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This three day event will take place in Tucson, Arizona November 4-5, 2019. Connect's Women in Sports Tourism Forum provides the perfect blend of education and quality networking, while focusing on the importance of women's advancement in sports tourism.







Bringing together women in leadership positions in the sports tourism world to learn, grow and expand their opportunities for advancement while joining experts to create positive change in the industry.


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2019 Agenda

Subject to Change

Monday, Nov. 4
Noon-3 p.m."Guac-Off" Off-Site Activity
Omni Tucson National Resort will host our Guac-Off for Women in Sports Tourism. We will divide into teams to create that perfect guacamole all while sipping on yummy margaritas. This interactive event challenges participants to prepare their own take on guacamole utilizing a variety of fresh ingredients to later be judged by a discerning panel of experts on the basis of taste, presentation, creativity and teamwork! Teams will be given all they need to create that award winning guacamole with surprise ingredients provided by Visit Mesa, Visit Tempe and Visit Tucson.

5:30-7 p.m.Happy Hour With Kickoff Keynote—Jean Fedigan, Executive Director of Sister Jose Women’s Center
7:15-8:30 p.m.Welcome Dinner
9-11 p.m.Champagne and Dessert Lounge
Tuesday, Nov. 5
7 a.m."Up and At It" Morning Activity—Yoga

8:30-9 a.m.Networking Breakfast
9-10:30 a.m.General Session: "Brave Your Fear"—Presented by Crista Samaras
10:30 a.m.-NoonInteractive Team Building
12:15-1:30 p.m.Lunch and Keynote: "Facing the Fear of Success"—Presented by Kelsey Dixon
1:45-3:15 p.m.Session: "The 5-Step Game Plan to Get the Promotion and Pay Raise You Deserve"—Presented by Heather Mills
3:30-4:45 p.m.Round-Table Discussions
5-5:45 p.m.Interactive Teambuilding Activity
5:45-7 p.m.Cocktails and Conversation
Wednesday, Nov. 6
7 a.m."Up and At It" Morning Activity—Walk/Run on Resort Trails

8:30-9:45 a.m.Breakfast and Closing Keynote: "You've Got It All"—Presented by Emily Jaenson
10-11:30 a.m."Save the BEST 'Business' for Last"
Ladies can use this time for business card or RFP exchange, finish those conversation or take the connections you’ve made to the next level with this dedicated time for business. Pair that with a mimosa bar to finish out the forum with a CHEERS!




2019 Keynotes

Kelsey Dixon

Kelsey Dixon is a believer in doing life differently. She co-founded davies + dixon at the vibrant age of 24 in 2014. Now as president, she’s led the company to grow by 40% every year, employed a boundary-pushing team, worked with many familiar names in the industry and spoke on several regional panels. She has also been appointed to the Association for Women in Events 2019-2020 board of directors.

Prior to launching the davies + dixon brand, she chalked up other "hats off" moments in her career, like having her success as a field sales manager with mark. by Avon highlighted in national media. An industry native with a Bachelor's (and Student of the Year Award) in tourism and events management from George Mason University, her career launchpad representing a luxury golf resort involved partnering with local visitors bureaus to lead regional sales efforts, strengthen client engagement and improve marketing strategy.

An East Coast USA original and West Coast transplant, she now embraces the "digital nomad" lifestyle while traveling and managing davies + dixon from anywhere in the world.

Jean Fedigan

A registered nurse since 1993, Jean Fedigan received both her Bachelors Degree in Nursing and her Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix. Beginning in 2005, she held several leadership positions at the University Physicians Healthcare Network, including: Vice President of Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Ambulatory Services.

Since 2009, Fedigan has served as the executive director for Sister Jose Women’s Center in Tucson, where she is responsible for all operations. Currently, the Center offers over 100 women per day resources, including a safe place to form community, have a bit of food, do laundry, rest or take classes. Sister Jose Women's Center is more than a shelter; it is a community built upon the values of compassion, dignity and respect in a non-institutionalized setting.

