National Office Staff

National Office Mailing Address
1919 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City, MO 64108
816-389-8200
womenleaders@womenleadersincollegesports.org
We are here for you, and we proudly and passionately give 100 percent to fulfill the Women Leaders in College Sports mission of developing, connecting, and advancing you, our valued member. Each Women Leaders staff member is deeply committed to helping you achieve your personal and professional aspirations.

Patti Phillips /// Chief Executive Officer

Patti Phillips has dedicated her career to coaching, mentoring, and inspiring women at all levels and in all industries. As the CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports—the nation’s premier organization that develops, connects, and advances women working in collegiate athletics—she uses the keen insights she’s gathered from her relationships with search firms, hiring committees, and university presidents to coach up women and help them grow in their careers. Applauded for her authenticity, charisma, and tireless commitment to women’s advancement and development, Phillips is a well-known keynote speaker on topics such as leadership, teamwork, and culture. In 2014, she presented a Tedx Talk on the topic of potential.

Phillips has served as the CEO of the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly known as NACWAA) since 2010. In her time as CEO, the association has seen triple-digit growth in membership, has been rejuvenated with a renewed focus on advancing and empowering women, has undergone a name change and organizational transformation, and has established itself as the premier leadership association for women in athletics. Under Phillips’ direction, the association provides a road map, resources, and coaching for women wanting to advance into leadership positions. It also launched the Women Leaders podcast in 2017 which highlights the successes and career paths of women leaders both in and outside the industry.

Prior to joining the association, Phillips served as the executive director of the Women’s Intersport Network, based in Kansas City, Missouri, for 11 years. WIN for KC, a nonprofit dedicated to leadership development in girls and women through participation in sports, saw extraordinary growth and success under her leadership. Additionally, Phillips was a color analyst for ESPN, FOX Sports Midwest, Sooner Sports, and Metro Sports television broadcasts of collegiate women’s basketball and volleyball games.

Earlier in her career, Phillips worked for the NCAA as the CHAMPS/Life Skills program coordinator and prior to that was the head women’s basketball and volleyball coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. There, she inherited a losing basketball program and transformed it into a regional power; the team received its first national ranking in school history with Phillips at the helm.

Phillips was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and both the Baker University and O’Hara High School athletic halls of fame in 2011. She received the NCAA’s Champions of Diversity Award in 2015, and the Petey National Leadership Award in 2017. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and as past president for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Phillips received her degree with honors from Baker University and earned her master’s in athletic administration and sport psychology from the University of Kansas.

Follow Patti on Twitter: @PattiPhillips10
Contact Patti: sarah@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8215

Megan Cairns /// Database and Membership Coordinator

Megan Cairns joined the Women Leaders team in November 2016. Prior to Women Leaders, she was the head softball coach/full-time faculty at North Central Missouri College from 2012-2016. At NCMC, Megan helped turn around the program and increased the teams win total in each of her four seasons. The Lady Pirates finished in the top three at the Region XVI Tournament in 2015 & 2016. In addition to team accolades, Cairns coached 13 players who received All-Region Honors and one player who was named All-American. In her work on the faculty side, Megan created curriculum for two new courses to be taught in the Physical Education program. 

Prior to NCMC, Megan received her Master's of Science in Sports Administration from ENMU at 2012. In addition to her studies, she was also a gradudate assistant for the softball program and taught courses in the Health and Physical Education Department. Megan played collegiate softball at Evangel University and received her Bachelor of Arts in International and Multicultural Studies in 2010. 

Follow Megan: @MeganCairns9
Contact Megan: Megan@womenleadersincollegesports.org

Rachel DeSchepper /// Senior Director of Marketing & Digital Strategy

Rachel DeSchepper joined Women Leaders in College Sports in October 2016 and is responsible for the organization's marketing strategy, brand identity, digital presence, and media relations—and extending Women Leaders' mission even further and empowering more women leaders in collegiate sports.

Rachel comes to the team from digital publishing and content marketing space, where for the last 10 years she’s spearheaded the editorial, audience development, and social media strategies for national magazines, including ModernFarmer.com, AllYou.com, CountryLiving.com, and RachaelRaymag.com. She also worked as an editor for Country Home and Portland Spaces magazines, and led content marketing for mySidewalk, a civic tech start-up and other various clients.

Originally from the Kansas City area, Rachel was a softball pitcher and catcher throughout high school. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she studied magazine journalism and psychology. DeSchepper briefly lived in Portland, Oregon, and in 2008 landed in New York City where she lived and worked for seven years before returning home to the Midwest. Rachel enjoys doing yoga, running, and playing sand volleyball and softball—though she’s now retired to purely recreational teams.

