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The NFL Women's Summit

Plays For Life


Building on the success of the inaugural NFL Women's Summit at Super Bowl 50—the NFL evolves this year's Summit into an interactive experience for young women to discuss how to achieve goals, prepare for challenges, and utilize tools critical for personal and professional development.


The NFL Women's Summit: Plays for Life at SBLI will:


  • Introduce the teens to a variety of inspiring speakers, new career ideas, and tools for success.
  • Foster important discussions surrounding career paths, mentorship, and finding your voice.
  • Bring together thought leaders from various industries to engage in interactive sessions spanning the two-day Summit.

Meet Peggy Whitson: NASA Flight Engineer

Meet Sam Rapoport: NFL Director of Football Development

Courtesy of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

Meet Michelle McKenna-Doyle: NFL SVP & Chief Information Technology Officer

Courtesy of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

 

Our Speakers

Hannah Alper

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Dawn Aponte

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Rachel Bonetta

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Karyn Bryant

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Chloe X Halle

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Catherine Connors

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Donovin Darius

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Jen Davis

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Thomas Davis

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Rocsi Diaz

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Gabby Douglas

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Tony Dungy

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Lisa Friel

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Lisa Gelobter

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Elliott Giles

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Haben Girma

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Renee Elise Goldsberry

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Jane Skinner Goodell

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Roger Goodell

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Mahogany LOX

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Gretta Granado

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Matt Hasselbeck

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Amanda Hill

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Alexis Jones

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Jasmine Cephas Jones

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Jordyn Jones

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Cathy Lanier

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Kristine Leahy

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Leland Melvin

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The Merrell Twins

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Beth Mowins

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Ibtihaj Muhammad

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Pam Oliver

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Kim Pegula

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Maya Penn

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Chad Pennington

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Scott Pioli

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Michele Promaulayko

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Aly Raisman

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Samantha Rapoport

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Tony Richardson

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Meghan Rienks

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Rosie Rios

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Ron Rivera

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Sophie Schneider

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Erin Schrode

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Will Shields

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Phillipa Soo

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Devon Still

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Nicole Summers

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Joy Taylor

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Linda Tong

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Ashley Turner

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Mayor Sylvester Turner

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Yalda Uhls

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Amanda Vaughn

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Meredith Walker

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Leonard Wheeler

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Dr. Peggy Whitson

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Chris Wieglus

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Aeneus Williams

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Shelley Zalis

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Just as there are plays in sports, there are plays in everyday life. Teens and adults alike need to prepare for life's challenges and the NFL Women's Summit will help attendees develop their own unique playbooks.


We will learn from each other. We will share our stories. We will learn from our failures. We will succeed.


These are our Plays for Life.


#NFLWomensSummit


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Join the Conversation

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Relive Last Year's Summit

Watch the Recap

 

Hannah Alper


Hannah Alper has been called many things—an eco-warrior, a change-maker and an activist. She's also been called the future of social media. At 13 years old, she is all of these things.


Hannah launched her blog, CallMeHannah.ca, at age nine to share her growing knowledge and concern for the environment. A lover of animals since she was a young girl, she began to make the connection between animals and the effects of environmental destruction on their habitats and lives. Her blog began out of her desire to help and to inspire others to join her in believing that the little things that we can all do add up to make a big difference.


Hannah has become an engaged global citizen seeking to deepen her understanding and connection to the world. Hannah's journey comes to life through her blog and social media engagement as she explores social action and responsibility. She seeks inspiration and motivation from those who have come before her and regularly features their stories on her blog.


Hannah has found power in using her voice to inspire, motivate and empower people of all ages to identify their passion and take action. She is a ME to WE Motivational Speaker and WE Ambassador. She is proud to have shared the story of one of her role models, Malala Yousafzai, throughout the 2013/2014 WE Day season across North America. For the 2014/2015 We Day season Hannah co-hosted the Social Empowerment session and spoke to the need for inclusivity and encouraged her peers to stand up to bullying. In the spring of 2014 Hannah joined Spencer West as a feature speaker on the WE Create Change Tour traveling from coast to coast across Canada, staging a show at schools and to celebrate with students and teachers the powerful change being made in communities across the country. In June 2016 Hannah travelled to Kenya with ME to WE where she experienced first-hand the great strides that WE Villages are making.


Hannah also turns her written words into actions and is an impassioned public speaker. She is a Huffington Post writer, and is one of the youngest people to ever be verified on Twitter. She has organized a Shoreline Cleanup in her community, became a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Earth Hour Team Captain and has been active in her school community on student council and clubs. In December 2015 she launched #FeedTO, a day of distributing hot meals to the homeless on the streets of downtown Toronto. Hannah lends her voice to organizations that she is passionate about and has lent her support an Ambassador for the anti-bullying organization, ByStander Revolution and the Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation (MPCF). In 2012 she was one of 24 students who received the Student Success Award from the York Region District School Board.


Through her own search for role models, Hannah has become a role model herself. In her quest to be the change, Hannah continues to demonstrate that when passion meets action, there is no such thing as "too young".

Dawn Aponte


A veteran sports executive, Dawn Aponte transitioned to an executive role with RSE Ventures, an international, sports, entertainment and tech firm with eight operating subsidiaries co-founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and club vice-chairman Matt Higgins in September 2016.


Aponte joined RSE Ventures with a wealth of football experience at the team and league level. Prior to RSE, she spent seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins, last serving as executive vice president of football administration in July 2012 after serving as the club's senior vice president of football operations from 2010-11. At Miami, Aponte was the team's chief contract negotiator and was responsible for overseeing the day-to- day management of the football business and administration operations, including management and strategic planning of the teams salary cap and financial planning, negotiating and drafting player and football related contracts. In addition, Aponte served as the team's liaison on league affairs and managed the team's football operations budgets and labor relations issues.


Aponte joined the Dolphins after spending the 2009 season as vice president of football administration for the Cleveland Browns. In her role with the Browns, Aponte's primary responsibilities included player contract negotiations, salary cap management, player cost budgeting, league compliance and assisting in other legal matters.


Aponte joined the Browns organization after spending the previous three years at the NFL office, where she served on the league's Management Council as the vice president of labor finance. In her position at the NFL Management Council, Aponte represented the 32 clubs in dealings with the NFL Players Association and Class Counsel on salary cap and other labor related matters. She also dealt with the clubs on Collective Bargaining Agreement, salary cap and player contract matters. Aponte served on the Management Council Working Club Executive Committee and worked with the ten-member owner committee (Management Council Executive Committee) on collective bargaining issues and labor related matters. Prior to joining the league office, Aponte worked for the New York Jets for nearly 15 years in various capacities, most recently as the club's senior director of football administration. In that role, she worked closely with the assistant general manager on matters pertaining to the NFL's CBA, player contract negotiations and salary cap management. Aponte graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware in 1993 and passed the C.P.A. exam shortly thereafter. She went on to receive her Master's degree in Finance and Management from Wagner College in 1999, then continued on to earn her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar.


Aponte was named to USA Football's Board of Directors on October 17, 2013. As a member of the independent non-profit's board of directors, she helps guide the sport's national governing body in leading the game's development for youth, high school and other amateur football players. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, partnering with leading medical organizations and collaborating with football stakeholders for a better, safer game through coaching education and player skill advancement.


Aponte also was selected by the NFL to make a presentation in 2013 at the league's Career Development Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.


Aponte and her husband, Kevin, have four children – Matthew, Madison, Caroline and Thomas.

Catherine Connors

CEO, Demeter Media; Co-Founder, Project Maverick


Former Editor-in- Chief of Cricket Media, Babble, and Disney Interactive's Women & Family portfolio, Catherine Connors is an award-winning writer, media executive, and social theory scholar. Author of Her Bad Mother, read by over 1 million subscribers and named one of TIME's Top 25 Blogs, Connors has been a featured-commentator on media outlets from NPR to Good Morning America. As the founder and CEO of Demeter Media, a multichannel research and social content development platform, Connors is developing next generation products and services addressing the needs of today's women and girls. Demeter Media's newest project, Project Maverick, aims at enabling a new generation of maverick girls who will break the mold on what it means to be founders, creatives, innovators, and global leaders.

Donovin Darius


Hometown: Camden, New Jersey


College: Syracuse


Position: Safety


NFL Career (10 seasons):


  • Drafted in the 1 st round, 25 th overall, by the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (1998-2006), Miami Dolphins (2007)

Post-Football Career:


  • Serves on the NFL Players Association Executive Committee
  • Darius was recently named as one of the league's 12 Transition Coaches, helping former and current players with the transition following their last NFL games
  • NFL Program Ambassador

Jennifer Davis


Jennifer Davis is Vice President and General Manager of P&G's North America Feminine Care business. In this role, Jen is responsible for leading brands in the Feminine Care category including Always and Tampax, as well as the adult incontinence brand Always Discreet.


With 23 years at P&G, Jen has extensive experience across the breadth of the Company's businesses. Prior to her current role as the North America Fem Care leader, Jen held a wide variety of sales positions within the Company, including Sales leadership roles in Beauty, Health Care, Oral Care and Grooming. She also led P&G's multi-billion dollar business with Costco in Seattle, where she managed a global team and worked collaboratively with Costco senior executives from around the world.


Jen is passionate about supporting children and families. She and her husband are active in their community and schools, serving on the Board of Max's Meals, a non-profit organization that provides support for families of patients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Jen is also a Board Member of the Greater Cincinnati/Ohio River Valley chapter of the American Red Cross.


Jen attended Princeton University where she graduated with a degree in Politics. She resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband Jeff and their three children Ashley (17), Luke (15), and Cole (13).