Emily Jaenson

Emily Jaenson’s motto is, "be so good they won't forget you!" and this motto has carried her through her career on a non-linear path to general manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces. Currently, she’s the only woman general manager in Triple-A baseball and the first in almost 20 years. Jaenson’s role as GM is to lead day to day business operations for baseball, including the event experience, community engagement, marketing and media, and contribute to the sponsorship team. In the four years Jaenson has worked for the Aces she’s never missed budget in her personal sponsorship goal.

Jaenson is on a mission to bring excellence and intention to her job every day so that she can shine the light for other women to pursue roles traditionally held by men.

She and her husband, Navy veteran Shawn Jaenson, have two young sons, Magnus and Anders.

Heather Mills

Heather Mills is a negotiation expert for women, class action attorney, and founder of Women Who Ask, a company that helps women negotiate for what they want in their careers. She's helped hundreds of women successfully negotiate meaningful promotions, pay raises, and career breakthroughs.

Crista Samaras

Crista Samaras is the CEO and founder of Brave Enterprises. She is an inventor, businesswoman, record-setting lacrosse player, coach, writer, actress and mother. At Princeton University, Samaras was Rookie of the Year, two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, and three-time All American. She was the first player—man or woman — to score 50 goals in a single season during her sophomore year. After graduating, Samaras went on to win a gold medal in the 2001 IFWLA World Cup and a silver medal in the 2005 IFWLA World Cup. In 2000, she founded XTEAM lacrosse, a national club for girls from non-traditional lacrosse areas who wanted to pursue playing in college, which she sold in 2014. In 2016, Samaras founded Brave Enterprises to help people do hard things. Brave’s mission is to craft practice-based programming that will inform brave-inspired behaviors for people who want to make a habit of taking action.

2019 Education

Subject to Change

Tuesday, Nov. 5
9-10:30 a.m. | General Session

Presented by Crista Samaras

Fear is powerful and it can either propel or immobilize us. For women especially, fear plays a critical role by the time we are 11 years old and we see its effects throughout our lifetime. Crista Samaras will confront the unhealthy obsession with being fearless rather than more brave, explore the value of being intentionally out of our comfort zone, and make a case that chasing failure is a ticket to increasing core confidence. This session will be highly interactive and include foundational principles of Brave's research with over 4,000 people in the last two years. Furthermore, it will incorporate the most effective science in the field of social emotional learning including grit, self-control, deliberate practice, growth, mindset, goal-setting.

Noon-1:30 p.m. | Lunch Session

Presented by Kelsey Dixon

We are familiar with the fear of failure and the concept that "failing forward" is the positive learning moment that occurs from it when it’s bound to happen. But what about the fear of success? There’s something monumentally terrifying about seeing all of your dreams come to fruition. Living in the potential of all that "could be" is easy and safe. But when you put all of your hopes and dreams out there for the world to see... that's vulnerability. And then, what does life look like if you’re really able to pull it off?!

1:45-3:15 p.m. | Session

Presented by Heather Mills

Are you ready to advance your career and increase your income? Many women believe that this requires putting work before everything else (a recipe for burnout!) or playing cutthroat office politics. Heather Mills is here to tell you that both of those strategies are total BS!

In this workshop, you'll learn:
> The step-by-step blueprint Heather's female clients use to consistently get promoted and earn up to 30% pay raises—without being aggressive, competitive, or overly demanding.
> How you can use your natural advantages as a woman to land your ideal role, get promoted, and get paid the salary you deserve
> How to take control of you career so that you can advance and earn more without pushing yourself to burnout
>...AND how to do all of this while you earn MORE respect in the workplace.

Wednesday, Nov. 6
8:30-9:45 a.m. | Closing Keynote

Presented by Emily Jaenson

Question: "What have you been up to lately?" Answer: "Oh, I’ve been SO BUSY!" Is this your standard reply? It’s likely. So how do we navigate this busy life of career, family and personal goals, direct reports, changing technologies, school or continued learning, health and exercise? We must pursue our life with INTENTION and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of our gifts and our goals. Emily Jaenson will discuss morning routine, building your community, pursing your goals and setting new ones, communication and setting boundaries with a "don’t take no for an answer" attitude. You’ll learn tips and cues to practice confidence and positive acknowledge that you do in fact: "have it all!"

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