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Panelists, Keynote Speaker Added for Fourth Annual espnW Women + Sports Summit


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Michelle Kwan to Give Keynote Address, Athletes and Industry Leaders Join Extensive List of Attendees

AK2_3519Michelle Kwan will give a keynote address as espnW again unites top female athletes and sports leaders for the fourth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit. The Summit will be held on October 9-11 in Dana Point, Calif. The theme of this year’s Summit, Make an Impact, will focus on the significant role women are playing in the sports world.

The list of athletes and industry leaders to appear as panelists and featured speakers now includes Portland Timbers and Thorns president and owner Merritt Paulson, Olympic snowboarder Elena Hight, Paralympic Alpine skier Alana Nichols, professional surfer Lakey Peterson and Sydney Leroux of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.  

Sharon Byers, SVP, Sports and Entertainment Marketing Partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company joins other industry leaders including Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, Burton’s Donna Carpenter, Women’s Sports Foundation’s CEO Kathryn Olsen, Starcom Media Vest CEO Laura Desmond, Digital Royalty CEO Amy Jo Martin, ESPN President John Skipper and ESPN Executive Vice President & CFO Christine Driessen.

Highlights of this year’s agenda include:

–         Opening keynote speaker: Michelle Kwan

–         Believing in Women’s Sports and Investing in that Belief, ESPN commentator/writer Jemele Hill interviews Paulsen

–         AK2_9436Interactive panel discussion How Brands are Connecting with the Active Woman panelists include Coca-Cola’s Byers, Burton’s Carpenter and Giant Bicycles GM Elysa Walk

–         Voices of the FuturePeterson, Leroux and rising tennis star Taylor Townsend moderated by ESPN’s Julie Foudy

–         World-Class Athlete Q&A- An Athlete’s Perspective: Balancing Sports + Life– panelists include Sanya Richards-Ross and Olympic snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis moderated by ESPN’s Hannah Storm

–         Athlete Marketing: Building a Long-term Brand – panelists include Gabrielle Reece and Summer Sanders

–         A Preview to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, with Grete Eliassen, Hight and Nichols, moderated by Jessica Mendoza

–         Social media and innovation workshop with Amy Jo Martin

–         Interactive panel discussion- Female-focused Non-Profits: Making an Impact – panelists include director of Cycle for Survival Katie Kotkins, executive director of I am that Girl Emily Greener, CEO of Women’s Sports Foundation Kathryn Olsen and CEO of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative Marlene Bjornsrud

–         W Power Talks: speakers include Scott, Foudy, ESPN reporter/writer Tom Farrey, sprinter and  six-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball championships Anucha Browne, former NCAA President Judy Sweet and Hall of Fame softball coach Sue Enquist 

–         542059_10151252015875734_135985762_nA Global Perspective: The Impact of Women’s Sports Around the World – panelists include U.S. Olympic sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Chairman & CEO at “Sport For Development” Public Union Mehman Karimov, moderated by Jane McManus of espnW

–         Women + the Evolving Technology and Media Landscapekeynote by Laura Desmond

The fourth annual conference, the premier event of its kind, will be held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

For more information about the espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda visit

To participate in the conversation, follow on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.

About espnW

espnW’s mission is to serve women as fans and athletes. provides an engaging environment that offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in July, 2010, espnW lives across television, films, events, digital and social platforms. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry. The Women’s Sports Foundation is a charity of choice for espnW.