Thomas Davis


  • Position: Linebacker
  • College: Georgia
  • Pro Team: Panthers
  • From Shellman, GA
  • 1st place in Panthers franchise history with 954 career tackles
  • 2016 marked his 5th consecutive 100+ tackles season and his 11th NFL season
  • Only NFL player to record 5+ sacks and 4+ interceptions in 2015
  • Created the Defending Dreams Foundation in 2007 that looks "to encourage students to develop the essential life and social skills that will make them leaders of tomorrow"
  • Has appeared on Rome and Mike & Mike

Awards and Accomplishments

  • Pro Bowl: 2015, 2016
  • NFC Champion: 2015
  • Bart Starr Award: 2015
  • "Whizzer" White NFL Man of Year: 2015
  • AP All-Pro 1st Team: 2015
  • Walter Payton Man of Year: 2014
  • NFL Player of the Month: November 2013
  • NFL Player of the Week: Week 6 2013
  • PFWA Good Guy Award: 2015

Gabby Douglas


Gabby Douglas began formal gymnastics training at the early age of 6 years old. By the age of 8, she had won her first major title as the 2004 Virginia State Champion. At the age of 16, she was selected to be a member of the U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics team to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. There she became the first African-American woman, as well as the first woman of color of any nationality to win an Olympic Gold medal as the All-Around Individual Champion. In addition, while winning a Team Gold medal, she became the first American gymnast to win Gold in both the All-Around individual and team competitions at the same Olympics. At the 2012 U.S. National Championships, Gabby won the Gold medal in Uneven Bars, Silver in All-Around, and Bronze in Floor. She was also a member of the Gold-winning team at the 2011 World Championships.


After the London Games, Gabby was one of the most influential female athletes in the world and was at the center of pop culture. She made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, was featured in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and was named to Barbara Walters list as one of the "10 Most Fascinating People of 2012." Gabby has made cameos on Disney's hit show Kickin' It and the CW's The Vampire Diaries. In support of President Barack Obama, she led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Gabby was also named the 2012 Associated Press "Female Athlete of the Year." In addition, Gabby has released two New York Times bestselling books titled Raising the Bar and Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. In 2013, Gabby's life story was portrayed in the Lifetime Network's movie of the week called The Gabby Douglas Story.


In 2014, Gabby moved to Westerville, Ohio to begin training at Buckeye Gymnastics. In 2015, Gabby burst back onto the elite gymnastics scene after a two-year hiatus. At the World Championships she won Silver in the All-Around competition and won Gold with Team USA. She is the first reigning Olympic All-Around champion since 1981 to return to the sport and win a World Championships medal. Gabby also secured Gold at the 2016 AT&T American Cup and City of Jeselo Trophy.


At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Gabby won her third Olympic Gold medal in the Team competition, as the only All-Around Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast in US history to return to a second Olympics.

Tony Dungy


Tony Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to Super Bowl victory on February 4, 2007, the first such win for an African American head coach. He established another NFL first by leading his teams to the playoffs for ten consecutive years.


Dungy joined the Colts in 2002 after serving as the most successful head coach in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. He previously held assistant coaching positions with the University of Minnesota, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. Before becoming an assistant coach, Dungy played three seasons in the NFL and won the Super Bowl as a member of the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers.


Dungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Prison Crusade Ministry, and All Pro Dad. He also served on President George W. Bush's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Tony and his wife, Lauren, head up the Dungy Family Foundation, a non-profit organization they founded with the goal of strengthening communities by helping those in need.


Dungy is the New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance. His latest book is Mentor Leader, another New York Times best seller. He retired from coaching in 2009 and now serves as an analyst for NBC's Football Night in America.


Tony and his wife, Lauren Dungy, are the parents of ten children.

Lisa Friel


Lisa joined the NFL in April 2015 as Special Counsel for Investigations, following her role as Vice President of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division for T&M Protection Resources and a distinguished 28-year career as a Manhattan prosecutor. She oversees investigations related to alleged violations of the League's Personal Conduct Policy. As such, she works closely with NFL Security, Management Council and the Special Counsel for Conduct, as well as the owners' Conduct Committee. In addition, she assists in the development and delivery of educational sessions regarding domestic violence, sexual assault and other conduct-related areas to both internal and external audiences and in this role, works closely with NFL Social Responsibility, Player Engagement and Football Operations departments. Prior to coming to the League full time, Ms. Friel served seven months as Special Advisor to Commissioner Goodell on matters relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.


At T&M Protection Resources, Ms. Friel and her team developed policies and procedures, provided training workshops and conducted sensitive investigations into issues of sexual misconduct (both sexual assault and sexual harassment), domestic/dating violence, harassment, hazing and bullying for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, athletic teams and leagues (collegiate and professional), non-profit organizations, corporations and private individuals.


Ms. Friel began her professional career at the New York County District Attorney's Office. Hired by District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau in 1983, Ms. Friel specialized in sexual assault cases for the majority of her career at the District Attorney's Office. She was the Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit for nearly a decade and its Deputy Chief for 11 years. Supervising more than 40 assistant district attorneys, support staff and investigators, she typically managed 300 cases and investigations at any one time. Since her first days as a prosecutor in 1983, and continuing in her tenure at T&M Protection Resources and now the NFL, Ms. Friel has directed thousands of investigations into allegations of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and other misconduct and has trained hundreds of law enforcement personnel throughout the world. Lawmakers in Albany and Washington repeatedly called upon her expertise to toughen laws against sexual predators, combat human trafficking, create DNA databanks and establish laws and protocols to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits on the shelves of police departments' evidence rooms around the country.


An instructor, educator, lecturer, and former Division 1 varsity basketball and tennis player and basketball coach, Ms. Friel has connected with diverse audiences ranging from seasoned detectives to school children, doctors to volunteer sexual assault advocates, as well as athletes and athletic personnel at all levels. She has headlined legal, sports and education conferences, has provided training to all types of audiences and has participated in numerous interviews and films addressing sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence.


Ms. Friel earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Dartmouth College, graduating cum laude. At the University of Virginia Law School, she finished in the top seven percent of her class and was awarded the Order of the Coif upon receiving her Juris Doctor.

Lisa Gelobter


Lisa Gelobter works for the White House, in the United States Digital Service. She is currently serving as the Chief Digital Service Officer with the US Department of Education.


Over the course of her career, Lisa has been integrally involved with the advent of several pioneering internet technologies, including Shockwave, the genesis of animation on the web, and the emergence of online video. Previously, Lisa acted as the Chief Digital Officer for BET Networks and was also a member of the senior management team for the launch of Hulu. Through the convergence of media and technology, Lisa has been fortunate enough to have had an impact on how, where, and when media is consumed and she is now bringing that consumer focus and transformative practice to bear in government.


Lisa is proud to be a Black Woman with a degree in Computer Science. Go STEM!

Elliott Giles


Elliott Giles, 39, a native of Miami Florida moved to Youngstown Ohio in 1997 to attend Youngstown State University on scholarship to play football. That year the Penguins would go to win a National title, and in 1999 he helped lead them to a second National Championship Game.  Giles had a spectacular senior season in 1999, breaking recorded as a wide receiver and also announced as an honorable-mention All-Gateway selection. In 2012, Elliott was inducted in to YSU Hall-of- Fame for his accomplishments as a standout wide receiver.


Also, to show his gratitude to the University that gave so much to him, he started the Elliott L. Giles Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to a minority student-athlete with a GPA of 2.5 or above. Giles graduated from YSU in 1999 with his Early Education Degree and began his career as a teacher.


After his collegiate career, Giles impacted the youth of the community by starting Y2 Sports, a non-profit organization centered on the youth of Youngstown to help battle the worldwide dilemma of childhood obesity while building young men and women of character. Giles also founded The Youngstown Youth Flag Football Association, an NFL-sanctioned flag football league that has impacted over 2,000 children yearly, from the Tri-County area since its inaugural season in 2007. As a coach, he has coached and guided his all girls teams to 7 consecutive trips to NFL Flag Nationals.

Haben Girma


An internationally acclaimed inclusion leader, Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House "Champion of Change", Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben champions equal access to information for people with disabilities. She travels the world teaching organizations to design digital services and develop policies that ensure future opportunities for everyone. Haben has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others. Learn more at habengirma.com.

Roger Goodell


Roger Goodell is the eighth chief executive in the NFL's 96-year history. He was chosen by the NFL club owners to be commissioner on August 8, 2006 and took office on September 1, 2006. 


Commissioner Goodell's priorities have focused on making the game better and safer, and successfully growing the popularity of the NFL and its 32 teams through innovation. Fan interest in the NFL has soared under his leadership, including the largest television audiences in league history, enormous growth in online and social media engagement, and other measures of business success.


In his first 10 seasons as commissioner, Goodell has addressed a wide range of issues to improve the NFL, including player health and safety; the medical needs and pensions of retired players; personal conduct; social responsibility; diversity in hiring practices; revenue sharing; stadium development and the fan experience; media innovation; international development; officiating; and rules changes to improve the quality of the game.


In 2011 his leadership helped secure a landmark 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, the longest in the history of professional sports. That was followed by long-term extensions of the NFL's television contracts. The nine-year agreements with CBS, FOX , and NBC are the longest ever for NFL broadcast television contracts and continue the NFL's tradition of being the only sports league that televises all of its regular-season and playoff games on free, over-the- air television. Commissioner Goodell has strengthened the league's anti-steroids policy, launched innovative media initiatives including Thursday Night Football and a new series of international regular-season games, improved the NFL's news media access policies to better serve fan interest, and revamped and enhanced the league's programs to support and assist players and former players.


Prior to being named commissioner, Goodell managed numerous football and business operations during his first 24 years in the NFL.


Goodell joined the NFL in 1982 as an administrative intern in the league office in New York. After spending the 1983 season as an intern with the New York Jets, Goodell returned to the league office in 1984 as an assistant in the public relations department. In 1987, he was appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference, Lamar Hunt, by then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle.


Under Rozelle's successor, Paul Tagliabue, Goodell served in various senior executive roles and was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2001.


As chief operating officer, Goodell was responsible for the league's football operations and officiating departments in addition to supervising all league business functions.


Goodell was instrumental in many league accomplishments prior to becoming commissioner, including expansion, realignment, and stadium development. He directed the dramatic transformation and growth of the NFL's business units, played a lead role in the launch of the NFL Network, and was a key member of the negotiating team that produced the NFL's television agreements.


In football operations, he helped lead the 1994 initiative for rules changes to improve offensive production, initiated the creation of a senior football operations position in the league office, oversaw the administration of the instant replay system, and restructured the officiating department.


Roger Goodell was born in Jamestown, New York, about an hour south of Buffalo, on February 19, 1959, the third of five sons of Charles and Jean Goodell.


