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The Women Of The NLL

The National Lacrosse League is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day by recognizing the accomplishments of its many female employees. From media relations and marketing to ticket sales and on-air staff, the NLL is proud to shape the future of workplace diversity inclusion with its female leadership.

In 2003, Ginny Capicchioni broke gender barriers by signing with the New Jersey Storm, becoming both the first woman in North America to sign with a men’s professional team and the first woman to play in a men’s professional lacrosse game. Capicchioni appeared in two preseason games and three regular season games for the Storm.

Goaltender Jen Adams remains the only female player drafted into the league when the Washington Power selected her in the ninth round out of the University of Maryland in the 2001 NLL Draft.

We have reached out to the women of the National Lacrosse League and asked them to give advice on how to succeed in the industry, what woman inspires them, and either a destination they would like to travel to, a book they are reading, or where we can find them on a Saturday at 10 a.m. (on a non-game day, of course).

Kelsey McCay – Communications Coordinator, Calgary Roughnecks



NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Build your network – you want people to remember your name when a project arises or a new position opens. Get to know the right people and impress them with your work.
Always take on new challenges – if you’re asked to do something that you’re interested in but you aren’t sure if you’re completely ready, say yes and it will push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to learn a new skill or improve on ones you already have.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

I would like to see every corner of the world but my next big trip will be backpacking in Southeast Asia.

 

Kelsey Gouge – Marketing and Partnerships Manager, Georgia Swarm



NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Don’t be afraid to be assertive, to speak up, and stand up for yourself. Being a woman in a typically male-dominated industry can be tough – Earn your respect by working hard and being a leader.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I would love to start reading “Ego is the Enemy”


Paige Favor – Coordinator, Merchandise and Social Media, Georgia Swarm

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?

The most important thing I can tell women aspiring to work in sports is don’t give up. It’s not easy working 70+ hours a week. Often, women are doubted in this industry due to the stereotypical stay at home mom role assumed of them. However, If you put the work in, you will make a statement, and you will never be doubted again. The only person holding you back is yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or pose ideas. That is how you grow in life and you’ll climb the ladder faster with help. So ask questions, be an overachiever, make a statement and prove that you have a purpose in your work place with your work-ethic and drive.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I am not currently reading anything. I don’t have much spare time there is one book I would like to read next. I would like to read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.


Madison Dishman – Senior Account Executive, Georgia Swarm

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

The woman who inspires me the most is Kelli Masters. Kelli Masters is one of the only agents to represent NFL and NBA players. Her clients have been featured in N FL Network, ESPN, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, The Late Show, The Tonight Show, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Morning Football, The Steve Harvey Show, FOX and Friends, Comcast. She has bridges a gap between men and women in the world of sports agencies. Her fearlessness and success inspire me to chase my dreams.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

On a typical Saturday I like to sleep in and then I am usually teaching lacrosse Lessons at a Gym called Buford Elite. Most of the kids I teach at between 6-8 years old and just starting their lacrosse careers. After coaching I love to enjoy brunch when I am off work with my boyfriend, and get outside as much as possible to enjoy some fresh air.


Valeria Bermeo – Ticket Operations Assistant, Georgia Swarm

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Being in a prominent position as a woman is both humbling and challenging. Maintaining a strong work ethic and remaining driven are two qualities that go hand in hand for me. For me, remaining driven means going above and beyond of what is expected and always wanting to be the best version of myself. Being organized and maintaining a positive attitude are qualities I pride myself in and that have helped me advance in my career. As the Ticket Services and Operations Coordinator with the Georgia Swarm, I have learned to be a quick problem solver and to assure that everything I do revolves around the end goal of assuring our fans are enjoying their experience. Without knowing what I am trying to achieve or what I’m working towards, I won’t know where I can improve. One of my daily goals is being constantly exposed to learning something new. If I’m not learning, I am not progressing. In my humble opinion, it is crucial to have the courage to present new ideas and to hinder from the reluctance of asking questions. Nonetheless, this comes in conjunction with a great deal of focus and willing to allow others to help me grow in my career.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.

Amber Pannell – Senior Account Executive, Georgia Swarm

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Let your voice be heard. Don’t be afraid to speak out about your opinions or suggestions. Create structure for yourself with your business and follow up is KEY!

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to? 

I want to travel all over the world. But if I had to pick one place, I’d say Egypt.

 

Amber Cox – Vice President, New England Black Wolves

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?    

Go for it! If you stay focused and are constantly looking to expand your network and knowledge base, you’ll get there. Lean on the women who have come before you to provide guidance – we are all willing to help. And remember, nothing replaces hard work. Achieving your dreams requires sweat equity. You have to be willing to get in the trenches and learn every aspect of the job.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. It’s a fantastic look at four definitions of personality profiles and how those profiles are driven to achieve goals, both personal and professional.

