We believe that strong women lift each other up. That’s why the Durham Sports Commission and Women Leaders in College Sports, along with presenting sponsor Blue Cross NC, are excited to offer the first-ever Emerging Women in Sports Leadership Summit on Wednesday, April 19 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Emerging Women in Sports Leadership Summit will be a high-energy, high-impact event that will bring together women who are passionate about sports and business. The summit is geared toward promoting the growth and development of women in athletics and related industries, by providing a platform for student-athletes, graduate assistants, interns, volunteers, and young professionals to enhance their skills and expand their professional network. Come prepared to engage and be empowered, because the summit promises to be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect with industry leaders, gain valuable insights, and build lasting relationships.

The programming lineup includes speakers offering real-world expertise and skill-building guidance. We recommend arriving early for a complimentary professional headshot and staying a little past the event conclusion for professional networking opportunities. Registration for the event is now open with spots filling up quickly. We invite you to register here to secure your spot today!


The Emerging Women in Sports Leadership Summit, presented by Blue Cross NC will be held at the Durham Convention Center (Junior Ballroom AB), located at 301 W Morgan St, Durham, NC 27701.


Event registration closes on Friday, March 24, 2023. We invite you to register here to secure your spot today! Space is limited.

Group registration is available for groups with 5 or more participants. For more information on group registration, please contact Kaila’Shea Menendez at kailashea@durhamncsports.com.

Please note: Refunds will not be granted, nor will they be given for no-shows. No exceptions.


Scholarship applications are now closed.

Programming & Speaker Lineup

Are you ready to be inspired by our exceptional lineup of speakers? This incredible half day leadership programming will include topics on:

  • Pursuing Your Potential & Connection
  • Ted-Talk Conversations
    • Best Strategies to Elevate Your Communication
    • Managing Up
    • Grit and Hard Work
    • Becoming a Professional
  • Different Avenues of Sports Panel 
  • Networking Roundtables 

There will be opportunity for connection amongst peers and networking with industry leaders, including speakers such as:

  • Courtney Banghart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ashley Bratcher, USA Baseball
  • Kristi Butler, Blue Cross NC
  • Robbi Pickeral Evans, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Anne Gary, Blue Cross NC
  • Francie Gottsegen, North Carolina Football Club
  • Nina King, Duke University
  • Kelley Kish, Wingate University
  • Cricket Lane, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Hilary Lerner, Teamworks
  • Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, Founder & CEO, WM Leadership & Legacy Coaching, LLC
  • Cheryl Parquet, Blue Cross NC
  • Patti Phillips, Women Leaders in College Sports
  • Chris Raynor, Blue Cross NC
  • Chrystal Rowe, Durham Bulls
  • Heather Ryan, Duke University
  • Meg Stevens, Averett University
  • Alicia Stokes, Blue Cross NC
  • Tiffany Tucker, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Lunch is recommended prior to the event. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.


Are you in need of a professional headshot? We have you covered! Included in the cost of registration are digital headshot photos which will be emailed to event participants after the event.

Professional headshots are available 60 minutes before and after the event.


Attire during the event is business casual. We want you to be comfortable, but still professional. No ballcaps or athletic wear, please.

Online Store

Are you interested in Durham Sports Commission gear? Visit the online store to secure your apparel today!


The Durham Centre Parking Garage, located at 300 W. Morgan St, Durham, NC 27701, is recommended for event parking. If interested, you may secure parking in advance at the Durham Center Parking Garage for $7.00, which can be added to your event registration. Parking validation will be provided onsite for event participants who purchased in advance.

For additional parking options and hourly rates, please view the Durham parking brochure here.

Discover More of Durham

Durham is a vibrant destination in the heart of the famed Tobacco Road – a place unlike any other at the nexus of college sports fandom, business development with international corporations, and darn good food. For guides on things to do, restaurants, attractions and places to check out before or after the event, visit Discover Durham’s website and start planning your visit today!

Are you interested in extending your stay in the City of Champions? The Durham Marriott City Center is attached to the Durham Convention Center. View the lodging guide to explore additional hotel properties in the city.

About The Organizers

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) is the only nationally recognized professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect and advance women leaders working in college sports and beyond. Nearly 5,000 members strong, Women Leaders provides career and leadership training, access to a powerful network, and the resources to advance women at every stage of their careers. Women Leaders is re-shaping the leadership landscape by elevating the women leaders of today and cultivating the women leaders of tomorrow. Follow Women Leaders on Twitter, Instagram, & TikTok @WomenLeadersCS.

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.


For questions, please contact Kaila’Shea Menendez at kailashea@durhamncsports.com. Thank you.