The late Charles Goodell represented his western New York district in the United States Congress from 1959-68. In 1968, he was appointed by then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to serve the final two years of Robert Kennedy's term in the U.S. Senate following Kennedy's assassination.


The Goodell family moved to Bronxville, New York, in 1971, where Roger graduated from high school. A three-sport participant at Bronxville High School in football, basketball, and baseball, Goodell captained all three teams as a senior and was named the athlete of the year at Bronxville High.


Goodell graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1981 with a degree in economics and received the school's Walter Hudson Baker Prize for excellence in economics. 


Goodell serves on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York.


Roger and his wife Jane live in the New York City area with their twin daughters.

Mahogany LOX


Mahogany Gordy, professionally know as Mahogany LOX was named after the movie Mahogany, a film written and produced by her grandfather Berry Gordy the founder of Motown Records. She also has a family connection to the Party Rocking duo LMFAO... as the younger sister of Sky Blu, and the niece of Redfoo.


From a very young age many people have said Mahogany was born to entertain. She is a singer, actress, model and DJ. In November 2013 Mahogany joined the Magcon family (a major social media meet and greet tour) as their DJ at its official first event in Dallas. In 2015 Mahogany hosted and DJ'ed Live Nation's Show of the Summer and was a featured performer as the DJ on the Fifth Harmony Reflection Tour, which covered 22 US cities.


Mahogany is no stranger of performing in front of the camera. She has performed in many acclaimed music videos; LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem", Shwayze's "Drunk off your love", Austin Mahone's "Mmm Yeah", and The Chain Smokers "Selfie" to name a few.


Mahogany is very aggressively pursuing her acting career and landed her first on screen role in Smosh's GHOSTMATES Movie, which came out on YouTube Red on December, 24 2016.


As a singer, Mahogany has recorded several successful covers Ariana Grande's "Problem", Fifth Harmony's "Better Together "and Shawn Mendes's "Life of the Party" with Brandon Skeie all of which ranked high on the iTunes chart. Mahogany LOX released her debut single "Boom" in May 2015 with over 1,500,000 video views on YouTube written by Mahogany and her brother Sky. Mahogany is currently writing and co-producing her new album with her creative team for release in Mid-2017.


Mahogany has collaborated with major Ad brands … Old Navy for #Unlimited campaign, MTV/ Coca-Cola's Fandom Awards, the social correspondent for MTV's largest properties – the VMA Awards and America's Best Dance Crew All-Stars: Road to the VMAs in 2015. 2016 was a very successful year for Mahogany, she had campaigns with Clean & Clear, Coca Cola, Live Nation, Acuvue and Storks. In addition to these campaigns in late December 2016, Mahogany filmed a behind the scene video for AwesomenessTV on the NFL game day interviewing Buffalo Bills Co-Owner, Kim Pegula, one of the few female owners in the NFL. This video has close to 500,000 views and counting. In 2016 Mahogany also signed an exclusive MCN partnership with AwesomenessTV!


Since 2013 Mahogany has garnered over 5 million total followers across her social media platforms. Her many fans around the world are affectionately known as LOXSmiths.


Mahogany LOX loves all of her #LOXSmiths heart, body and soul.

Gretta Granado


Gretta Granado has served Dow Chemical Company, one of the world's largest chemical companies in the world, since 2012 immediately upon earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida. She is currently one of the Production & Commissioning Engineers in charge of safely and efficiently commissioning a world-scale polyethylene plant located in the Houston area. During the past two years, Ms. Granado has continued to use her innate passion and leadership skills for peer development by serving on the Dow Leadership Board for Young Professionals and as coach in "Propel-to- Excel", a rigorous young professional development course held annually and attended by Dow employees from all over the world. Furthermore, she sits on the University of Florida alumni board as an at-large director.


Gretta was born in Cuba and by the age of 12 moved to Orlando Florida with her family. She now lives in Houston Texas with her fiancé but calls Florida home.

Alexis Jones


Alexis Jones founded the 501c3 nonprofit I AM THAT GIRL, which currently has 1M+ girls involved and chapters in over 20 countries. She is an internationally recognized author, activist, speaker, media personality. Alexis hosted a TV show on the red carpet and several shows on CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports, MTV and TLC. She also hosted and organized TEDxAustinWomen, executive produced the film, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story and won nine out of nine film festivals. Alexis recently founded ProtectHer, a locker room program educating male athletes on the importance of respecting women. She was featured as one of AOL's MAKERS along with Oprah, Ellen, Hilary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg. She was listed as one of Oprah's #SuperSoul100, Cultivate & Creates' Top 100, DELL's #Inspire100, Fast Company's "Female Trailblazers," ESPN's "Pop Culture's Top Ten," and named one of the five most influential women in Austin as a Profiles in Power winner. Alexis has spoken at The White House, Harvard, Stanford, The United Nations, Nike, DELL, Pepsi and The Girl Scouts.

Jordyn Jones


Singer, actress, dancer, and model Jordyn Jones is a 16-year- old quadruple threat who has opened for acts such as Demi Lovato and DNCE. Her feature film DANCE CAMP most recently premiered, a teen-targeted feature film produced by Jon Chu and YouTube Red, which features her first original song "I'm Dappin." Additionally, she has modeled for MUDD Jeans, Steve Madden, and Guess among other brands. A social media force, Jones has more than 100 million views on YouTube and almost three million Instagram followers. Jones' has procured lucrative brand deals as a result of her digital presence with companies such as Sprint, Hasbro, and 20th Century Fox, among others. Jordyn is currently in the studio recording original music and has garnered attention from industry professionals.

Leland Melvin


Leland's story is a fascinating look at how perseverance and passion led him from the NFL to NASA. Before becoming an astronaut, he played professional football with the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Armed with a BS in Chemistry and a MS in Materials Science Engineering, he traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station. By working on such high stakes teams, Leland developed a deep and nuanced understanding of effective team dynamics.


Upon hanging up his space boots, he led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House's Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force, developing the nation's 5-year STEM education plan. 


After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut and Senior Executive Service leader, he shares his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue STEAM careers.

The Merrell Twins


With a YouTube channel boasting nearly 2 Million viewers, The Merrell Twins are some of the platform's most prolific and recognizable stars. Consisting of Veronica and Vanessa Merrell, the twins have been ambitious performers from an early age. Their channel presents a range of engaging content, including original comedy sketches, challenges and original music. Since launching their career in 2009, the duo has garnered over 300M total views, reaching a diverse and committed fan base. In addition to their own weekly upload, the girls also star in several popular web series produced by the prominent channel AwesomenessTV, including CLOSET WARS, TEEN SURVIVAL GUIDE, and WHAT THE TRUCK/FOOD TRUCK FANATICS.


For their weekly live-stream broadcast on YouNow, the girls have been recognized with both a Streamy Award in the "Live" Category", and a Shorty Award for "YouNower of the Year". Due to their wide presence and creative integration, Veronica and Vanessa are also sought after brand ambassadors, partnering with companies such as Warner Brothers, Macy's, Old Navy and Audible.


The twins have found their footing in traditional media as well, and are regular guest stars in the critically acclaimed CW series JANE THE VIRGIN. They are also starring in their first feature, THE STANDOFF, which was released September of this year. Veronica and Vanessa have recently been profiled as one of Variety's "10 Digital Stars to Watch", alongside talent such as Tyler Oakley and Miranda Sings for the publication's annual "FameChangers" feature.


In spite of their very busy schedules, Veronica and Vanessa believe education is important and are making time to attend college. The twins always want to share their humor in a positive, family friendly, and fashion forward way. Their goal is to inspire and challenge their audience to embrace who they are, make a difference in the world, and laugh while they're doing it.

Maya Penn


Maya Penn is a 16 year old award-winning eco-designer, artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, animated filmmaker, coder, illustrator, writer and author of You Got This! (Published by Simon & Schuster). She has been featured in countless publications such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The View, NPR,CNN, TIME, Essence Magazine, CBS This Morning with Gayle King, O Magazine, The Steve Harvey Show, Entrepreneur Magazine, Ebony, Black Enterprise, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many, many more. Maya has given three TEDTalks and her latest TEDWomen Talk has gone viral worldwide and with almost 2 million views and growing. She is known as the youngest female to do two back-to-back official TEDTalks. Maya has been chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Supersoul 100 influencers.


Google has partnered with Maya to speak to girls about coding and computer science at their Made With Code events. Magic Johnson chose Maya to be featured in his 32 Under 32 article series. Maya has received a commendation from President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. Maya created the animation and narration for the opening of a report that was part of the first ever digital report presented to Congress. The report was created to get a Women's History Museum built in Washington.

Chad Pennington


College: Marshall


Position: Quarterback


NFL Career (11 years)


  • Drafted in the 1 st round, 18 th overall, by the New York Jets in 2000
  • New York Jets (2000-2007), Miami Dolphins (2008-2010)
  • All-time leader in completion percentage
  • AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2006, 2008)

Post-Football Career:


  • Pennington also serves as a NFL Transition Coach and Corporate Speaker."
  • Created the 1 st and 10 Foundation in 2003, which works to help build stronger communities and improve quality of life

Scott Pioli


Scott Pioli is entering his 25th season in the NFL. He has been named NFL Executive of the Year by national media outlets five different seasons during his career. In nine years with the New England Patriots as the VP of Player Personnel, Pioli helped the club win Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX, claim four AFC championships, and six AFC East titles. Pioli and Bill Belichick became the first personnel director/head coach tandem in league annals to win three Super Bowls during a four-year span (2001-04).


In addition to his front office experience, Pioli spent the 2013 season as an analyst on NBC's Football Night in America and Sirius XM radio. Pioli also serves as an active member of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship Advisory Council, helping to make the NFL a more diverse and inclusive league.


Pioli has twice been recognized as the George Young NFL Executive of the Year by Sporting News, an award voted on by other NFL executives. The youngest individual ever to win that accolade, Pioli joined Bobby Beathard (Washington ‘82-83) and Bill Polian (Carolina ‘95-96) as just the third person to ever win that honor in consecutive seasons. During the 2000's, Sports Illustrated named Pioli the number one GM/Pro Sports Executive, Sporting News named him the NFL Executive of the Decade, and ESPN named him the NFL Personnel Man of the Decade.


