2010 WISE Women of the Year honorees Jean Afterman, Roxanne Jones and Jennifer Storms.
Kerry Graue wrote about the 2010 WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon for WISE words, the Women in Sports and Events newsletter, Women of the Year Issue, June 2010. This article is being republished in honor of the 25th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on June 19 in New York City.
Winners in Their Own Words
This year’s honorees run the spectrum of specialties in our industry — from team to broadcast to corporate. Their journeys have helped shape unique perspectives of their lives both in the industry and outside their offices. Our winners were kind enough to take time out of their very busy schedules to answer some “off the beaten path” questions to give the members of WISE and attendees of this year’s luncheon a little glimpse of just that.
Vice President and Assistant General Manager, New York Yankees
Afterman is entering her ninth season (eighth as VP) with the Yankees and is only the third female to hold the position of Vice President and Assistant General Manager in the history of Major League Baseball. In addition to her day-to-day duties with the Yankees, Afterman has been instrumental in spearheading the organization’s operations in Asia and the entire international baseball community. In 2007, she was profiled in Crain’s New York Business’s 100 Most Influential Women in New York Business, and in 2008 Forbes named her one of the top female executives in baseball. For her civic involvement, she received the Exploring Leadership Award for providing high school students career opportunities. Afterman also works with PENCIL, a non-profit mentoring program for the purpose of creating positive change in the public schools. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and also has a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
What was the last book you read? The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir. It’s non-fiction, about the downfall of Anne Boleyn. I have always been a big fan of Tudor history, long before it became gorgeous pop on Showtime.
What is your favorite sporting event you’ve attended? Probably a San Francisco Giants game at the old Candlestick Park I went to with my brothers when I was in law school. The sun was shining, game was nice and leisurely, and we were all together.
If you had a full day off/disconnected from work, how would you spend it? I would fly to London for the day.
What is your “must watch” show every week? I don’t have one, particularly since the advent of the DVR. I do watch a ton of television so long as it’s not sports-related — the mind works better if you give the unconscious time to process things.
At the age of 5, what did you want to be when you grew up? Probably a psychoanalyst, like my Dad.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? My parents always told me that if I used my mind, there was nothing I “couldn’t accomplish,” and my Mom always taught me that contrary to popular belief, an A-line does not always flatter all figures.
Vice President, ESPN Publishing
Jones joined ESPN in 1997 and is one of the founding editors of ESPN The Magazine, which has 14.7 million readers and received three American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) awards. She began her magazine career as the senior editor for NFL and Boxing, supervising a team of editors and national writers. In her current role, as Vice President/Senior Deputy Editor, Jones develops editorial initiatives and works to identify new revenue streams across the publishing business. Jones has worked on the television side, as well, and helped create the TV shows ESPN Hollywood and Cold Pizza — ESPN’s first morning sports and entertainment program. A multimedia executive, she has been successful at creating, monetizing, and executing media content in print, broadcast, mobile, and digital platforms. Formerly, Jones was Assistant Sports Editor at the New York Daily News and also worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer as an editor and staff writer. She is the author of Say it Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete (2010) and is involved with several civic and professional organizations. An alumna of Penn State University, she received an Executive MBA from UCLA.
What was the last book you read? My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times by Gerald M. Boyd.
What is your favorite sporting event you’ve attended? The Super Bowl XXXIX, 2005. (Eagles vs. Pats. My “Birds” lost but it was still great! Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, is #2.)
If you had a full day off/disconnected from work, how would you spend it? On the beach with my favorite book.
What is your “must watch” show every week? I don’t have one, really. But I never miss the NFL Monday Night Game!
At the age of 5, what did you want to be when you grew up? The fastest bike rider on the block.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Never be afraid to be yourself.
Senior Vice President, Gatorade Sports and Event Marketing
Storms leads a team of marketing and event professionals and manages extensive athletic relationships and sports assets as Gatorade continues its evolution from a sports beverage company to a sports performance innovation leader. She oversees the brand’s relationships with the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, AVP, NHL, U.S. Soccer, Major League Soccer and other professional, collegiate and amateur teams. Storms joined Gatorade in August 2009 after 14 years with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. At Turner, she was SVP of Turner Sports Marketing and Programming, overseeing sports for both TBS and TNT networks, as well as online properties, such as NBA digital Portfolio, NASCAR.com, PGA.com and PGATOUR.com. For three consecutive years, Storms was named to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and in 2008, Brandweek named her to Marketers for a New Generation. She graduated with a B.A. from Northwestern University.
What was the last book you read? I have been reading When the Game was Ours, about the rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson; the NBA was nice enough to send it to me recently and it is a great book.
What is your favorite sporting event you’ve attended? Super Bowl XXXII; it was a Denver Broncos win in beautiful San Diego and John Elway’s first championship.
If you had a full day off/disconnected from work, how would you spend it? Even though I would be disconnected, my day would still include sports — a round of golf, a jog on the lake, and a nice dinner out with family or friends.
What is your “must watch” show every week? I have to pick only one? NCIS. I must admit, I enjoy some of the reality shows as well.
At the age of 5, what did you want to be when you grew up? An Olympic ski racer.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Throughout my career, I have been given advice on the importance of taking risks. Like Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take on goal.”