Women Leaders Career Catalyst

The 2019 Career Catalyst (formerly known as Career Connect) at the Women Leaders National Convention is now offering one-on-one coaching sessions with industry experts. All sessions will be held at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. You must be registered for the National Convention to sign up for Career Catalyst.

One-on-One Coaching Sessions

National Convention attendees are invited to schedule one 25-minute meeting with one of our resource providers on Monday, October 14 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. These experts will offer services ranging from resume/cover letter review, interview coaching, personal branding techniques, as well as how to best position yourself for career growth. All Convention registrants are welcome to participate and there is no additional fee—sign-ups are required and meeting times are available on a first-come, first-served basis!

Note: Once you've signed up for a session, please be sure to complete the contact information tab. If you do not enter your contact information, your sign-up is not complete and will be removed.

Service Providers

Kiki Baker Barnes

Director of Athletics
Dillard University

Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes has distinguished herself as an outstanding professional, community servant and mentor. She assumed the leadership role, athletic director, in Dillard’s athletic department in 2006. She simultaneously held the position of head coach of the women’s basketball team until March 2013. Her initial responsibility was to facilitate the return of the athletics program after it was shuttered following Hurricane Katrina. She has not only resurrected the program, but she has also grown the program into a national model of student-athlete success and community service. Since taking the helm, Dillard’s athletic program has seen the establishment of new sports teams and the university's first endowed athletic scholarship.
A leader in sports administration, she was recently named Interim Commissioner for the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). This is not her first stint with the GCAC as she was elected and served as President of the GCAC from 2009-2018, directing its growth after several universities departed for other conferences. Dr. Barnes has become a national expert in strategic planning, organizational management and program revitalization leading her to accept positions as a member of several organizations such as the National Administrative Council of the NAIA, the NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Board of Directors. She currently serves as Chair of the (NAIA) Conduct and Ethics committee and will serve as President of the NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors for the 2019-2020 year. She is President/CEO of Kiki Baker Barnes, LLC a coaching and speaking business focused on helping others unlock their potential.

A trailblazer as well, Dr. Barnes is the only intercollegiate athletic director in the state of Louisiana and was the first female and first African-American president of the GCAC. On June 11, 2019, Dr. Barnes was awarded the industry's highest award, the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award. In 2015, Dr. Barnes received the prestigious "Administrator of the Year Award" presented by the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly known as National Association of College Women Athletic Administrators - NACWAA). In 2011, 2014 and 2015, her peers voted her GCAC Athletic Director of the Year. In 2018, she was honored during Black History Month by the New Orleans Pelicans. She was most recently named to New Orleans CityBusiness Woman of the Year class of 2018, “People to Watch Class of 2014” and was honored by the Girls Scouts of Louisiana Southeast as a 2014 Woman of Distinction. Dr. Barnes also received the Gambit’s Top 40 under 40 of New Orleanians making a difference in the community in 2013. Dr. Barnes was featured as one of 6 women of empowerment in the 2012 Minority Report in New Orleans.

Barnes completed her dissertation research on the relationship between coach’s influence, student engagement, and student-athlete success. She is married to Marc Barnes and they have two children, Caitlin and Marc Jr.

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Peggy Carl

Director of Athletics
Mansfield College
Peggy Carl, a seasoned coach and administrator with over 30 years of experience, was named the next Director of Athletics at Mansfield University in January of 2019.
Carl comes to Mansfield from the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) where she was the Coordinator of Research and Special Projects. She previously served a six-month appointment as the Interim Director of Athletics at Earlham College in Indiana.
Prior to Earlham, Carl served as the Director of Athletics at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. from 2015 to 2018, directing a fifteen-sport Division III program. During her time at Salem State, the Vikings showed a steady improvement in the Smith Cup standings, earned the program’s first NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, and hosted the MASCAC championships for men’s ice hockey, men’s basketball, and baseball. Student-athletes from Salem State enjoyed retention and graduation rates far exceeding the general student population.
From 2008 to 2014, Carl was the Director of Athletics at Beloit College in Wisconsin. While guiding the renovation of the Strong Stadium complex in Beloit, she also increased the athletics program with the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse.