Pioli played at Central Connecticut State, where he was a three-time All-New England selection and graduated with a degree in Communications. From 1988-89, he served as a Graduate Assistant at Syracuse University, where he also earned a master's degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in television and film. While he has made his living in the arena of professional sports, Pioli is passionate about the importance of education, equality, and the arts. He supports a number of non-profit organizations which focus on those three cornerstones. Pioli serves on the Board of Directors for College for Every Student (CFES), a nonprofit organization committed to raising the academic aspirations and performance of underserved youth.


Pioli also currently serves on the board for The Women's Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC), which was established in 1994 to ignite girls and women through advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness, while providing opportunities for participation and leadership development. WIN for KC events and programs include participation and networking opportunities, leadership seminars, and promotions of women's events. As the first member of his family to pursue higher education, Pioli has founded a number of academic scholarships geared toward first-generational college students. He has established two endowed scholarship funds at Central Connecticut State University - the Scott Pioli Family Scholarship - for CFES scholars attending his alma mater and an endowed enrichment fund for the football program.


Founded by Pioli, the WIN for KC Pioli Family Scholarship, is still awarded annually to a local female student entering her first year of college. Additionally, he also endowed the Pioli Family Grant to support a female intern that WIN hires each year. While serving as GM for the Kansas City Chiefs, he worked with the club to create the KC Chiefs/Pioli Family Scholarship which awarded two scholarships for children of employees to pursue further education.


Since arriving in Atlanta, he has been actively involved with the Atlanta Mission and continued to support the arts and education by serving as a member of the board of directors for the Alliance Theatre.


Pioli resides in Atlanta with his wife Dallas and their daughter Mia Costa Pioli.

Michele Promaulayko


NEW YORK, September 6, 2016 – Hearst Magazines today announced that Michele Promaulayko has been appointed editor-in- chief of Cosmopolitan, the world's largest young women's magazine, and editorial director of Seventeen. She succeeds Joanna Coles, who has been named chief content officer of Hearst Magazines. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Magazines President David Carey. Promaulayko begins in her new role immediately.


"Michele has a proven track record as a media brand-builder and a leader," Carey said. "She has an intuitive understanding of what engages modern young women, on and off the page, and she's well-versed in Cosmopolitan's rich history, having spent eight years as executive editor prior to her blockbuster run at Women's Health. I couldn't be more pleased that she's returning to Hearst to take the Cosmo super-brand to the next level, and continue the mission of empowering young women around the world."


"I am incredibly excited to be coming home to Hearst to take the reins of two brands for which I have so much affection," Promaulayko said. "Cosmopolitan is not only iconic, it's an innovative market-leader and an inspirational powerhouse for young women around the globe. Both Cosmo and Seventeen have major influence on the lives of millennial women—I can't wait to take on the challenge of guiding such a vital audience."


Most recently, Promaulayko served as the editor-in- chief of Yahoo Health, a digital magazine offering the latest news and expert advice on health, fitness, nutrition, and other wellness topics. During her tenure, she more than quadrupled the brand's audience, from four million to a high of 17.6 million.


Previously, Promaulayko was vice president and editor-in- chief of Women's Health for six years, where she oversaw all facets of the brand, including print, digital, and brand extensions including events, apps, and books. She is widely credited for transforming the healthy lifestyle publication into one of the fastest-growing women's magazines in the world.


Under Promaulayko's direction, Women's Health reported consistent circulation increases, strong advertising performance and significant digital expansion. The brand earned multiple awards including the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2011, for which it was also nominated in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Women's Health was included onAdweek's annual Hot List in 2014 and 2015, and Advertising Age's A-List in 2013. In October 2009, Advertising Age named Women's Health "Magazine of the Year."


Before joining Women's Health, Promaulayko was executive editor of Cosmopolitan from 2000 to 2008.


Promaulayko currently sits on ASME's Board of Directors and is a mentor in the Gloria Steinem Media Mentoring Program in affiliation with the Institute for Women's Leadership at Rutgers University.


She is the author of two books, Look Better Naked, and 20 Pounds Younger, and has regularly appeared as a guest expert on television programs such as Today, Good Morning America, CNN, Access Hollywood and Extra.

Samantha Rapoport


Samantha Rapoport serves as the NFL's Director of Football Development in the Football Operations department at the NFL League office. Rapoport spearheads programming designed to identify, develop and promote qualified female candidates into Football Operations positions at NFL Clubs with a focus on coaching, scouting, and Football Operations pipelines.


Prior to this role, Rapoport spent 6 years on the leadership team at USA Football overseeing the organization's NFL programming and its female football development. During this time, she created the Women's World Football Games; the largest women's tackle football event in the world. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Rapoport spent the first eight years of her career at the NFL League office where she was awarded the NFL Commissioner's Innovation Award for her creation of a program that fosters football participation among girls nationwide. Rapoport has played football since the age of 14 as quarterback of several women's tackle and flag football teams and is still an avid flag football player.


Rapoport also serves as an advisor for the Ernst & Young Women Athletes Business Network and sits on the Board of Directors of the first ever girls tackle football league in the country- the Utah Girls Tackle Football League. She also serves as Chairman of the International Federation of American Football's Female Football Development Board.


Rapoport resides with her wife, Rebecca, in Brooklyn, NY.

Tony Richardson


Hometown: Frankfurt, West Germany


College: Auburn


Position: Fullback


NFL Career (16 seasons):


  • Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1994
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1995–2005), Minnesota Vikings (2006–2007), New York Jets (2008–2010).
  • 3× Pro Bowl (2003, 2004, 2007)
  • 2× Second-team All-Pro (2004, 2007)

Post-Football Career:


  • After his NFL Career, Tony Richardson dedicated himself to philanthropic efforts. He sponsors The Dictionary Project, which promotes literacy and education for children.
  • Richardson also hosted the Special Olympics Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Kansas City annually, from 1999 to 2005.

Meghan Rienks


Best known for her aspirational YouTube content around beauty, fashion, baking and lifestyle with a comedic twist, Meghan Rienks is a proven actress, host and lifestyle guru. Most recently, she acted in the Blumhouse's series, 12 DEADLY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, which premiered on YouTube Red. Previously, Meghan played one of the leads in FREAKISH a 12-part HULU thriller series that premiered October 2016. She also co-stars in the wildly popular comedy series on Go90, MR. STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT where she plays a high school beauty queen. She is currently producing and starring in a feature film for Lions Gate Films that she co-created. As the comedic recurring host of the viral series BEATY BREAK on ClevverTV, Rienks offers comedic insight on all things beauty. Meghan's recognition as a social media tastemaker has earned her one of Teen Vogue's Top 6 Instagram A-Listers, Allure's Instagram  Influencer of the Year and one of Victoria Secret's Sexiest Instagramers of 2016. Additionally, her cross-platform campaigns have made her a dynamic partner for major brands including Nordstrom, Old Navy, Sephora, Ford and Smashbox, among others. Originally born and raised in Northern California, Meghan currently resides in Los Angeles.

Rosie Rios


Rosie Rios was the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and is a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is most recently known for initiating and leading the efforts to place a portrait of a woman on the front of U.S. currency for the first time in the nation's history. Upon her resignation in 2016, she received the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Treasurer Rios was the longest serving Senate-confirmed Treasury official beginning with her time on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team in November 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. She was the first woman confirmed in Treasury in the Obama administration and the only one confirmed in all of 2009.


In her role as Treasurer of the United States, Treasurer Rios was the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, including Fort Knox. Her day-to- day responsibilities included overseeing all currency and coin production activities with almost 4,000-employees in eight facilities nationwide and an annual budget of approximately $5 billion. In the first five years of her tenure, she saved over $1 billion by implementing efficiencies and innovative concepts while meeting increased production demand and increasing employee morale at record levels. Treasurer Rios was the first Treasurer to ever have her portfolio which also included the Chair of the Advanced Counterfeiting Deterrence Steering Committee and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury in the areas of community development and public engagement. Her signature currently appears on a record $1.2 trillion out of the $1.4 trillion in circulation worldwide.


Her almost eight-year effort to redesign the nation's currency included the first-ever nationwide public engagement process in the history of the federal government using a social media portal, roundtables and town halls. In April of 2016, Treasury announced that women will be placed on the $5, $10 and $20 bills reflecting the theme of democracy. The concepts will be unveiled in 2020 in recognition of the 100 th anniversary of the 19 th amendment granting women the right to vote.


Prior to her presidential appointment in Treasury, Treasurer Rios was Managing Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners, a $22 billion investment management firm based in San Francisco. Her career has focused on real estate finance, economic development and urban revitalization in both the public and private sectors. She is a graduate of Harvard University and was selected as the first Latina in Harvard's 380-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor. The portrait will be publicly unveiled in 2017. Treasurer Rios continues advocating for women and girls and has launched EMPOWERMENT 2020 at Harvard. Its first project, Teachers Righting History, www.teachersrightinghistory.org, began as a pilot program on August 26, Equality Day. She currently lectures about her tenure in Treasury and building leadership and civic engagement.

Ron Rivera


Ron Rivera became the fourth coach in Carolina Panthers history on January 11, 2011.


In five seasons, Rivera has guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC Championship and three NFC South titles. He is a two-time (2013 and 2015) Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year award winner. In 2015, Rivera led the Panthers to the second Super Bowl appearance in team history following a franchise-best 15-1 record and their third consecutive NFC South championship. In the process, Carolina became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to start a season 14-0, joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 2007 New England Patriots and 2009 Indianapolis Colts. Carolina's 18-game regular season winning streak was the longest in NFC history.


In 2014, Rivera led the Panthers to their second consecutive NFC South championship and the team's first playoff win since 2005.  The Panthers became the first team since 1970 to overcome a six-game losing streak and win their division. In 2013, Rivera directed Carolina to 12 wins, the NFC South title and its first playoff appearance since 2008.


Before joining the Panthers, Rivera coached the San Diego Chargers (2007-2010) and Chicago Bears (2004-06, 1997-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2003). In 2006, the Bears defense led the NFL with 44 takeaways, helping propel Chicago to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI. He is just the third Latino head coach in NFL history, joining Tom Flores with the Oakland Raiders (1979-1987) and Seattle Seahawks (1992-94) and Tom Fears with the New Orleans Saints (1967-1970).


