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VOTE for your WISE Arizona Women of the Year!


It's that time of year again, WISE Arizona members - time to vote for your Women of Inspiration! This year we are offering a number of categories, so you can recognize several women who inspire you. Learn about the nominees below and hear directly from those who know them, and nominted them!

Voting ends AUGUST 25.

The WISE Arizona Women of Inspiration nominees

Curious to learn more about the most inspiring women of 2021-22? Hear directly from the women who know them - and nominated them!

Inspiring Sports Executive of the Year 

Marina Carpenter- EVP Public Affairs & General Counsel, Arizona Coyotes

From her nominator: Marina is inspiring for many reasons. She takes time for all of the people under her by taking time to get to know each persons strengths and what excites them, and the looks to challenge them. As her roles with the Coyotes have changed, she has leaned on people under her to educate her on areas of the business that may not have come naturally. Also, while doing this she has shown each of us how to be successful in the workplace while also having a family.

Kim Corbitt - Senior Vice President, People & Culture, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center 

From her nominator: Kim is not only a leader, but a person who exemplifies all of the positive traits presented in the sports industry and sports in general. Kim is the definition of an excellent team mate, whose impact has been seen almost immediately upon joining the Phoenix Suns. Her integrity and resiliency has become a hallmark of the Suns, Mercury and Footprint Center culture and her work in building a culture we can all be proud of has not gone unnoticed. I am proud to call her a co-worker and coach.

Julie Giese - President, Phoenix Raceway & VP of Track Marketing, NASCAR

From her nominator: If there is anyone with a busier schedule than Julie Giese, I haven't met them yet. However, Julie consistently makes time to mentor, both formally as part of WISE Within and informally as a gracious executive sharing her experiences to many women within Arizona. Julie is unwaveringly kind, of strong will, and an advocate for women. One of only three female track presidents within the NASCAR industry, Julie has had a hand in breaking the glass ceiling for women - and we all know that if you can see her, you can be her.

Amilyn Pierce - Vice President, Government Affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks 

From her nominator: Amilyn has spearheaded our women's group at the Arizona Diamondbacks since she started with the team in October of 2018. She has assisted in planning events around safety in the ballpark, giving our women a voice, and better maternity leave for our organization. Amilyn is a single mom and an amazing example that you can hold a VP title while being a mom and focusing on your family. Amilyn has been an inspiration to all women in our organization and I don't think she gets enough recognition for all the work she puts in. She has been a mentor to me and someone I look up to and hope to be like as my career progresses.

Inspiring Events Executive of the Year

MariaElena Mwangi - Director of Sales and Events, Warehouse 215 

From her Nominator: Maria is very articulate and detailed and knows her craft. She is a sought after events person and can do it well. She is a great motivator and encouragement to her team. She is a person of excellence.

Roxann Favors - Special Projects Administrator - City Major Special Events, City of Phoenix - Phoenix Convention Center and Venues

From her nominator: Roxann grew in her role with the city from an Intern with the City’s Management dept in 2003 to her role as the heart of all big events happening in Phoenix today. There is no big event - Final Four, Lost Lake Music Festival - that could take place in the City of Phoenix without her help. She is a true rockstar- she is incredibly knowledgeable, always willing to help and has the most positive and upbeat attitude. She truly wants to help you make events great and showcase the City of Phoenix and is a joy to work with.

Trisha Smith - Founder, CEO and Creative Director, Catch 3 Creative 

From her nominator: I watched her pivot her career during COVID from executive at Top Golf to Business owner of a now successful event business. Her new business is making waves and she is inspiring those who were forced to pivot life to never give up on your dreams.

Emerging Sports Executive of the Year

Jennifer Degasis - Sr HR Coordinator, Phoenix Suns

From her nominator: Jennifer is amazing. Jennifer Degasis is the heart of the Phoenix Suns organization and is always available with a smile and a solution for so many employee needs. She is a compassionate and dedicated employee to the Suns family and works on big and small projects with the same passion and energy. Jennifer’s devotion to her HR profession and her capacity for delivering beyond what is expected is what makes her deserve this award.

Krystina Mallon - Manager - Athletic Operations, ASU Athletics Dept

From her nominator: Krystina started with Sun Devil Athletics as an intern and has worked her way to Manager of Athletic Operations. Since day one she has put in maximum effort into her projects, events, and now those who report to her. She listens to her staff members and provides them with guidance. She does not directly tell them what to do next but provides them with thought provoking options and recommendations so they then are able to make choices and grow themselves versus just following directions. Through the uncertainty of COVID she did multiple things behind the scenes to keep her staff motivated and focused on the tasks ahead. She takes the time to work with her staff members so they and their events are also the best they can be.

