New York, NY (January 18, 2017) — The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) today announces the appointment of Grete Eliassen as the Foundation’s new president and Lisa Baird, Sasha DiGiulian and Andrea Perez as new Board of Trustees members.
Eliassen will serve a two-year term and succeeds Olympic soccer gold medalist Angela Hucles. She will join the Foundation’s new CEO Deborah Antoine and its Board in providing leadership and visibility for the organization.
Eliassen, a four-time U.S. Open champion and six-time Winter X Games medalist, is a trailblazer in the world of halfpipe and slopestyle skiing. She achieved the Hip Jump World Record in her sport, reaching speeds of 60 m.p.h. downhill, hitting the custom 30-foot “hip” ramp and soaring more than 31 feet. No woman has ever come close to reaching this height. She is a powerful voice in women’s action sports and has advocated alongside the Foundation to expand sports opportunities for girls and women since joining the WSF Athlete Advisory Panel in 2009.
“The WSF is honored to have Grete as our new president,” said Women’s Sports Foundation CEO Deborah Antoine. “She is an impressive athlete, intelligent woman, dedicated humanitarian and a leader in her field.”
Eliassen will expand the Foundation’s impact and visibility and steer its programs including the Athlete Leadership Connection, an umbrella initiative that provides champion athletes and student-athletes with mentorship, career guidance and professional training.
“It is an honor to have been chosen to serve the Women’s Sports Foundation as its new president, and I cannot wait to get started,” expressed Eliassen. “I have been involved with the Foundation for years, and I’m so inspired by the work they do to expand opportunities for girls and women in sports. I look forward to continuing this mission in my new role. I will encourage young girls to get out, be active and pursue their dreams, and experience the confidence I gained by participating in sports.”
Of the new Board members, Antoine shared, “We are also honored to be joined by three remarkable individuals who have attained recognition in diverse fields. In addition to their collective experience and dynamic leadership, our new trustees share a passion for sports and a deep commitment to girls’ and women’s health, diversity and gender equality.”
To learn more about the newest members of WSF leadership, please find their bios below:
Grete Eliassen is a four-time U.S. Open champion in freeskiing and has captured two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the Winter X Games. She is the only female skier to have medaled in both the first halfpipe and slopestyle Winter X events. Grete is the feature of the Red Bull film project, “Say My Name,” produced in 2010 and recently starred in Warren Miller’s ski film, “Here, There & Everywhere.” Grete graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Marketing. As former marketing director of the app Wickr she managed marketing campaigns for musical artists including Iggy Azalea and Big Data, and produced WickrX Super Sessions the first ever women’s big wave surf event in the U.S.
Lisa Baird is chief marketing officer of the United States Olympic Committee. As the USOC’s CMO, Lisa directs the sales and marketing division and oversees sponsorship and licensing, broadcast and digital media, events, and business affairs with National Governing Bodies. In 2010, she created the “Team USA” brand – an umbrella brand that in 2016 achieved a top 25 ranking in digital engagement among all U.S. sports franchises. Prior to joining the USOC, she served as a senior vice president at the NFL, where she directed the launch of NFL Play60. A marketing veteran, Lisa has held positions with IBM, General Motors, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Lisa also serves on the Board of Directors for GK Elite Sportswear, and among many prestigious honors, has received WISE Woman of the Year (2011), SBJ Game Changer (2011) and the Alumni Fellow Award from her alma mater Penn State University (2015).
Sasha DiGiulian is a world-record setting climber who started at just six years old. She is a three-time U.S. National champion, three-time IFSC World Championships medalist and the undefeated Pan-American champion since 2004. DiGiulian won the Female Overall World Championships in Arco, Italy, and took silver in the Bouldering World Championships. She is the first North American woman to climb an ascent with a grade difficulty of 5.14d (9a), as well as the first North American woman to onsight 5.14a (8b+). Sasha serves as an athlete representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing and began serving on the WSF Athlete Advisory Panel in 2015. Her writing has been published in National Geographic, Outside Magazine and Seventeen among other publications. Sasha is a graduate of Columbia University.
Andrea Perez is the GM of Soccer for Nike in North America. A 13-year Nike veteran, Andrea has held several positions at the world’s leading Sports and Fitness company including Senior Brand Director for Global Football (soccer) and Global Brand Director for Tennis. She was also a founder and Chair of the Women of Nike employee engagement group and is currently on the Employee Board of Nike’s Community Impact Fund. Andrea competed in collegiate soccer and softball at both Tecnologico de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico and the University of Queensland in Australia. She also holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
For a complete list of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Board of Trustees, please click here.
About The Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation — the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports — is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, our work shapes public attitude about women’s sports and athletes, builds capacities for organizations that get girls active, ensures equal opportunities for girls and women through research and Title IX advocacy, and supports physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles. The Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and is recognized globally for its leadership, vision, expertise and influence. For more information, visit WomensSportsFoundation.org. Follow us: Facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation and Twitter @WomensSportsFdn.