A second-round draft choice in 1984 by Chicago, Rivera played nine seasons with the Bears. Primarily an outside linebacker, he was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl XX winning team.


As a player, the community knew Rivera for both his skill and determination on the field and his dedication of time and energy off the field. As a result, he was named the Bears Man of the Year in 1988 and earned the club's Ed Block Courage Award in 1989. He has carried that same community commitment to coaching by sponsoring a bowling tournament to benefit the Ronald McDonald House and other events and projects to benefit the USO, Humane Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.


An All-American linebacker at the University of California (1980-83), Rivera finished his career as the school's all-time leader in sacks with 22 and tackles with 336.


Ron is a frequent brand ambassador for national and regional brands like USAA Insurance, Microsoft Surface, Pepsi, CSI Security and the NFL itself for the Football is Family and Ticket Exchange Campaigns. Ron is also an avid corporate and motivational speaker for teams like Chip Ganassi/Sabates racing, non-profit corporations & charities like the USO and Humane Society and Fortune 500 companies like Miller Coors. Ron is active on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube and has amassed an avid twitter following of close to 60,000 fans by leveraging his "Riverboat Ron" moniker, coined by a reporter for his risk-taking coaching style that emerged in the 2013 season.(@RiverboatRonHC).


Born Jan. 7, 1962 in Fort Ord, Calif., Rivera and his wife, Stephanie, have two children—Christopher and Courtney.

Erin Schrode


Erin Schrode is a citizen activist and journalist. This leading voice on sustainability, social impact and millennials and vocal advocate for environmental action, public health and equal justice just ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she has developed eco education and action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public with this non-profit and beyond. Erin is on air with ABC News for the election season, speaks internationally, consults with corporations, organizations and governments, and writes for Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and Fusion, among others. She is frequently tapped as an expert for and featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN, NBC, FOX, Seventeen, Forbes, and various media outlets.


As The White House said, Erin "is a dynamic, passionate and ambitious young woman committed to creating big change everywhere she goes." This social entrepreneur and community organizer champions civic leadership, conscious living, and environmental stewardship worldwide, launching a youth education project in Haiti, writing curriculum for an eco center for Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian students, developing recycling infrastructure in Ghana, and telling the stories of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees in the Mediterranean and Native Americans at Standing Rock while working in solidarity on the ground. From her hometown in Marin County, California to New York University to seventy nations, this bold innovator is on a lifelong journey to inspire people to action that ensures a just, safe, thriving world for future generations. 


For more on Erin – erinschrode.com and @ErinSchrode on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Linda Tong


As a mobile tech veteran, Linda Tong has worked on the early teams at Chrome, Android, Tapjoy and Nextbit. As an original Android team member, she helped launch and shape the developer ecosystem for Android OS. She served as part of the early marketing team on Android where she developed the initial go to market campaigns for the original Android devices: T-Mobile G1, Verizon Droid, & Sprint EVO. She then went on to join Tapjoy as a founding team member where she helped grow the company to 250+ employees. As Tapjoy's Chief Product Officer, she created the developer monetization & advertising value exchange as well as Tapjoy's direct to consumer mobile app store. She went on to become a founding member and COO at Nextbit Systems where she worked on a cloud OS before finally joining the NFL where she is currently the VP of Product and Innovation. At the NFL, Linda manages the digital innovation and product vision for the owned and operated properties across all 32 clubs and the league. She is also a Venture Partner at DN Capital and an advisory board member at mobile focused companies including URX, BlueStacks, Tenjin and Smoopa.

Yalda Uhls


Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, an award winning child psychological researcher, works with schools, non-profits, and companies. Her understanding of the academic literature along with her many years of senior management experience in the entertainment industry allows her a unique and relevant perspective, steeped in an understanding of the business world. She is passionate about translating science into useful knowledge and takeaways for parents, organizations and educators. Her position is balanced, based in fact and relevant to those concerned with using media in realistic and positive ways to shape youth development. In addition to her consulting and other work, Dr. Uhls works with Common Sense Media, a national non-profit, as their Director of Creative Community Partnerships and also does research with UCLA.


Dr Uhls's research focuses on how older and newer media impacts the social behavior of preadolescents. The studies have been featured in Time Magazine, the NY Times, USA Today and NPR as well as in many scholarly publications. Notable awards include UCLA's Psychology In Action Award, for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia and the Society for Research in Child Development's Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation. Prior to her academic career, Yalda spent over fifteen years as a senior entertainment executive and producer at studios such as Sony and MGM and consulted for Google. Her book Media Moms and Digital Dads: A Fact not Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age hit the Number 1 Hot New Release on Amazon in Child Psychology several times. Most importantly, as a mom of two digital teens (a boy and a girl) she has hands-on experience dealing with these issues.

Amanda Vaughn


  • Huge Texans/football fan
  • Grew up watching football and eating pizza with her dad
  • Dad taught her her love for football—she is an only child
  • She has danced her whole life
  • First year as a Texans cheerleader
  • Favorite part of being a Texans cheerleader
  • Loves performing at games—can't describe how amazing the feeling is
  • Loves helping and giving back to the community
  • They go to the children's hospital and teach girls dances and cheer them up
  • Studying business entrepreneurship at the University of Houston
  • Dream is to own her own dance studio one day
  • Hobbies inlcude dancing, baking, running and golf
  • Big on social media—posts with friends and family
  • Posts on Twitter every day for the Texans

Meredith Walker


Meredith Walker began her television career under the mentorship of legendary journalist Linda Ellerbee at Nick News. As a producer of that show, Walker traveled to nearly every state in the U.S.A. interviewing kids for the Peabody and Emmy award winning series. This experience would become the foundation of her deepening interest in the lives of young people. Next, Walker served as head of the Talent Department for Saturday Night Live where she met her best friend, Amy Poehler. The pair combined their talents to create their shared vision: Amy Poehler's Smart Girls.


Now living in Austin, Texas, Walker devotes her time and talent to directing Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, an online community for young girls and the young at heart, encouraging activism and self-expression. Walker creates and produces Smart Girls online initiatives, including Girls of the World and the ABCs of Smart Girls, live workshops and camps in Austin, and at speaking engagements nationwide.


Meredith is a mentor for the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, serves on the ONE Girls and Women Advisory Board, and served as a delegate for ONE and Heifer International 2015 mission to Malawi. She also served as the journalism envoy for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Culture and Education's mission to the Al Za'atari and Emirates Refugee Camps in Jordan. In the first quarter of 2016 Walker was a guest of the White House, participating in the Champions of Change for Computer Science Education and the Let Girls Learn initiative.


Meredith was named a "Profile In Power" finalist by the Austin Business Journal. Austin Way Magazine designated her as "The Confidence Builder", and Tribeza Magazine called her "unapologetically, brilliantly herself" in naming her one of their 30 "Persons of the Year."

Leonard Wheeler


Hometown: Taccoa, GA


College: Troy


Position: Defensive Back


NFL Career (8 years):


  • Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 3rd round in 1992
  • Cincinnati Bengals (1992-1996), Minnesota Vikings (1997), Carolina Panthers (1998-1999)

Post-Football Career:


  • Former President of the Charlotte Retired Players Chapter for the NFLPA
  • Currently serves on the financial committee that regulates over 400 financial advisors for all current and former NFL players
  • Elected as a member of the Former Players Board of Directors for the NFLPA
  • Serves as a National Speaker for NFL Play 60
  • Started Wheeler Enterprises, Inc. in 2001 that provides coaching and speaking services to various professional and executive clients
  • An NFL Program Ambassador and serves on the Transition Assistance Program Committee

Dr. Peggy Whitson


Peggy A. Whitson (Ph.D.) is currently part of Expedition 50/51, which is her third long-duration mission to the International Space Station. Whitson and her crewmates, Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet launched on November 17, 2016.  The Iowa native completed two six-month tours of duty aboard the station for Expedition 5 in 2002, and as the station commander for Expedition 16 in 2008. She has accumulated 377 days in space between the two missions, the most for any U.S. woman at the time of her return to Earth. Whitson has also performed six spacewalks, totaling 39 hours and 46 minutes.


Born February 9, 1960, in Mt. Ayr, Iowa.  Hometown is Beaconsfield, Iowa.  Married to Clarence F. Sams, Ph.D.  Dr. Whitson enjoys weightlifting, biking, basketball and water skiing.


Graduated from Mt. Ayr Community High School, Mt. Ayr, Iowa, in 1978; received a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981 and a Doctorate in Biochemistry from Rice University in 1985.


Chris Wieglus


With 12 Ivy League championships, one Patriot League title and seven NCAA Tournament appearances, Dartmouth College head women"s basketball coach Christina "Chris" Wielgus established herself as one of the nation"s elite coaches over 28 seasons at the helm of the Big Green.


Wielgus completed her 28th season (1976-84, 1993-2013) at Dartmouth with the program she built from the ground up, also coaching the first Big Green team that competed in the Ivy League in 1976. She is the winningest basketball coach in the illustrious history of Dartmouth College, amassing a record of 393-342. Including her two years as a head coach with Fordham, Wielgus sports a 430-363 overall record in 30 years as a head coach.


Wielgus is one of just two people to be a head coach of a Dartmouth team while also being a member of the school's "Wearers of the Green," essentially Dartmouth's athletics hall of fame. Under criteria for admission into the athletic honor society, Big Green coaches may be inducted only after retiring or leaving the college. Wielgus was a 1989 inductee and was also the keynote speaker at that awards presentation.


