WISE/R Symposium 2023 Speakers

WISE/R offers the opportunity to learn from top industry leaders, improve your communication skills, connect with peers and so much more! Meet our confirmed speakers below.

Agenda, timing, sessions and speakers are subject to change.

REAL Careers: The Agent



Lindsay Kagawa Colas
Executive Vice President, Talent + The Collective, Wasserman

A pioneer in the representation space, Lindsay Kagawa Colas negotiated the first ever inclusion rider into an athlete contract, and the first maternity protection language into a major shoe and apparel deal. Since joining Wasserman in 2009, she has built an iconic client roster including WNBA players Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Brittney Griner, Nneka Ogwumike and Maya Moore; NIL stars Paige Bueckers and Sedona Prince; swimmer Simone Manuel, beach volleyball player April Ross, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Paralympian track star Scout Bassett. Named to the 2018 Sports Business Journal's Forty Under 40, Colas is also a powerful political and social advocate, helping to manage Brittney Griner's release from detention in Russia, and playing an integral role in Maya Moore's work to free Jonathan Irons from wrongful conviction and imprisonment.



Thayer Lavielle
Executive Vice President, The Collective, Wasserman

A representation powerhouse who has negotiated more than $250 million in talent, brand, property and venue deals in sports and entertainment, Thayer Lavielle launched and built The Collective at Wasserman — a multimillion dollar consultancy and brand practice dedicated to raising the visibility of women and driving inclusion in sports and entertainment. Having begun her career as an ABC News producer on “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America,” she transitioned to the marketing world at JR Motorsports, where she led development of the Dale Ernhardt brand. Well-versed in brand and talent strategy, partnerships, events and hospitality, Lavielle has been at the forefront of innovation in everything from consumer engagement, ticketing and personalized experiences, to retail integration and strategic thought leadership delivery.

Kathleen Francis


Kathleen Francis
National Board Chair and President, WISE

Kathleen Francis brings 25-plus years of experience leading the development and implementation of high-impact marketing programs. Over her career, she has created and executed multifaceted sports marketing strategies that work at the grassroots level for not-for-profits and major corporations, including Major League Baseball, Meadowlands Sports Complex and the United States Tennis Association. She is founder and president of Oasis Sports Ventures, a marketing and grassroots development agency. A 2001 WISE Women of the Year honoree and president of WISE since 2011, Francis launched the WISE Executive Leadership Institute, WISE Emerging Leaders Certificate Program and WISE/R Symposium. SportsBusiness Journal named her one of its Forty Under 40 sports executives and for two consecutive years honored her as one of its Top 25 Women Sports Executives.

REAL Insight: The Master Class



Andrea Brimmer
Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Ally Financial

Andrea Brimmer is responsible for leading all aspects of integrated marketing and brand transformation at Ally, driving unprecedented growth and disruptive consumer engagement. Her passion for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and using her platform to create good in the world led to Ally's ground-breaking pledge to spend equally in advertising across women's and men's sports. Among her many honors, Brimmer was named a winner of the 2020 Adweek Brand Genius award, is a three-time honoree on the Forbes' list of World's Most Influential CMOs, is the only three-time winner of the Financial Communications Society Marketer of the Year award and was named to the 2022 Adweek Most Powerful Women in Sports list.



Jill Gregory
Executive Vice President, General Manager, Sonoma Raceway

As only the second female leader of a NASCAR sanctioned facility when appointed in 2021, Jill Gregory came armed with extensive leadership skills honed by her experience serving as executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer at NASCAR and the managing executive of the company's Charlotte-based operations. Under her leadership, the organization bolstered its overall marketing strategy to strengthen fan engagement and cultivate new fans among younger and more diverse audiences. In 2017, Gregory established the company's first content strategy group to elevate strategic planning and enhance collaboration within NASCAR and the industry. 



Hillary Mandel
Executive Vice President, Head of Americas, IMG Media

Sports and media executive veteran Hillary Mandel has negotiated billion dollars’ worth of deals during her career. In her 25+ years at IMG, an Endeavor Company, she has managed and negotiated the sports and distribution rights within IMG’s portfolio of professional sports leagues, teams, college conferences and international federations. Among IMG Media’s clients during Mandel’s leadership are the AELTC (Wimbledon), the R&A (The Open Championship), CONMEBOL, World Rugby, NHL, NFL, NASCAR, MLS, The PGA of America, ACC, C-USA, Supercross, Monster Jam, the New York City Marathon, CrossFit, UFC, USTA, Milwaukee Bucks and Inter Miami.