 

Jennifer Hildebrand – Corporate Communications and Community Relations Manager, New England Black Wolves

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?    

Learn as many different parts of the business that you can and don’t be afraid to try new things. Be prepared, put the time in, work hard and have a passion for what you are doing. Ask questions and for advice, especially from those who have been through it before. Making real, powerful connections goes a long way.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Her candor about her life, and the challenges she has faced in all facets of it, is a fascinating read.

Melissa Lachica – Marketing Coordinator, Vancouver Warriors

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

I’m still early in my career, so I’m learning to trust myself and be confident in my expertise. It can be scary as the only woman in the room, but it’s important to speak up and be assertive. Don’t be afraid to say no or ask for growth. Find a role model who can inspire you, a mentor who can advocate for you, and friends who can support you. Career growth for women and diversity in the workplace aren’t only women’s issues, they’re everyone’s. The more we embrace differences, the more we flourish.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

I have a long list! If I had to pick one off the top of my head, it would be the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. My ecology prof used to share stories and photos in class, and ever since then, I’ve wanted to experience its beauty firsthand.

Kelsey Sweet – Social Media Editor, Buffalo Bandits

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

I think some of the best advice I’ve ever received in my career is to treat everyone as a VIP no matter who they are. That goes a really long way. Being a woman in sports is sometimes challenging, but totally worth all of the hard work.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

I’d love to go to Prague one day!

Lindsey Brown – Media Relations Assistant, Buffalo Bandits

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

My biggest piece of advice for women trying to break through in the sports industry is you have to be willing to work harder than the person next to you. It may seem obvious, but you can really set yourself apart by having a strong work ethic. Having that mentality has really helped me get to where I am today in terms of my career.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

There are so many different places that I want to travel to, the list is constantly changing and growing. Iceland, Cuba and Portugal are all on the top of it right now.

 

 

Lindsey Masciangelo –  Vice President, Business Operations, Philadelphia Wings

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?

I always tell young women to be flexible and open-minded about their journey.  Now more than ever, women have the opportunity to create their own path and pave their own way.  The journey might not always look the way you envisioned it and that’s ok. Be flexible and open to change.  Try to learn and grow through each challenge you face and don’t be so hard on yourself!

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

I am lucky enough to be a Mom of two young girls.  Saturdays (if it’s not a game day) is reserved for them.  I find that I am a better leader and more focused on my work if I also feel fulfilled at home with my family.  So a typical Saturday usually involves a big cup of coffee and a lot of kid activities!

 

Dana Feigenbaum –  Digital Communications Manager, Philadelphia Wings

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?

Don’t ever turn down a chance to network and grow your personal brand because often times those experiences can lead to better opportunities down the road. This life is about growth, and the only way to broaden your skill set is to open your mind to new possibilities. Never pass up a chance to try something new, remember to be thankful for the people who have guided you along the way, and never be afraid to lend a helping hand.“

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

Greece!


Tracy Johnson – Executive VP & Lacrosse Operations, Rochester Knighthawks

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?  

Once deemed a male dominated industry, I see times changing and women are being accepted as key contributors to the sports industry.  It is very important for young women to build a strong self confidence and work ethic as this will be their foundation to success long term.  Believe that they can and will have an impact on any company that they work for and be willing and prepared to jump in and work hard alongside the best of anyone, even work harder.  The proof is in the work you do not in the title you hold. Be a great team player, contribute at all opportunity and be sure to do the best you can at all times, not being afraid to ask for direction or assistance when needed.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

My job in sports has provided me the opportunity to travel so many places that I would not have otherwise been able to go to. I think I would have to say vacation wise I would love some R&R time in Aruba!

 

Elise Matson – Public Relations Coordinator, Colorado Mammoth

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

My mom, June. She has run a non-profit for 25 years, but, really, I think she’s just getting started. Also, Liza Kelly, head coach for the University of Denver women’s lacrosse team. Liza introduced me to lacrosse when I was a freshman at DU. I ended up working as an operations intern for the women’s team throughout all four years of college. Liza taught me what it means to give your all to your team.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

If the Mammoth are in season, I’m often watching morning shoot around with local kids and families around 10 a.m. Shoot around is a fun, informal setting in which I can introduce kids and families to lacrosse and to the Mammoth. Here in Denver, our players love going out into the community to teach clinics and to visit schools, but they also love bringing the Denver community into Pepsi Center to get a behind-the-scenes look at what professional indoor lacrosse is all about.

If the Mammoth aren’t in season, you will find me on my couch watching the European Tour.


Hannah Kosh – Manager, Public Relations and Brand Narrative, San Diego Seals

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

One of the most inspiring women to me is Misty Copeland from the American Ballet Theatre. She continues prove to young women that anything is possible.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

Saturday mornings are usually consumed by shoot-around, the beach or a new coffee shop.