Contact Rachel: rachel@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8208

Katie Hoffman /// Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

Katie Hoffman joined the Women Leaders in College Sports team in November 2016 as the Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. A seasoned revenue professional with high-level athletic experience, Katie is responsible for securing most revenue for the association, including corporate sponsorship, foundation grants and individual philanthropic giving. Katie also works to increase community engagement with corporate members and partners.

Prior to joining Women Leaders, Katie served as Manager of Partnership Activation for the Kansas City Chiefs. In this position, she was responsible for managing and growing all current Chiefs partnerships. She was also responsible for inventory management and working with the sales team on putting together proposals for all new business. Additionally, she oversaw the digital, production and in stadium aspects of all partnerships as well as overseeing the Arrowhead Events partnership division—maintaining those relationships and overseeing all trademarking and intellectual property questions.

Prior to her role with the Chiefs, Katie was an Account Executive for Sooner Sports Properties, a Learfield Division responsible for handling all corporate revenue for the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department. She took the Account Executive position after three years serving as the Director of Human Resources for OU Athletics. Katie initially started her career as an Associate Attorney with a Civil Litigation firm in Los Angeles, California, before deciding to pursue a career in college athletics.

Katie received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami. She also earned a master's degree in Intercollegiate Athletics from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in Business/Finance from the University of Nebraska where she was also a member of the Big XII Champion Women’s Swim Team.

Follow Katie on Twitter: @ktjo39
Contact Katie: katie@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8222

Celine Mangan /// Membership Engagement Coordinator

Celine Mangan joined Women Leaders in College Sports in December 2017. Prior to Women Leaders, she was a graduate assistant in Student-Athlete Development and Academics at Western Illinois University. At Western, Celine’s oversight included football, men and women’s basketball, and track and field. Other than working with NCAA LIFE Skills, one of Celine’s favorite aspects of her role was being co-chair of the W.E. (Women Empowering) group for female student-athletes. She earned her master’s degree in communication, with a focus on organizational and sport communication, in December of 2017, as well.

As an undergraduate, Celine served on the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she also was the USA Olympic Committee Representative. The former basketball student-athlete at Notre Dame College was a three-year captain and starter, playing in all but one game in her four-year stint due to injury.

The native of Cleveland, Ohio, loves all things Cleveland, running in her free time, and is passionate about helping others to develop their full potential in a positive and inclusive environment.

Follow Celine on Twitter: @celinem11

Contact Celine: celine@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8213

Kaila'Shea Menendez /// Events Coordinator

Kaila’Shea Menendez joined the Women Leaders in College Sports team in June 2017 as Events Coordinator. With dedication to empowering and inspiring women in collegiate athletics, she will work closely with key leaders to drive execution and growth of association events.

Kaila’Shea began her athletics administration career at the University of California San Diego where she served as Internal Operations Assistant, and most recently, Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives, Events & Community Engagement. She orchestrated comprehensive operations and strategies to promote and enhance athletic involvement on campus and throughout the La Jolla community. Additionally, she served as Junior Triton Club Director and was charged to cultivate relationships with local organizations and community members to create revenue and partnership opportunities.

Prior to UC San Diego, Kaila'Shea was a Recreation Center Manager at Camp Pendleton where she was responsible for overall facility operations, recreational programming, and effectively executing social and developmental events for more than 3,000 United States Marines.

Former basketball student-athlete and native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Kaila’Shea graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor of science degree in Psychology and Health & Physical Education. She also received her master’s degree in Physical Education and Exercise Science & Sports Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She loves spending time with family and friends, snorkeling, working out, and coaching recreational sports.

Follow Kaila'Shea on Twitter: @kmenendez22
Contact Kaila'Shea: kailashea@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8211

Elisha Orama /// Leadership & Events Coordinator

Elisha Orama comes to Women Leaders in College Sports by way of San Juan, South Florida, and Boston. She attended undergrad at Wellesley College, majored in psychology and got her master’s degree in sports management from UMass Amherst.

Elisha spent the last year interning in the athletic events and operations department at Harvard University to complete her master’s degree. While at Harvard she was the event manager for field hockey, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s lacrosse. She was responsible for all game day operations for those varsity sports. Prior to graduate school, Elisha worked as a women’s basketball assistant coach at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, for two seasons. During the 2012-2013 season, Merrimack had the largest win turn around in Division II women’s basketball history.

As a former basketball player at Wellesley, Elisha has a special place for the game in her heart. Loves watching college basketball, getting a workout in, and enjoying time with friends and family. She is invested in progressing women’s athletics and the power of sport in making societal change.