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Jen Fry

Social Justice Educator
Jen Fry Talks

Jen Fry Talks is a social justice education firm who uses conversation to educate and empower those within athletics through an anti-racist lens on issues of race, inclusion, intersectionality, diversity, and equity. We facilitate conversation with small and large groups, athletic departments, athletic teams, staff, administrations, schools, affinity groups, identity groups and much more. We use our antiracist lens to advise on best practices that will create equitable searches, hiring, onboarding practices, methods of retaining staff, retaining student-athletes, supporting student-athletes, staff and coaches, and community building. Jen Fry is a veteran coach with over 15 years of experience at the collegiate level with coaching stints at Elon University, University of Illinois - 2011 National Runner-up, Washington State University, and Norfolk State University. She has had speaking engagements or consulted with the NCAA, NCAA Inclusion Forum, American Volleyball Coaches Association, Gilman School, Black Student-Athlete Summit, Durham County Sheriffs, Western Michigan University, East Carolina University, and more. Jen Fry recently completed her first TedxDuke talk titled “Radical Social Justice Education Through High Fives.” 

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Ellen Heffernan

Spelman Johnson

Ellen Heffernan serves as president of Spelman Johnson in Easthampton, Massachusetts, a leadership search firm exclusively dedicated to serving institutions of higher education. In addition to overseeing the firm and the firm’s presidential search practice, Ellen speaks nationally on issues of leadership and diversity in higher education.

She joined Spelman Johnson Group in 1996, after a ten-year career in higher education that included positions at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She serves as faculty for several national higher education association professional development programs and currently serves on the executive board of the National Association of Executive Recruiters.

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Grant Higgison

Parker Executive Search

Grant brings a unique perspective to his clients having been a coach and teacher at the Division I and Division III levels. He is charged with ensuring seamless communication with clients and candidates, including developing candidates, maintaining accurate candidate information, and overseeing interview logistics.

Before joining PES, Grant was a benefits consultant with Aflac for five years. Grant’s hands-on, needs based approach resulted in top performance for the Georgia North operation. He garnered a number of accolades such as Rookie of the Year as well as State and National sales awards. 
Grant began his career coaching college football at Bridgewater College (VA). In his five years at Bridgewater, the team compiled a record of 49-10 and won four conference championships. In his final three seasons as the Defensive Coordinator, Grant coached 19 all conference players and two All-Americans.

Following his success at Bridgewater, Grant returned to his alma mater, Tulane University. Grant spent three years on their football staff, one as a Graduate Assistant and two as the Defensive Line Coach.
Grant completed his undergraduate education at Tulane University earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Grant also holds a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from James Madison University.

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Stephanie Jarvis

Interim Director
Arizona State University

Stephanie Jarvis currently serves as a lecturer with the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.  She is also the Principal of SJarvis Consulting, a sports and events consulting firm.  

She served as Chief Operating Officer for the Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee, which worked with the NCAA to execute the 2017 Men’s Final Four in Phoenix. Prior to that, she served as senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona Organizing Committee, which worked with the College Football Playoff to execute the 2016 CFP National Championship in Glendale.

The former general counsel and chief compliance officer at Fiesta Bowl, Professor Jarvis also worked for Indianapolis-based Horizon League, where she served as associate commissioner and general counsel. She ran the Horizon League’s compliance program to help member institutions understand and comply with NCAA regulations, and she oversaw numerous conference championships, along with working with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, television partners, the Horizon League Network and outside corporate sponsorship sales teams.

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Julie Muller

Senior Associate
3 Fold Group

Julie Muller has an extensive background in intercollegiate athletics having served as a coach on the Division III level and an administrator on both Division I and III campuses and as a Division III Commissioner. Throughout her career, Muller has worked with institutions of varying profiles, from small private colleges to mid-size and larger public universities and has established a broad working knowledge of the full spectrum of intercollegiate athletics.