 

Andrea Glieheisen – Vice President, Marketing and Partnerships, Saskatchewan Rush

 

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

There are countless women that I draw inspiration from including Rush Nations’s own, Joyce Souka aka Grandma Rush. Over the last ten years I have seen first hand the impact she has had on our players, staff and most of all fans. Her tireless dedication and passion to the team is a symbol of the strong connection that a fan can have with their team and community. One of the most well known fans across the NLL, Joyce’s popularity is a testament to her competitive nature and tenacious spirit that she proudly showcases at every Rush game and across social media. She is the heart and soul of our organization and a woman who encourages me daily with her message of positivity and inner strength.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I recently started reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. It’s a great book about getting past your fear and diving into the depths of engaging your creative side. I recommend reading it and re-reading it. 


Sherri Mendon – Director of Marketing, Promotions and Fan Development, San Diego Seals

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – She is a great example of a woman who has chosen to enter a male-dominated field, and hasn’t let that stop her from standing up for what she believes in. Millennials are often disparaged for their usage of social media, but she’s a millennial that has been harnessing social media for good, bringing awareness to inequality and corruption. It’s really inspiring to see a young woman making such an impact so quickly.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

I’m either at the gym or at the dog beach.

Terri Giberson – Business Manager, Toronto Rock

NLL.com: Holding the position you hold right now, what message would you tell younger women who have aspirations of having a long and successful career?

I would tell younger women to be inspired to put the time, effort and energy into each phase of their career. It’s not necessary to know the entire path to where you may want to end up right from the start, but rather to take each step as its own – work hard during that time, learn as much as you can from the people around you as your career takes shape and build up that confidence that will carry you through the years!

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I am currently reading “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam.

 

Ashley Dabb – Chief Marketing Officer, NLL league offices

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

It is hard for me to choose just one woman because I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing women in my family, as my friends, and professionally. I’m inspired by my two aunts, Becky and Mary Ellen, and my grandmother, Rita,  and my strong, independent friends Nicole, Meg and Kelly. Professionally, I am inspired by Sara Blakely. She built a company around a dream and lots of hard work—but even now with a successful business she remains humble, real and inspiring.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

Usually, leaving the gym and headed to brunch (one of my favorite meals). It’s a great way to destress and start the weekend off right.

 

Kirstin Thomson – Executive Assistant to the Commissioner, NLL league offices

NLL.com: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Don’t overthink you’re ability to achieve greatness. Be focused on the qualities you have and exceed all expectations in your role. Listen and learn from your superiors. Speak up about your goals, where you want to see yourself and work on getting the skills you need to get there. Always be willing to take on another project, even if it means learning how to do it along the way.

NLL.com: Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?

At home ready to get my day started with my family after an early gym session.

Renee Washington – Senior Anchor/Producer, NLL league offices

NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

I have several women that inspire me in the many roles in my life. As a sports broadcaster, I admire Doris Burke for her versatility, analysis, and ability to continue to break barriers as a women in sports.

As someone that works to bring change in different aspects of the world around me, I look up to Oprah and Michelle Obama. I admire all that they do as women, as African Americans, and to continue to lift up those around them as they bring change in various aspects of our society.

Most importantly, I am inspired by my mother. My mom has been through so much in her life and I love the way she continues to encourage, support, teach, and love my father, my three siblings, and me. The accomplishments she has achieved in her career, education, and our family are the foundation of who I am and what keeps me motivated in all that I do.

NLL.com: What book are you reading now, or what book do you really want to read?

I just finished “Don’t Settle for Safe: Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable” by Sarah Jake Roberts, daughter of Bishop T.D Jakes. I am currently almost done my next book “Jump: Take the Leap of to Achieve your Life of Abundance” by Steve Harvey. I am being on perspective and learning from others. I believe in everyone’s story and experiences there is something we can learn to guide our own journeys on our lives, so I love inspirational books like these.

Devan Kaney – Senior On-Air Talent, NLL league offices



NLL.com: What woman inspires you and why?

I know this is probably pretty cliché but my mom inspires me every day. She raised me to believe that I could grow up to be whoever and whatever I wanted to be, and I think that is so important for young girls. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t have her unwavering support in everything I do, especially my career. I’ve watched my mom overcome so much – she was diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago now, and has since beat it like an absolute champ. She taught me that no matter what ups and downs life throws at you, if you just keep pushing, keep fighting, things usually work out.

NLL.com: What place do you really want to travel to?

I’m dying to go to Bali! I’ve never been to Asia and the Bali way of life really fascinates me – the locals live so peacefully and find calm in the chaos of life. I have a few friends who have spent time there, and they all say that Bali really re-shaped the way they think, so it’s definitely at the top of my travel bucket list.

 

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