Contact Elisha: elisha@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8207

Christina Turner /// Chief of Staff

Christina Turner joined the Women Leaders team in July 2018, and is responsible for serving as an advisor to the chief executive officer, facilitating the organization’s vision, and enabling other members of the leadership team to work together and get decisions at the top made faster.

Prior to coming on board full time, Christina was one of Women Leaders most active members. Since 2016, she has led the Women Leaders Membership Committee, and in 2015, she graduated from the NCAA/Women Leaders Institute for Administrative Advancement. She has also presented twice at the Women Leaders National Convention on new member engagement.

Christina comes to the Women Leaders team from Colgate University where she was assistant athletic director for administration, director of recreation and chair of physical education. She had been working within Colgate’s Division of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics since June 2011 and had been promoted twice.

In Christina's assistant athletic director role, she managed several aspects of the division’s internal operations and oversaw a team of eight full-time staff, more than 25 part-time employee, and 50 student employees. Turner also oversaw the division's human resources administration (new hire searches, employee on-boarding, job descriptions, performance reviews) and participated in the development and maintenance of university HR policies and procedures. In her role as director of recreation and chair of physical education, Turner oversaw the comprehensive collegiate recreation program that provides recreation opportunities for the entire campus community.

Prior to Colgate, Christina worked with the Campus Recreation and Wellness Department at East Carolina University while pursuing her master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Turner attended Eastern Connecticut State University as an undergrad and was a four-year member of the women’s basketball program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management.

Contact Christina: christina@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8212

Sarah Vap /// Director of Internal Operations & Assistant to the CEO

Sarah Vap joined the Women Leaders in College Sports team as Executive Assistant and Special Projects Manager in September 2015. Bringing extensive administrative experience to this role, Sarah provides support to Women Leaders CEO, Patti Phillips, as well as oversee special projects for the organization.

Prior to Women Leaders, Sarah served as administrative assistant at the non-profit program, Kauffman Scholars, at The Kauffman Foundation. Her career has also included employment at H&R Block World Headquarters as the executive assistant for the President of Financial Services. Currently enrolled in Baker University, Sarah expects to complete her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2017.

A Kansas City native and a mother of two daughters, Sarah coaches a Girls on The Run team, volunteers at Harvesters and The Rivalry Run, practices yoga, and enjoys running in her spare time.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarah_vap
Contact Sarah: sarah@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8215

Briana Vaughn /// 2018 Membership Services Intern

Briana Vaughn joined Women Leaders in College Sports in December 2017. Prior to Women Leaders, Briana was a graduate assistant with the National Consortium for Academics in Sports at the University of Central Florida. Rooted in sports, and having a passion for the welfare of student athletes, is what led her to work with UCF Athletics to coordinate internships at UCF with junior level student athletes to ensure professional development on all levels upon eligibility completion.

Stemming from an Atlanta life of athleticism, she pursued the student-athlete career as a member on the track and field team at the University of Georgia before transferring to the University of Central Florida. Running as a Golden Knight exposed her to seeing the importance in the development of life off the track, just as much as on.

Outside of her investment in sport, Briana enjoys reading, spending time at the beach, and traveling with her family. She is dedicated to making a stamp in the world using the power of sport.

Briana also recently graduated with two masters, in Sports Business Management and Business Administration.

Contact Briana: briana@womenleadersincollegesports.org or 816-389-8214

Ashley Broockerd /// National Convention Consultant

Ashley Broockerd joined the Women Leaders in College Sports team as the Director of National Events in August 2010 and earned the role of Senior Director in January 2016, during which time she oversaw all organizational events, including all facets of the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention, in addition to internal operations of the national office and budget oversight for the association. In June 2017, Ashley transitioned to a consultant for the Women Leaders National Convention.

Prior to her time at Women Leaders in College Sports, Ashley previously served as Assistant Director at the Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC), an organization under the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation. While at WIN for KC, she was responsible for the planning and execution of all WIN events, including The Women’s Sports Awards Celebration, an annual sell-out and one of the largest luncheons in Kansas City; the WIN for KC Women’s Triathlon, the largest all-women’s race in the Midwest; Camp WIN, a week-long girls sport day camp; and various programs surrounding the Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Championship.

Ashley is a member of NACDA and PCMA and serves on the Friends of Powell Gardens and WIN for KC board of directors in Kansas City. Originally from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Broockerd has a bachelor of science in accounting and sports management from the University of Kansas, where she was a four-year member of the women’s rowing team.

Contact Ashley: ashley@womenleadersincollegesports.org

 

Photography by Amelia Howard Photography