In June 2016, Muller retired from her position as the Commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference after completing 11 years of service. Hired as the first full-time Commissioner for the NAC in May of 2005, Muller played an integral role in its growth and development, leading the conference through strategic planning processes and several membership transitions. She currently serves on the NCAA Gender Equity Task Force and recently completed terms on the Women Leaders in College Sport (formerly NACWAA) Board of Directors and the Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee. Muller served as a member of the Executive Committee of the DIII Commissioners Association and as President from 2013-2015. She was a member of the NCAA Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee, Women Leaders Nominating Committee and the chair of the NCAA Woman of the Year Committee. She was recognized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference as the 2011 Female Administrator of the Year and by the DIII Commissioners Association with the 10 Year Service Appreciation Award in 2015. Muller was named the 2016 Women Leaders Administrator of the Year in the Association and Organization category.

Muller began her career in college athletics at her alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University College at Florham starting as an assistant field hockey coach in 1988 and advancing to the position of Associate Athletic Director/SWA and head coach for the Devils. In 2000 she left this position to take on the role of Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development at Stony Brook University. Muller has a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Services, a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Graduate Certificates in Coaching and Non-Profit Management. In addition to her position with the NAC, she currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for Stony Brook University in the School of Professional Development, Graduate Coaching Certificate and Higher Education programs and for Castleton University’s MS Program in Athletic Leadership. 

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Shana Levine

Senior Associate
3 Fold Group

Shana Levine joined 3 Fold Group as a Senior Associate in Spring 2019.  Levine heads up 3 Fold’s executive coaching/AD transition support group, where her membership and enrollment management knowledge will contribute to the group’s existing program review and strategic planning practice. She brings extensive Division III knowledge to the team from her 15 years of campus and NCAA National Office experience. 

Prior to joining 3 Fold, Shana served as the Director of Physical Education & Athletics at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon for 5 years. In her role, Levine oversaw 19 Division III varsity sports, the institution’s intramural program and the Physical Education Department. 

From 2008-2014, Shana served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Washington and Lee in Lexington, Virginia. Prior to Washington and Lee, Levine spent four years with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). A graduate of Washington and Lee University she earned her law degree at the University of Pittsburgh. While in law school, she served as an assistant women's soccer coach at Carnegie Mellon University from 2001-2004.

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Greg Santore

Partner and Head
Odgers Berndtson’s U.S. Sports Leadership Practice 

Greg Santore is a Partner and Head of Odgers Berndtson’s U.S. Sports Leadership Practice, where he works closely with the Education Practice’s collegiate athletics initiatives across all Divisions.  Greg has recruited Athletics Directors and coaches for some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions including Yale, University of California at Berkeley, The College of William & Mary, Tufts, and others. Greg also has experience recruiting executives for sports foundations, national governing bodies and other sports and entertainment-related organizations. 

Before starting his career in executive search, Greg held various leadership positions as CEO, COO and President in the orthopedic rehab, sports medicine and technology fields. 

Greg received his MBA from Rutgers School of Business and his B.A. from Rutgers University where he is currently an adjunct professor in their Global Sports Business M.S. program. 

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Jill Willson

Double L Consulting

Jill Willson served fifteen years with the Texas A&M-Kingsville athletic department and five as athletic director. Willson served as associate athletic director for two years before being named athletic director. Prior to becoming athletic director, Willson was the head women's basketball coach for eight seasons.  

Willson has been very active at the national level with the NCAA. She served on the Division II Management Council from 2003-2007. During that time serving as Chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council 2006-07, Chair of Championships 2005-06. She has served on the South Central Regional Women's Basketball Committee, the NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee and also on the NCAA Nominating Committee.

Currently, Jill is the president of Double L Consulting. As the contractor for all of the Division II for community engagement and game environment initiatives. Jill Spends time collecting and marketing community engagement and game environment “ideas that work” from schools all across the nation.  

Willson also works for the Division II Membership Committee in assisting schools who are making a transition from NAIA or Division III to Division II. As a part of the Division II team, Jill works very closely with the Governance group and the Division II Festival team to cover community engagement and game environment initiatives that surround each Fall, Winter and Spring festivals and all 25 national championships.

Double L Consulting helping individual institutions, and conferences with strategic planning and job searches.

For more information, contact Jessica Barquero at [email protected]