Wielgus is a native of New York and currently lives in Havertown, PA.  She has 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Aeneus Williams


Hometown: New Orleans, LA


College: Southern University


Position: Safety


NFL Career (14 years):


  • Drafted by the Phoenix Cardinals in the 3 rd round in 1991
  • Phoenix Cardinals (1991-1993), Arizona Cardinals (1994-2000), St. Louis Rams (2001-2004)
  • 8-time Pro-Bowler and 4-time first team All-Pro
  • Inducted into the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor during the 2008-2009 football season
  • Chosen to present the George Halas Trophy to the Arizona Cardinals after winning the NFC Championship Game in 2009

Post-Football Career:


  • Founding Pastor of the Spirit of the Lord Family Church in St. Louis, MO
  • Makes regular appearances on KTVI, Fox 2 as a color commentator during the football season in St. Louis
  • NFL Program Ambassador

Shelley Zalis


Founder and CEO, The Girls' Lounge


Shelley has gone against the grain most of her career, starting in 2000 when she left the corporate world to pioneer online research. Shelley created OTX (Online Testing Exchange), which in just nine years became one of the largest and fastest growing research companies in the world. She sold OTX to Ipsos in 2010, where she led global innovation in over 80 countries.


As the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry's top 25, she changed the game, brought emotion and passion to the boardroom and has devoted herself to becoming a mentor and friend to women and leaders in her industry. Her most recent endeavors include launching The Girls' Lounge which supports and mentors women to find their voice, embrace their feminine leadership powers and work together to transform corporate culture for this and future generations of women. Shelley is destined to innovate and create meaningful change. She is a board member of AWNY, I Am That Girl, Dress for Success and the Women's Military Symposium. Shelley has been awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, ARF Great Minds in Innovation Award and AWNY's Game Changer Award. Shelley has also been inducted into the IRTS Hall of Mentorship and has been honored by girls inc. for her achievements as a business leader. A pioneer, a wife and a mother of three, she successfully juggles between CEO and Mom.

Rachel Bonetta


Rachel Bonnetta, a former host and reporter for MLSSoccer.com, has joined FOX Sports as co-host of its daily social media series "Soccer @TheBuzzer." She will also host original video series for FOX Sports Digital and contribute to FS1's soccer coverage.


Bonnetta made her FOX Sports debut today with this "Soccer @TheBuzzer" video. Prior to hosting "Off Topic" on MLSSoccer.com, Bonnetta was host of "The Whip" on KICK TV. She also served as a brand ambassador for Toronto FC.

Karyn Bryant


In 2012, Bryant began her stint with FOX Sports on the FUEL TV network as an anchor for UFC weigh-ins and pre- and postfight shows. When FOX Sports launched FS1 in 2013 and UFC programming became a network staple, Bryant made the move as well.


In 2006, Bryant began her sports broadcasting career when she joined the "Showtime Championship Boxing" announcing team of Steve Albert, Al Bernstein and Jim Gray. After establishing herself in combat sports coverage, she was invited by CBS to join its "Elite Xtreme Combat" announce team, debuting mixed martial arts for the first time on primetime network television on May 31, 2008. Understanding that mixed martial arts was on the verge of exploding around the world, Bryant co-founded MMA H.E.A.T. in 2007, prior to her stint at CBS. Initially an online destination for interviews, event coverage and lifestyle stories surrounding the sport, MMA H.E.A.T.'s popularity grew very quickly. In 2010-11, Bryant produced and hosted 23 half-hour episodes of "MMA H.E.A.T." for the MAVTV cable channel.


Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, she was a rabid Patriots and Red Sox fan. Bryant now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Wade and their daughter Aurora.

Chloe X Halle


Talk about soft power. Chloe X Halle Bailey roll out their stunning debut EP Sugar Symphony braided by numinous forces equal to their sibling DNA: Mystically layered harmonies, peerless production instincts, and an adjoining R&B/pop destiny intertwined with mentor Beyoncé (who, incredibly, initially met the girls on a film shoot more than a decade ago), all setting the table for their genre-pushing debut "Drop." There's something truthful and unprocessed about the girls' shimmering vocal prowess. Produced by 17 year old Chloe, "Drop" alights with 16 year old Halle's chilling intro effortlessly descending into big sister's stylish pop mezzo, their shoulder-to-shoulder symmetry on glide throughout the entire 5 song EP. Spartan beats and cavernous bass lines highlight their daring rhythms with the duo's estimable songwriting abilities driving it all. Whether it's the Hazebanga and Hit-Boy (Jay-Z, Drake, Mary J. Blige, among others) produced "Red Lights," or the electro-pulse of "Lazy Love," produced by London whiz-kid Samir, or the girls' other self-produced gem, the alluring ballad "Fall," you come to understand their thoughtfully-etched twitter tag as a clue to their unbreakable bond: ‘Individually we are one drop – together we are an ocean'.


Chloe X Halle navigated YouTube's pop landscape with a string of jaw-dropping covers since 2012. Their eclectic playlist covered the likes of Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Nina Simone, Lorde, and John Legend, among others – revealing their gift for creating keening harmonies and genuine musical moments that showcase their expansive range (and instincts for flipping expectations, as they do on their brilliant realignment of a Yo Gotti track). It was their soulful rendition of Beyoncé's own "Pretty Hurts" that caught the attention of the mogul's Parkwood Entertainment imprint in 2013, garnering millions of views around the globe and ushering them into the fold as one of her touchstone artists. The signing has kicked off an incredible chain of events for the already prolific young duo, from splashing the pages of Elle and EW to appearing in Beyoncé's visual tour de force, Lemonade. The girls' locs - magically woven together in their own breathtaking video for "Drop"- has also become a trademark of sorts; but the most impressive weapon in the Chloe X Halle arsenal is their songwriting.


"We're so fortunate to be involved with Beyonce," says Chloe. "Working with her has helped us truly realize our gift. After we came to Parkwood, we stopped doing the YouTube covers to work on our own music, but we were also concerned it might take a while for fans to get to know this side of us. Beyonce gave us the artistic freedom to challenge ourselves. We'd write and record in our home studio doing batches of songs and she would give us all her feedback. She let us grow as writers and we were thrilled when "Drop" was chosen to be one of the first songs to show what we could really do." Halle cites the growth process involved in writing hundreds of songs, huddling together as a duo or seeking out collaborators: "We took everything in like sponges. When you have the opportunity to work with great people you learn a lot about yourself, as well."


It didn't hurt that Chloe was already skilled at keyboards and production techniques, and Halle had a knack for the guitar. "A few years ago our dad gave us basic music lessons, taught us song structure and how to use the tools to make music. It all came in handy during the writing sessions." The ongoing creative cycle took them to London in January to collaborate with up-and-coming UK producer Samir. "We were there for 10 days working. It was so much fun," says Chloe. "When we first heard Samir's beat it immediately made us want to dance so we knew we had to counter it with our melodies."


But it was the girls' own "Drop," along with "Fall," both produced by Chloe, that raised their confidence level and desire to work those edges even more. "'Drop' was one of the earlier songs we wrote and we felt strongly about it from the beginning," says Chloe. Halle says the familial rapport between the two sisters proved that inspiration for a track could come from places unspoken. "Sometimes it's just a sense of something. When we started writing ‘Drop' we wanted to talk about a song that was stuck in our head without sounding so straight forward, so we thought of personifying the song like a relationship. The connection we have can get us to something different a lot quicker." Chloe adds: "The harmonies and melodies just come as we try out things on each other. We used to only sing separate parts for a while, but one day our voices just clicked. I think when we started being home schooled the time we spent together made our bond even stronger, and we became aware of how in sync musically we really were."


Born in Atlanta, and currently residing in Los Angeles, it was acting that first stirred the girls' imaginations when they were younger, auditioning for parts as early as 3 years old, with film and TV credits that include Joyful Noise, Meet The Browns, Austin & Ally, The Last Holiday, and The Fighting Temptations, among others. The latter movie, a 2003 film starring Beyoncé would also be the first encounter the girls had with the star. "It's amazing but true that we first met Beyoncé on the set of The Fighting Temptations," says Chloe. "It was the very first job I auditioned for, I played little Beyoncé. I still remember the wrap party and her dancing with me. It's crazy, realizing how the universe comes full circle and us being blessed with the wonderful opportunity of working with her now." It would be only a few years later that the girls would win their first singing talent contest, deciding soon after to pursue their musical dreams together. Blessed with the same bearing and composure inherent in their confident sound, they credit their stable family life as a source of constant support. "Our parents have always been there for us," says Halle. "Yet, they've never sugar-coated anything as we've reached for our goals and had our share of stumbles along the way. They keep us in check." "They taught us to treat people how we would like to be treated," adds Chloe. Chloe and Halle's parents also encourage the girls to be grateful when it comes to accruing career milestones, stressing the importance of renewal and self-empowerment for all future endeavors. "We do this thing every New Year's Eve as a family called a ‘Vision Board,'" says Halle. "We all gather and cut out things in magazines – quotes and things representatives of our goals or just good wishes, and we paste them on the board on December 31, and then we present it after the ball drops. I pasted ‘Lollapalooza' on it this year," she laughs. "But you'd be surprised. I pasted ‘Michelle Obama' on there and a few months later we got to meet her at South By Southwest, and then we were invited to the White House."


Their memorable experience with the First Lady was augmented by their participation in the FLOTUS inspired ‘Let Girls Learn' campaign, a U.S. government-wide initiative launched by the President and the first lady to help the more than 62 million girls who are not in school get access to education. Chloe and Halle recently lent their voices to the song "This Is For My Girls," for the initiative, which included Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Lea Michele, Jadagrace, Janelle Monáe and Kelly Rowland. "She is such a wonderful person," Halle says of the First Lady. "Someone we can all aspire to be more like."


When asked if the girls consider the role they may now play as an influence in some future fan's life at such a young age, they smile. "We always strive to be better people, and it's important to us that we are best friends, too," says Halle. "We're still absorbing everything that's happened to us, thankful for the people who helped blaze our path." With a fondness for jazz, she cites Billie Holiday as someone she admired even at the earliest age. "She wasn't afraid to put it out there." It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say you can almost sense the echo on Sugar Symphony. "Halle's an old soul," laughs Chloe. "But she can play a wicked guitar."

