2016 was thought to be the year of the woman, but we’d like to go ahead and nominate 2017 thanks to amazing organizations that support and celebrate women in a big way.
The Dallas Wings are one of those awesome organizations that are moving women forward…literally.
The team is entering their second season in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (21st in the WNBA) and busily preparing for the start of what will be an exciting new season this May.
If you’ve ever attended a game or witnessed this team in action, you’ll immediately feel equal parts passion and professionalism. This can certainly be attributed to the phenomenal women playing on the court as well as the female leadership off the court too. We got up close and personal with three of the organization’s leaders that are playing a vital role in the team’s success and brand expansion. These women are everything and we can’t wait to see what comes next from the Wings this year.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
My Current Neighborhood: Castle Hills/ Lewisville
Transplant or born and raised in DFW?Transplant! I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area (Richmond, CA), but moved here from Florida where I was working for NASCAR.
Can you tell us about your current role and responsibilities? I am the Chief Marketing Office for the team. I oversee all marketing, communications, broadcast, game operations and fan experience activities. On a day-to-day basis, I get to tell the Dallas Wings’ stories and create memories for fans and families. Along with our phenomenal athletes like, Skylar Diggins, talented front office staff and dedicated fans I am helping to shape the Dallas Wings brand into something everyone in the Metroplex can be proud to support.
What makes the Dallas Wings a great organization to work for? First and foremost it’s the people. From the front office in Dallas to the league office in New York, the Dallas Wings and the WNBA in general have some of the most passionate people in sports working to tell the story of these incredible athletes. Second to the people, it’s the opportunity to be a part of a sports franchise in its first year. I’ve loved working for well-established brands, but we are the new home team and have the opportunity to bring a new and exciting sports experience to the metroplex. Having the chance to be a part of Dallas sports history is very special. On top of that, Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the few regions that has the full NBA portfolio – NBA, WNBA and D-League – which gives us an even greater opportunity to connect with basketball fans in the region.
Your thoughts on the current landscape for women working in the sports industry?There’s no doubt it’s the best it’s ever been. I am proud to say I have worked alongside some of the brightest and best talent in sports – many of them female. We’re here, we’re leading transformation, driving revenue and we’re making a difference. There are a lot of positive things happening for women in the industry, but there are still hurdles. The issues all women face exist in this industry too. As do the issues of women in color. There is still work to be done. I’m fortunate to work with a team that has female leaders in place as CEO (Mary O’Connor) and VP of basketball operations (Ashley Miller), and coaches (Bridget Petitis). Having strong female leaders and mentors is essential to progress. We are role models and demonstrate what is possible. I’m also proud to work for a league that helped pave the way for many women to be professional athletes. We all work together every day to create more opportunity for women in sports so the landscape can be even better.
If someone is new to DFW, do you have a favorite restaurant and/or place for fun?
I really enjoy Klyde Warren Park. It’s a great place to relax, people watch and get your food-truck fix.
VICE PRESIDENT, BASKETBALL OPERATIONS
Tell us more about your position as VP of Basketball Operations. My role ranges greatly; from scouting to budgets and ball kids and also helping with any needs the players and coaching staff may have. Due to WNBA CBA requirements, the teams provide housing and transportation to our players while in market at their request. So I also take care of those amenities for our players as well.
Transplant or born & raised in DFW? I’m a transplant in every sense of the word. My parents are in the military so I’ve moved around a lot during my childhood; Japan, San Diego, Memphis, Corpus Christi, Ohio, Puerto Rico, and Indiana. Most recently, in Indianapolis with the Indiana Fever.
What makes the Dallas Wings organization a special place to work for? Our heart. Many of our staff have previous sports experience and they understand what it takes to make this team run and have the passion behind it.
Your thoughts on the current landscape for women working in the sports industry? It’s evolving. We have come a long way from Title IX and yet we still have a long ways to go. I think there are still existing opinions on gender roles in society and the sports industry will continue to play a large part in that debate. However, with pioneers such as Billie Jean King and the Becky Hammons of the world serving as role models for both little girls to look up to and for little boys to view as equal to their male counterparts, the walls are slowly chipping away. It may take a generation, but one day the term “female” or “women’s” etc. won’t be needed. We will just be athletes, or just another commentator or referee.
Where do you go when you’re having a serious foodie craving? I love to eat and tacos are top of that list. So La Ventana is my go to. I recommend the Suadero tacos and don’t forget a crispy caramel filled Churro! !Muy delicioso!
My Current Neighborhood: Arlington, Texas
Can you tell us about your current role and responsibilities? I am currently the Assistant Coach of the Dallas Wings. I develop and prepare players to compete at a high skill level with the goal of winning a WNBA Championship.
What makes the Dallas Wings a great organization to work for? The culture makes the organization great as well as its positive and influential role in the community.
Your thoughts on the role of women in the sports industry? I think it’s amazing to see the opportunities of how women are impacting the sports field. I see the progression more and more each day of how sports are not only impacting young girls, but young boys as well.
If someone is new to DFW, do you have a favorite restaurant and/or place for fun? If you’re a nature type of person like myself, Dallas has some amazing trails and parks that I really enjoy. Dallas really has a little something for everyone.
CONGRATS ARE IN ORDER: Pettis, who is entering her fourth season as assistant coach for the Wings and been part of the WNBA since its inception in 1997, has been named to the 2017 Women’s Induction Class for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, announced by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors on December 20, 2016. Congrats Coach Pettis!
The Wings will start the 2017 season on the road, Sunday, May 14, when they face the Phoenix Mercury, as part of the WNBA Tip-Off presented by Verizon.
The Wings will then open their home schedule six days later, Saturday, May 20 against the three-time WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College Park Center, located in Arlington, TX. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm CT.
The 2017 home schedule will include eight games against eastern conference opponents and seven games against Western conference opponents, hosting one game versus the 2016 WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks on June 9. The full season schedule can be seen here.