Press Release courtesy of WISE Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Sports and Events (WISE Los Angeles) announced today that Janet Evans (Olympian & LA2028 Organizing Committee), Valorie Kondos Field (Head Coach, UCLA Women’s Gymnastics), and Christine Simmons (President & Chief Operations Officer, Los Angeles Sparks) have been selected as the recipients of the 2017 WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Award. The WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Awards will be held at the eighth annual gala taking place on Wednesday, November 8 at TAO Los Angeles. The Inspiration honorees have been selected by the organization’s nominating committee for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in the sports industry, and for being positive professional and personal role models for all women.
In addition to being recognized for their outstanding achievements, Evans, Kondos Fields and Simmons will become members of the WISE Los Angeles Advisory Board Committee for 2018, serving as valuable sources of expertise and experience for the members of WISE’s Los Angeles chapter. In that capacity, they will be called upon to provide guidance in the growth and direction of the Los Angeles Chapter such that WISE may continue to support its mission within the community and across the country.
“We are thrilled to honor Janet, Valorie and Christine as WISE Los Angeles’Women of Inspiration. These remarkable women have made a huge impact in the sports industry at large through their hard work and achievements, and we are proud to recognize their efforts as this year’s honorees,” said Shelley Taniguchi, president, WISE Los Angeles. “Our annual gala is not only a chance for us to honor these trailblazing leaders who have paved the way so that other women can reach their own professional goals, but also to celebrate the achievements of all of our members who are committed to furthering the success and growth of women in the sports and events industry.”
Janet Evans, a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, has established herself as one of the greatest female distance swimmer in history. She has created a significant impact, not only in the world of swimming, but in all sports, as she was selected in 2015 to be the primary athlete voice for the Los Angeles2024 Olympic Bid. As the Vice Chair of the Bid Committee and Head of the Athletes’ Commission, she worked closely with Paralympians and Olympians to ensure they were effectively represented in the city’s bid for the Games. She will continue her role with the newly formed LA2028 Organizing Committee, as her team works to ensure that the athletes of the world have the best possible athlete experience at the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Out of the pool, Evans has made a name for herself as a commercial spokesperson, author, reality television personality and a highly sought after motivational speaker.
Valorie Kondos Field (“Miss Val“) is the head coach of the six-time NCAA Champion, 22-time Regional Champion and 17-time Pac-12 Champion UCLA Women’s Gymnastics Team. Only one of two active UCLA coaches to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame, Kondos Field has been head coach for 27 years and a part of the UCLA staff for nearly 35 years. Recently named Pac-12 “Coach of the Century”, Kondos Field has used gymnastics as an avenue to teach valuable life lessons to her young student-athletes, something she learned from her closest mentor and friend, the late John Wooden. Kondos Field’s first book, with the working title “Winning In Heels”, is being published by Hachette Book Group to be released Fall 2018. She is one of the nation’s foremost gymnastic choreographers, with numerous credits and is currently developing a live theatrical musical and she co-executive produced “Jump, Jive & Thrive, a TV special combining gymnastics, dance and music to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. A breast cancer survivor, Kondos Field’s positive outlook throughout her journey resonated profoundly with her student-athletes and fans, which also led to her mantra, “Life is Short-Don’t Wait to Dance.”
Christine Simmons is President & Chief Operations Officer of the three-time WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks. In her third season with the team, Simmons leads all aspects of the team’s business operations, including ticket and sponsorship sales and service, marketing, game operations, communications, community relations and finance. Under her leadership the team has seen a 34 percent increase in ticket sales, doubled ratings on Spectrum SportsNet and impacted nearly 30,000 lives through community programs. Prior to joining the Sparks, she was an Executive Vice President with Magic Johnson Enterprises where she would evaluate investment opportunities and was responsible for business development. With over a decade of leadership experience in creating strategic alliances, leading business development and driving corporate initiatives, Christine has worked with many Fortune 500 corporations and multi-million dollar companies. A proud UCLA graduate, she serves as President of the Board of the UCLA Alumni Association and in 2012 was named Alumnus of the Year by the UCLA Black Alumni Association.
The WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Awards will take place at TAO in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday, November 8. To purchase tickets or sponsorship packages, please visit wiselosangeles.org. Follow WISE Los Angeles on Facebook and Twitter for updates on upcoming events and announcements.
WISE (Women in Sports and Events) is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE offers its members the opportunity to gain valuable insights and connections that can provide them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. See more at: wiseworks.org