Renee Elise Goldsberry


Renee Elise Goldsberry received the Tony Award, Grammy Award, Drama Desk Award and Lucille Lortel Award for her performance off and on Broadway in the musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since winning the Tony Award, she has appeared in Baz Luhrmann's "The Get Down" for Netflix and shot the title role for HBO's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" opposite Oprah Winfrey. She is currently in production for the Netflix series "Altered Carbon". Prior to Hamilton, Renee's appearances on stage include her Outer Critics Circle Award nominated performance opposite Frances McDormand in the play Good People, as well as the original stage version of The Color Purple.  She made her Broadway debut in The Lion King and starred as Mimi in the final cast of Rent, filmed live on Broadway. Her off-Broadway appearances have included several Shakespeare productions for the New York Public Theater, where Hamilton originated. Her television appearances include her recurring roles on "The Good Wife," "Law & Order: SVU" and "The Following."  She was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance on "One Life to Live." On film, she appeared most recently in "Sisters" with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and in "Every Secret Thing" with Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks.

Jane Skinner Goodell


Jane Skinner Goodell spent 20 years as a television reporter and anchor, most recently for the Fox News Channel in New York City.  Prior to Fox, she worked in several local television markets, including Portland, Maine and St. Louis, Missouri.  As an undergraduate, she attended Brown and Northwestern Universities, and holds a Masters degree with highest honors from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.  She currently serves on the board of the Dia Art Foundation and the Bronxville School Foundation.

Matt Hasselbeck


Former NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is an analyst for ESPN. He joined the company in March 2016 on the same day he announced his retirement from pro football after 18 NFL seasons.


During the fall, Hasselbeck appears on Sundays from ESPN's Bristol, Conn., studios, and travels to the site of the weekly Monday Night Football game for the Monday Night Countdown pregame show. Hasselbeck also makes regular appearances on NFL Live alongside his younger brother Tim, also a former NFL quarterback, who has been an ESPN studio analyst since 2008.


A three-time Pro Bowler, Hasselbeck played for the Green Bay Packers (1998-2000), Seattle Seahawks (2001-10), Tennessee Titans (2011-12) and Indianapolis Colts (2013-15) during a career that spanned nearly two decades. He threw for 36,638 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes with 212 touchdowns.


Hasselbeck worked on behalf of NFL players throughout his career, specifically in the area of health and safety. First elected as a player rep in 2008, Hasselbeck now serves as Vice President of the NFLPA Executive Committee, and he remains active in the NFLPA's Mackey-White Committee, which focuses on technology and the overall health and well-being of players.


Hasselbeck is also involved in many charitable and philanthropic efforts, including Charity: Water, a non-profit that provides clean and safe drinking water; Medical Teams International, a non-profit that helps those affected by disaster and poverty; 147 Million Orphans, a group meeting the critical needs of children impacted by the orphan crisis; Danita's Children, a non-profit that rescues and cares for orphaned and impoverished children; and the International Justice Mission, a human rights organization focused on the abolition of slavery.

Jasmine Cephas Jones


Jasmine Cephas Jones originated the roles of 'Peggy Schuyler' and 'Maria Reynolds' in the tony award winning broadway hit HAMILTON an American Musical. Jasmine trained at the Berklee College of Music for vocal performance and The Neighborhood Playhouse for Theater. She is a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company. Theater: Hamilton (Broadway), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater) Film: Mistress America (Fox Searchlight), Titus (Dakus Films UK). Television: "Blue Bloods" (CBS), "Unforgettable (CBS), "Odd Mom Out" (Bravo). Jasmine will be seen in the upcoming feature, BLOOD SURF with James Franco and the upcoming season of GIRLS (HBO). Jasmine has a fashion collaboration with the LOU & GREY brand debuting this spring.

Cathy Lanier


Cathy Lanier was hired as the Senior Vice President of Security for the National Football League (NFL) in September 2016. In this capacity, Ms. Lanier oversees all security operations for the League to include investigative affairs, compliance with the Federal government's SAFETY Act, and NFL venue, fan, player, staff and infrastructure security for all 32 clubs.


Prior to joining the League, she spent 27 years with the Metropolitan Police Department, beginning in 1990. Her police experience ranged from uniformed patrol where she served as a Commanding Officer in different districts throughout the city, as well as Commanding Officer of Narcotics and Vehicular Homicide Units. She was also Commanding Officer of the Special Operations Division where she managed Emergency Response team, Aviation and Harbor Units, Horse Mounted and Canine Units, Special Events / Dignitary Protection Branch and Civil Disturbance Units. Ms. Lanier was also tapped as the first Commanding Officer of the Metropolitan Police Department's Office of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism.


After assuming the leadership of the Metropolitan Police Department in January of 2007, she was confirmed as the Chief of Police in April, 2007 and held that position for 10 years. Ms. Lanier is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Drug Unit Commanders Academy. She holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master's Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She is certified at the technician level in Hazardous Materials Operations.

Kristine Leahy


Kristine Leahy grew up in Chicago during the height of Michael Jordan's basketball reign, and at some point along the road to those six NBA titles, Leahy got hooked. Not just on the Bulls, but on sports and competition. At an early age, she was certain that she wanted to spend her life amidst the greatest competitors in the world, and once it became clear that the family's athletic genes had skipped her and bounced straight to her two younger brothers, Leahy pursued a career in sports broadcasting.


In 2012, Leahy moved on to Los Angeles and spent two and a half years working across various platforms in the CBS and Turner Sports Family. She worked the college basketball sidelines for March Madness. She was also a sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network's college football and basketball packages. She filled in as a host on CBS Sports Network's show "Lead Off", contributed to KCAL's Dodgers pre-game show "Think Blue", anchored CBSLA's "Sports Central" and covered the playoffs for all four major sports. Along the way, she developed a passion for bringing out the human side of athletes through one-on- one interviews and features. She even made a bit of history, becoming the first woman to ever call a horse race in California.


Today, Leahy still lives in Los Angeles, but now you can catch her nationally as a co-host on NBC's network's hit prime time show "American Ninja Warrior", surrounded by some of the best athletes and most hard-nosed competitors in the world.

Beth Mowins


Beth Mowins joined ESPN in 1994 as a play-by- play commentator. She currently calls NCAA Championships in basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball, in addition to regular-season games for college football and men's and women's basketball. Mowins began calling college football games on ESPNU in 2005, and currently calls the an ESPN or ABC College Football Saturday game with Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman.


A 1989 graduate of Lafayette College, Mowins captained the varsity basketball team. She was a three-time all-conference selection, 1,000-point scorer and is still the school's all-time assists leader with 715. Mowins earned her master's degree in communications from Syracuse University in 1990. A Syracuse, N.Y., native, Mowins is a member of the Lafayette College Maroon Club Hall of Fame and the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

Ibtihaj Muhammad


Ibtihaj Muhammad is a member of the United States Fencing Team and currently ranks No. 2 in the United States and No. 7 in the world. Named to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential list, Ibtihaj is an important figure in a larger global discussion. Her voice continues to unite both the sports and non-sports world.


Ibtihaj is a 2016 Olympic medalist, 5-time Senior World medalist, including 2014 World Champion in the team event. In August 2016, she became the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab. Muhammad was a 3-time All American and graduated from Duke University with a dual major in International Relations and African Studies, and minor in Arabic. In 2014, Muhammad launched her own clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring modest fashionable clothing to the United States market. She is also a sports ambassador, where she serves on the U.S. Department of State's Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative. She has traveled to various countries to engage in dialogue on the importance of sports and education.

Pam Oliver


FOX Sports' broadcast of Super Bowl LI from Houston in 2017 marks the eighth time Oliver contributes to the network's coverage of a Super Bowl. Armed with the respect and esteem of NFL players and coaches, Oliver's straightforward and open interviewing style consistently produces topical and substantive reports. In 2008, she was honored by WISE (Women In Sports and Events) and chosen in their "Women of the Year" class alongside Rita Benson LeBlanc, Owner and Executive Vice President, New Orleans Saints, and Molly Solomon, Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics.


Oliver served as co-anchor of FSN South's SOUTHERN SPORTS REPORT from 2000 to 2003. Prior to joining FOX Sports, Oliver served as a reporter at ESPN, where she gained football experience covering the NFL Playoffs and the NFC Championship Game. In addition to her duties as feature reporter on NFL Prime Monday, she covered each Monday Night Football match-up. After the football season concluded, Oliver's ESPN assignments included the NBA Finals and coverage of Dream Team II at the 1995 World Championships of Basketball. Oliver began her broadcasting career as a community affairs reporter for public television. Prior to joining ESPN, Oliver worked at KHOU in Houston as a sports reporter and anchor for one year. Before moving to KHOU, she worked in a similar capacity at WTVT in Tampa, Fla. Oliver's additional television credits came at WIVB in Buffalo, N.Y., WAAY in Huntsville, Ala., WALB in Albany, Ga., and WFSU in Tallahassee, Fla.

Aly Raisman


Two-time team captain of gold medal winning U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams, 2012 & 2106


Second most decorated American gymnast of all-time with six total Olympic medals


Silver medalist in All-Around competition at 2016 Olympic Games


Three total medals won at 2016 Olympic Games


Most decorated U.S. gymnast at 2012 London Olympics


First ever gold medal won by a U.S. gymnast in the floor exercise


Only the second American to make back-to-back Olympic teams in more than 15 years

Sophie Schneider


Sophie Schneider is the 2017 NFL Play 60 Super Kid.  This Super Kid will be handing off the Super Bowl LI game ball to officials.


Sophie is the current Fuel Up to Play 60 Kansas State Ambassador.  As State Ambassador, she helps promote healthy choices and 60 minutes of daily physical activity.  Recently, she spoke in Washington D.C. to the USDA regarding student voice and good nutrition.


Sophie is a vibrant and energetic 7th grader who loves dance, running, basketball and a variety of other sports and activities.

Phillipa Soo


Phillipa Soo is best known for her lead role as ‘Eliza Schuyler Hamilton' in Broadway's critically acclaimed Hamilton. The role garnered her the Lucille Lortel Award in 2015 for Lead Actress in a Musical during the shows sold-out run at The Public Theater. The role has also earned her a 2016 Tony Award nomination in the category of "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical."


Soo will next star in Amelie, A New Musical, based on the Academy Award-winning 2001 French film, Amelie, opening on April 3, 2017 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Amelie follows the whimsical and charming existence of a lonely French waitress who decides to act as a secret wish-fulfiller to the people who live around her.


After graduating from Juilliard in 2012, Soo was cast as ‘Natasha Rostova' in the Ars Nova production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, based on Leo Tolstoy's War & Peace; the show went on to transfer Off-Broadway to Kazino.


