‘Leading with Boldness’
The fourth annual Women Influencers in Sport (WINS) Forum, held Nov. 10, 2023, was highlighted by an in-person panel discussion featuring prominent female leaders Sherí Barros, Elizabeth Motta and Jennifer Strawley, and moderated by Karen Lindsey, assistant professor of strategic communications.
The hourlong conversation program centered around the theme of “A PowHERful Era: Leading with Boldness” discussed topical subjects such as social media, branding and leading in today’s industry, Following the panel, the forum hosted a Sip, Snack and Socialize reception at The Oak House Downtown Elon.
In addition to the invited panelists, 10 WINS alumni returned to campus to speak, educate and network with WINS students. Following the panel conversation, a networking and social event was held at The Oak House in downtown Elon.
Panel Discussion Recording
Sherí Barros is an award-winning brand and corporate social responsibility (CSR) executive with more than two decades of experience working with several prominent sports entertainment brands. She currently serves as vice president of sports partnerships for the American Cancer Society. At the intersection of CSR and cause marketing, Barros leads a team managing strategic corporate partnerships with major sports leagues, brands and talent to advance social impact. This includes working alongside most major U.S. sports leagues, including the National Football League, where she helps facilitate one of the most impactful cause partnerships in pro sports – the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative to fight cancer. Her previous roles include executive leadership positions with Spurs Sports & Entertainment and Cooper Holdings. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, a master’s degree from the University of North Texas, where she serves on the advisory board of UNT’s Sports Entertainment MBA program, and completed the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School.
Elizabeth Motta serves as vice president of insights and analytics at World Wrestling Entertainment, the prominent media and entertainment leader better known by its acronym WWE. In her role, Motta supports the data, insights and strategy needs of the organization’s sponsorship, creative, talent and marketing teams. During her 15-year career spanning media and sports entertainment, she aims to humanize and democratize data and insights. Managing a team of analysts, data scientists, and data translators, Motta has spearheaded the development of cutting-edge social listening operations, unique ways of measuring talent ROI, and blending data to inform creative processes. Prior to WWE, Motta worked at Horizon Media, where she built Horizon’s first social intelligence practice. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire.
A respected national leader in college athletics, Jennifer Strawley serves as Elon University’s director of athletics, officially beginning the role in August 2023. She came to Elon following 11 years at the University of Miami, most recently serving as the senior deputy director of athletics. While in Coral Gables, Florida, Strawley oversaw all day-to-day operations of the athletics department at Miami. Additionally, she served as interim director of athletics in fall 2021 and was the sport administrator for football and women’s basketball, as well as the department’s senior woman administrator. In 2021, Strawley was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Administrator of the Year. Prior to her time at Miami, Strawley worked for the NCAA as the director of academic and membership affairs. Strawley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she played softball, serving as a two-year team captain. She completed her master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Miami.
Karen Lindsey (moderator)
A teacher, scholar, mentor and leadership consultant, Karen Lindsey serves an assistant professor of strategic communications at Elon University. She also maintains an active consulting practice as owner of Lindsey Consulting Group where she advises university presidents, corporate executives and nonprofit boards on internal and external strategic communication practices, and conducts workshops on inclusive leadership. Before joining Elon in 2021, Lindsey was a visiting lecturer at Texas Christian University where she taught public relations, strategic writing, diversity, and campaigns courses. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lindsey has 20-plus years of combined corporate communications, higher education, media relations, and marketing experience. Prior to teaching, she was a vice president in the Dallas, Texas office of Edelman, overseeing teams that provided clients with brand management strategies. Additionally, she has held media relations and marketing positions with Northwestern Mutual, the Chicago Tribune and U.S. Bank. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree from Mississippi College, and a doctoral degree from Azusa Pacific University.