Atlanta Women in Sports Awards

The Atlanta Women in Sports (AWIS) Awards were held on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. The beautiful venue set the stage for a tremendous event.

Hosted by Lericia Harris and Jarneen Brown, AWIS stayed true to its mission of saluting and honoring Atlanta business women who are blazing trails and redefining the role of women in the sports industry. By providing a platform for networking opportunities for women to connect and engage, AWIS has taken a leadership role in empowering women in the sports community.


The first award was a Lifetime Achievement Award for Pam Oliver, one of the stalwarts of NFL on Fox.


  • Dr. Etty Griffin, Sr. Partner, Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic
  • Marianna Whitehurst, Playworks, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
  • Anucha Browne, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer for UNICEF
  • Jennifer Welter, Football Coach for Atlanta Legends, AAF


  • Andrea Butamante, Youth Soccer Direction, YMCA
  • Nzinga Shaw, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Atlanta Hawks
  • Santia Maria Deck, Queen of Abs Fitness
  • Pharlone Charity Toussaint, Laureus Foundation for Sport
  • Lilian Abdelmalek, Dynamics of Speed and Agility Training, LLC

The capacity crowd had the special opportunity to hear a few words from each of these women. They were presented with their awards by a diverse group of former athletes and business people from the Atlanta area.

Of particular note was the outstanding speech by Ms. Toussaint who spoke about how she was not even supposed to be here. Currently working for Laureus, Pharlone talked about her family’s voyage and working alongside the Honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu at youth symposium at the age of 15 years old created a passion for using sports as a catalyst for social change.

As we heard each woman telling her stories, it really hit us that sports can be such a powerful tool to accomplish these social changes. Each of the women articulated situations where her sports background was an important element in allowing her to seek new opportunities, overcome discrimination and help others.

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

Featured Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email