Previously on the small screen, Soo appeared on the NBC television series Smash in the role of Lexi.

Devon Still


Attended high school at Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware. Graduated from Penn State University in 2012 with a degree in Criminal Law and Justice. Received the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Lineman of the Year award in 2011.


Drafted in the 2nd round, 53rd overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. January 2016, signed a futures contract with the Houston Texans.


On June 2, 2014 Devon received the devastating news that his 4 year old daughter Leah Still was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. A very rare form of childhood cancer with a 50% survival rate.


Still put his football career on hold to be by Leah's side during her fight. The Bengals placed Still on the practice squad so he would not lose his medical benefits and not be required to travel with the team, thus allowing him to stay with Leah. Leah fought a long and hard battle for nine months and on March 18, 2015 in a post to Instagram, Devon announced that Leah was finally cancer free.


On July 15, 2015 both Devon and Leah received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs.

Joy Taylor


Joy Taylor moderates the sports opinion and debate show SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED, which airs weekdays on FS1. The former host and well-known South Florida sports radio personality joined FOX Sports in March 2016.


Prior to joining FOX Sports, Taylor spent the previous five years in Miami radio, including a successful three-year stint at 790 AM The Ticket, where she was co-host for the station's top-rated morning-drive program, "Zaslow and Joy Show," after starting with the station as the show's executive producer.


Taylor also served as the host of "Thursday Night Live" and "Fantasy Football Today" on CBSSports.com. A Pittsburgh native and the younger sister of former Miami Dolphins star Jason Taylor, she attended Barry University and earned her bachelor's degree in broadcasting. While at Barry, she hosted her own radio show, "The Noise," and served as station manager for WBRY Radio.

Ashley Turner


Ashley Paige Turner was born and raised in Houston, TX. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology. She continued her studies at Texas Woman's University where she received a Master's in Health Care Administration.


Upon graduation from TWU she accepted a position at Legacy Community Health Services in the Human Resources department and later transitioned to Marketing and Communications. On February 2, 2015 she became Chief Operating Officer at Bee Busy Wellness Center.


Ms. Turner makes it a point to give back to her community. For the past eight years she has volunteered for Turner Family Day in the Park where she assist with the senior citizens and the youth. Furthermore, she is a mentor for the youth at Texas Women's Empowerment Foundation and she participates in the Less than 40 Alliance at Loving Word Fellowship where she helps prepare the youth for higher education.

Mayor Sylvester Turner


Mayor Sylvester Turner was elected Mayor of Houston on December 12, 2015, to serve a four year term beginning January 4, 2016. Sylvester Turner was born and raised in the Acres Homes community in northwest Houston. His parents moved to Acres Homes in 1954, the year Sylvester was born.


Sylvester's mother worked as a maid in the old Rice Hotel in Houston. His father worked as a painter for Continental Ensco and cut yards with his sons on the weekends to make extra money. The Turners raised nine children in their modest two-bedroom home in Acres Homes. Sylvester lost his father to cancer when he was 13 years old. Afterward, his mother took over the Turner household. Although she never finished high school or learned to drive, she ensured her children got an education and inspired them to achieve.


Sylvester attended neighborhood public schools until forced integration came to Houston and he was bused to Klein High School. After a predictably rocky start, the student body adapted to its new enrollees – and Sylvester was later elected president of the student body and graduated as valedictorian.


Sylvester graduated from the University of Houston and Harvard Law School before joining the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski. He later founded the Houston law firm of Barnes & Turner in 1983.


He is very proud of his daughter Ashley, who is continuing the Turner family tradition of public service in the healthcare field.

Amanda Hill


Amanda Hill is Brand Director, North America Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble. In this role, Amanda leads marketing for the Always and Tampax brands, including the groundbreaking Always #LikeAGirl campaign. Since its launch in 2014, Amanda has played a critical role in the development of #LikeAGirl. Under her leadership, Always became the first feminine care brand ever to air a commercial during the Super Bowl in 2015, and the campaign has since been widely recognized by the advertising industry, receiving more than 175 awards globally. Amanda has proudly represented the #LikeAGirl program and had the fortune to share the successes at forums like the Association of National Advertisers and the ESPY Humanitarian Awards.


In her 18-year career with P&G, Amanda has led several billion dollar brands including Pantene, Olay, and, most recently, Tampax and Always. Amanda resides in Cincinnati where she and her husband have two children (ages 7 and 4), including a daughter she's raising to be strong #LikeAGirl.

Kim Pegula


Kim Pegula is the President and CEO of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which was created in 2014. PSE is a management company that streamlines key business areas across all Pegula family-owned sports and entertainment properties, including the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bandits, HarborCenter and Black River Entertainment.


Kim is a native of Fairport, N.Y., and grew up as a fan of the Rochester Americans. She attended nearby Houghton College and graduated in 1991 with a degree in communications. Kim began her professional career with East Resources in 1991 and was involved with the company until its sale in 2010. Shortly after the sale of East Resources, Terry and Kim Pegula helped Penn State University begin an NCAA Division I Hockey program with an $88 million donation for the construction of Pegula Ice Arena. They later increased their donation to $102 million to endow scholarships and support the Penn State hockey program and its student athletes. Their gift was the single largest private gift in the university's history.


On February 22, 2011, Terry and Kim purchased the Buffalo Sabres, ushering in a new era in the franchise's history. The Pegulas intensified their commitment to Western New York hockey that summer by acquiring Kim's childhood team, the Rochester Americans and resuming its long-time affiliation with the Sabres.


The Pegulas continued their commitment to the Western New York area in the summer of 2012, when Terry and Kim purchased the 1.7 acre Webster Block across from First Niagara Center, now KeyBank Center. Crews soon began construction on the more than $200 million HarborCenter, which features two NHL size rinks, a full-service Marriott Hotel, (716) Food and Sport restaurant, the Academy of Hockey, Impact Sports Performance training facility, a destination Tim Hortons, parking and boutique retail shops that include Jessie and Kelly Pegula's The Healthy Scratch eatery.


In 2014, Houghton College opened the Kerr-Pegula Sports Complex, which was made possible by a $12 million donation from Terry and Kim. The complex includes baseball and softball stadiums, a multisport field, and a field house with an indoor track and tennis courts. The second-largest gift in school history allowed Houghton to transition to NCAA Division III athletics.


On October 10, 2014, Terry and Kim realized a long-time dream as they became owners of the Buffalo Bills. The Pegulas just finished their second full season as owners and have been honored as recipients of the prestigious Tank Younger Award, presented by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which recognizes individuals for their extraordinary contributions toward diversity in the NFL.


Under Kim's leadership, PSE has launched the One Buffalo initiative, designed to unite Western New York and serve as a representation of teamwork through a deeper connection between Buffalo sports teams, fans and the community. One Buffalo has created several properties, including the My One Buffalo app, clothing lines designed by both Jessie and Kelly Pegula, Southern Tier's One Buffalo beer, Perry's One Buffalo ice cream, and the new One Buffalo cupcake.

Will Shields


Hometown: Fort Riley, KS


College: Nebraska


Position: Offensive Guard


NFL Career (14 years):


  • Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 3rd round in 1993
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1993-2006)
  • 12-time Pro-Bowler, 2-time First Team All-Pro
  • Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 2003

Post-Football Career:


  • Founded the "Will to Succeed Foundation" in 1993 to support a variety of causes and organizations
  • Currently operates "68 Inside Sports," a gymnasium and sports facility in Overland Park, KS

Rocsi Diaz


Emmy Award-winning host/correspondent and actress ROCSI DIAZ can currently be seen as the host of the hit VH1 series "Dating Naked". She recently brought her seasoned broadcasting chops and youthful spirit to her post as anchor of HLN's "The Daily Share," which offers the best in social media news and lifestyle content (Weekdays, Noon-5 p.m. ET/PT). Rocsi recently joined HLN, a CNN network reaching more than 100 million households in the U.S., following its rebranding in early 2014 as the first television home designed for the social media generation.


She previously spent two years as weekend co-host and daily correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight," the preeminent television entertainment newsmagazine, and was part of the on-air team that helped "ET" earn a 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment News Program. Rocsi segued to "ET" after seven years with BET, where she co-anchored its flagship television show, "106 & Park," and hosted the syndicated radio show "106 & Park Weekend Countdown" along with her own popular program, "Rocsi on the Radio," heard in over 20 major national markets.


Born in Honduras, Rocsi was raised in New Orleans, where she developed a love for pop culture at a young age. She made her debut as a radio host in Dallas at 97.9 The Beat, her energetic and fun signature style catching the attention of Boston's Hot 97.7, which quickly moved her east. Then it was on to Chicago where she became known as "The Midday Mami" on the Windy City's top urban station, Power 92. While interviewing the hottest artists in the music industry, Rocsi entered and won BET's "New Faces" national competition, sending her east again, this time to New York City to co-anchor "106 & Park" with fellow contest winner Terrence J.


In her personal life, Rocsi is a tireless supporter of numerous philanthropic efforts, from her support for PETA's youth wing, peta2, in elevating awareness for shelter animals, to her own RocStar Foundation, which raises money to build and refurbish schools devastated by Hurricane Katrina in her home city of New Orleans. With a love of travel, visiting countries all across the globe, Rocsi is also an enthusiastic fashionista who has earned kudos for her youthful yet chic style at numerous film premieres and other red-carpet events.

Nicole Summers


Nicole Summers is Senior Communications Manager of P&G's Global Personal Care business. In this role, Nicole leads all aspects of strategic communications, including public relations, influencer marketing, and talent relations for P&G’s Old Spice, Secret and Gillette brands.


With nearly 10 years of experience at P&G, Nicole is a seasoned communications professional with experience in all aspects of communications - executive, brand, stakeholder, media relations, and issue and crisis management. She has held leadership roles across multiple categories, ranging from Beauty to Personal Health Care.


Prior to joining P&G, Nicole worked at The Sound Alliance where she managed editorial, marketing and promotions in the music industry.


Nicole is a graduate of Trinity University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her fiancé Bill. An avid supporter of the Fine Arts, Nicole serves on the Board of Directors at Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, an internationally-renowned non-profit arts organization.