Carla Williams
Director of Athletics, University of Virginia

When Carla Williams became the athletic director at the University of Virginia in 2017, she had a vision of establishing a support system for athletes to maximize their collegiate experience while competing for championships. As the first African American woman to lead a Power Five athletic department, Williams launched The Master Plan project. It began with immediate football and Olympic Sports facilities upgrades and continued last year with groundbreaking on an $80 million Football Operations Center, a 90,000-square foot facility set to open in 2024. Prior to UVA, Williams spent 13 years in athletic administration at the University of Georgia. She rose to deputy athletic director and served on the executive committees of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.

Caroline Clarke


Caroline Clarke
Chief Brand Officer, Black Enterprises Women of Power

Award-winning journalist and author Caroline Clarke’s media experience spans print, digital and television outlets. At the media company Black Enterprise, she has served in a number of key roles — including senior editor, editor at large, editorial director and general manager — across the various assets of the franchise. In 2006, she launched Women of Power, a professional development and executive leadership brand that has become Black Enterprise’s leading asset. A graduate of Smith College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Clarke hosts the Women of Power television show and is the author of Take a Lesson: Today’s Black Achievers on How They Made It & What They Learned Along the Way and Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail.

REAL Power:
The Power Within



Audra Bohannon
Founder, Bohannon Advisory

As a diversity, equity and inclusion thought leader for more than 35 years, Audra Bohannon helps individuals and organizations see the possibilities for a better tomorrow. A highly sought-after keynote speaker with a deep background and expertise in leadership development and talent optimization, Bohannon's message that "all people have potential — not just a few" touches emotional buttons, connecting people and creating lasting, often life-changing impact. Prior to founding Bohannon Advisory, she was a senior client partner at Korn Ferry, and also served as principal at Global Novations, senior vice president of Novations Group, and as partner and business architect of J. Howard & Associates. Bohannon is a certified executive coach, and a board member at Community Builders, Accelerated College Experience, Inc., and The Center for Financial Planning.

REAL Change:
Inclusive Visual Storytelling



Tristen Norman
Head of Creative Insights for The Americas, Getty Images

Part creative director, part strategist and part storyteller, Tristen Norman works across disciplines to identify shifts in our global visual language and shape development of Getty's visual content. Passionate about elevating marginalized voices within creative spaces, Norman plays a critical role in Getty initiatives such as the Nosotros Collection and Project #ShowUs, which seek to reimagine the visual representation of the Hispanic/LatinX community and present a more inclusive vision of beauty. She leads Getty partnerships with organizations including SEEHER, Women's Sports Foundation and GLAAD, with the aim of championing inclusive visual narratives at Getty and beyond. Norman has also held marketing roles at agencies and consultancies such as Wunderman Thompson and ZS Associates, conducting deep qualitative research and leading strategies for clients across industries.

REAL Data: How Analytics is Changing the Game



Jessica Gelman
Chief Executive Officer, Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR)

An experienced CEO, industry leader and entrepreneur with a data-driven, customer-centric approach to innovation, Jessica Gelman is the CEO of Kraft Analytics Group, a technology and services company focused on data management, advanced analytics and strategic consulting in the sports and entertainment space. Clients include all major U.S. professional leagues, colleges, industry movers. Prior to KAGR’s creation in 2016, Gelman led business operations, marketing and strategy for Kraft Sports & Entertainment’s sports properties (New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, New England Revolution). She co-founded and continues to co-chair the highly regarded MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the first and largest analytically focused sports conference, whose previous speakers have included President Barack Obama, Adam Silver, Steve Ballmer, Nate Silver and other sports and analytics luminaries.

REAL Leadership: Navigating Visibility


Lisa Dicker
Consultant, Triad Consulting Group

Recognized negotiation expert Lisa Dicker provides workshops, training, coaching and consulting services to a diverse range of clients and participants, including the WISE Executive Leadership Institute. A Harvard Law School law lecturer and a clinical instructor in the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, she has taught at the Harvard Negotiation Institute and advised on conflict prevention, peace negotiations, transitional justice, and post-conflict democratic transitions in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, and Yemen. Dicker's consulting clients include INSEAD, the New Hampshire Superior Court, Olympus, and the United States Institute of Peace. Her work on the subject of negotiation and dispute resolution has been published in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, University of Memphis Law Review and ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law.