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November 29, 2021 (DURHAM, N.C.) – The Durham Sports Commission (DSC) is proud to announce that Kaila’Shea Menendez has been selected as Deputy Director. In the newly created position, Menendez will assist in leading the nonprofit’s work to create social and economic impact through sports by helping to manage strategic initiatives, oversee special projects, and serve as a liaison to various committees and key stakeholders. She was most recently the Senior Director of Leadership Programing and Events at Women Leaders in College Sports in Kansas City, Missouri. Menendez’s first day with the DSC will be December 1.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as Deputy Director for the Durham Sports Commission,” said Menendez. “As a proud North Carolinian from the area, it is a dream come true to work on behalf of my community. I am committed and passionate about the endless opportunities to bring recreational and sporting events to this one-of-a-kind city while enriching the lives of those who visit and live in Durham.”

At Women Leaders in College Sports, Menendez oversaw operations for leadership programming and events, including the Women Leaders National Convention, and collaborated with executive staff to develop long-term strategic plans, partnerships and initiatives to ensure impactful and continuous growth for the association. Responsible for creating innovative solutions to improve internal and external departmental efficiencies, she also fostered significant relationships with presidents, community leaders, and industry experts to assist with advancing women in the industry. Rounding out her experience, she partnered with marketing to increase brand awareness for the association nationwide.

“In Kaila’Shea we’ve identified a person that has experienced tremendous success early on in her professional career, a passion for community, and the skillset and enthusiasm to help build and transform the Durham Sports Commission,” said Executive Director, Marcus Manning.

Menendez joins the DSC at an exciting period, shortly after the organization’s five-year anniversary. On the horizon, the DSC will host the National Association of Intercollegiate (NAIA) Football National Championship and Senior Football Classic at Durham County Memorial Stadium on December 17 and 18. The DSC has also announced its first owned and operated event, the Champion Durham Classic, a high school holiday basketball invitational held at North Carolina Central University’s McDougald-McLendon Arena on December 27-29 with teams participating from Durham and across the mid-Atlantic.

In addition to assisting with the execution of those upcoming events, Menendez will spearhead the work of the DSC’s Advisory and Sports Tourism Committees and build relationships with other key stakeholders. She will be a point of contact for national governing bodies in sports as well as other external rights holders and local event owners.

Prior to her time with Women Leaders in College Sports, Menendez has worked in various positions at the University of California, San Diego, Marine Corps Community Services at Camp Pendleton, and the City of El Cajon’s Recreation Department. She has served on various national committees and is a member of numerous associations like Women in Sports and Events, the American Society of Association Executives, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. She earned her master’s degree in exercise and sports administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a bachelor of science from Western Carolina University.

For more information about the Durham Sports Commission, please visit

About Durham Sports Commission

The Durham Sports Commission (DSC) is a collaboration of the City of Durham, the County of Durham, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Discover Durham. The DSC was established in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) with a mission to create economic and social impact by leading the community’s efforts to attract, support, and promote youth, amateur, collegiate, and professional sporting and recreational events and is operated by Discover Durham. The DSC provides leadership for sports-based initiatives and create positive economic impact and quality of life in Durham and the surrounding region. Be sure to follow the DSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all sports-related news in Durham, NC, and other announcements.