senior Woman Administrator, oversees the NCAA’s championships, statistics, playing rules administration, and media coordination efforts, as well as serving as a member of the president’ senior management group. She joined the NCAA in 2006, following over 20 years of service in multiple roles in athletics and athletics administration, from Coach to Director of Athletics. Comstock currently serves on the Title IX and Advocacy Committee for the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.

Laura Gentile is Vice President of the newly-launched espnW, ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital business designed to serve, inform, and inspire female athletes and fans. Since joining ESPN in 2003, Gentile has served as Director, Advertising and Marketing; Senior Director of Brand Management; and Vice President, Assistant to the President. Prior to joining ESPN, she worked as a senior partner and management supervisor at a major marketing and advertising firm. Gentile is no stranger to women’s athletics, having earned All-American honors in Field Hockey as a collegiate athlete at Duke.

Alfreeda Goff created the highly successful NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium in 2001. Now in her 12th year at the Horizon League, she currently serves as Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the conference. Goff was honored as the Black Coaches Association’s Administrator of the Year in 2005 while also completing a term as president of the National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletics Administrators. Goff has previously served as Director of Athletics at Virginia State University and as a Track & Field Coach and administrator at the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming, is recognized as one of the leading advocates for gender equity in sports. In 2007, Sports Illustrated named her one of the most influential people in the 35-year history of Title IX, and her well-recognized expertise in the field of gender equity in sports has been sought in numerous testimonies before Congress and frequent guest spots on national news programs. Hogshead-Makar is a professor of law at the Florida Coastal School of Law; she is also a former President of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and continues to serve as the group’s Legal Advisor.

Ann Salerno is the co-founder and creative force for The Change Cycle Series. She creates products and services that assist people in committing to a deeper understanding of the human experience of change, and developing their own personal and professional change management skills and strategies. Salerno designs curriculum and coordinates the faculties for the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, Winning Careers in Athletics, and Play With Purpose programs. Since the development of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, over 600 women have engaged in the program, and over 80% are still coaching.

Dr. Bonnie Tiell is the Dean of Graduate Studies and the former NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for Tiffin University in Ohio. Tiell is a nationally recognized workshop facilitator for gender equity audits and leadership development in athletic administration. Since 2001, Tiell has co-chaired the NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium in Intercollegiate Athletics with Alfreeda Goff. Prior to a full-time faculty position, Tiell served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Tiffin University where she coached volleyball, softball (1993 national qualifier), and tennis (2006 national qualifier).