Traci Washington - Payroll Specialist, Suns Legacy Partners

From her nominator: Traci was (and still is) my mentor here at the Suns. She spent hours with me to ensure that there were no gaps in my training and that I understood what it was I was doing. She exemplifies the Suns winning behaviors everyday not because she has to but because of the person that she is. She is truly one of a kind and I wholeheartedly believe she deserves this award.

Katie Wilcox - Marketing Manager, State Farm Stadium

From her nominator: Katie Wilcox is a rock star at State Farm Stadium overseeing social media, premium seating, and media relations for all non-NFL related events. With accomplishments including overseeing $170,000 in premium seating sales during FY22, regularly engaging with over 85,000 social media followers, and facilitating media operations for sold-out events at State Farm Stadium, Katie consistently excels within her role while regularly engaging in opportunities to sharpen and expand her skillset. Katie is engaged with WISE Arizona on the Marketing Committee as well as the marketing committee of MPI (Meeting Professionals International).

WISE Member of the Year

Deana Garner - Senior Associate Athletic Director, Arizona State University

From her nominator: Deana is a champion of women, has been for as long as I have known her, and has advocated for WISE Arizona since its inception. As a Senior Administrator at ASU Athletics, Deana is constantly searching for ways to support the women surrounding her to make sure they are growing and meeting new challenges. Her energy, enthusiasm, and passion is infectious, and WISE Arizona is a better organization because of her advocacy for and commitment to women.

Rebecca Mobley - Director of Marketing & Public Relations, State Farm Stadium

From her nominators: Rebecca is truly one of a kind. Rebecca is always championing other female employees within our organization as well as in our community. She is a strong leader hard worker, great boss, an amazing friend and it shows by her positive impact on every person at the stadium. Since taking over the Presidency of WISE Arizona, the chapter has developed a strong sense of camaraderie and sense of mission. She has brought together many busy women working and helped lead us in the same direction for the betterment of the chapter. She is able to look at the big picture, and still focus on the small personal details that make everyone feel valued.

Amanda Powers - President, FC Tucson

From her nominators: Amanda is a passionate leader, who is generous in sharing her experience, always open to having a conversation and a strong advocate for women and minorities. Through her club vision, she has prioritized hiring women in the front office; invested more resources for the FC Tucson Women's pre-professional team; and garnered community support through the #SheStartsInTucson initiative. As a trailblazer, Amanda consistently strives to open doors for the women in her orbit. Through her network, Amanda provided the basis for a successful Tucson event week and has shared her energy in helping WISE Arizona achieve the mission of supporting all women in Arizona.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Nicolette Donald Hawthorne - CEO, P.R.O.S. Corporate Housing

From her nominators: Nicolette Donald embodies all the principles and spirit of WISE. She is a woman full of heart, drive, and vision. Nicolette grew up in Germany where she attended school and graduated with her master’s degree. She went on to spend 15 years in multi-family management, new acquisitions, and real estate investing. Nicolette Donald started P.R.O.S. 10 years ago where the company has gone from operating from her kitchen table to developing into a multimillion-dollar company. P.R.O.S. has made the Inc 5000 list 3 times and started auxiliary companies that support the original company vision.
Additionally, Nicolette envisioned and developed the nonprofit, P.I.T.C.H. Initiative. P.I.T.C.H. is managed by the owners and employees of P.R.O.S. and its affiliated entities. The acronym “P.I.T.C.H.” was selected to represent P.R.O.S. In The Community Helping, and the mission of this charitable organization is to provide direct financial or other support to charitable entities or programs in our communities.
Nicolette is naturally always seeking improvement not only in business but in herself. She has not only had a positive impact in the lives of her employees but in the lives of athletes and their families across several leagues and communities.

Lakisha Holley - Photographer / LHOLLEY Photography

From her nominator: Holley also holds a hidden super power and that's her attitude of servitude. Holley makes it her FIRST business to utilize her gifts so that other people's gifts shine like they're meant to. Her sacrifice, her time, and efforts to provide services like brand consultations, photos, and videography are then used to elevate a business or brands without her gaining traditional rewards in return.

La'Vista Jones - Founder and CEO, 31 Marketplace

From her nominator: When I hear ‘WISE Women of Inspiration’ I instantly think of La’Vista - the visionary, the women’s advocate, and the rising community leader that the world will get to know and experience!

Dreams can be realized at all ages and La’Vista is not only a client of mine, but has become a friend who reminds me daily that I, too, can still dream and have plenty of accomplishments left in me. She is inspiring to women, speaks with authority and has an authentic heart that is felt through interacting with her. I can’t think of anyone more worthy of this honor as she continues to be a trailblazer by making Phoenix a better city, especially for women.

Emily Sadler - Founder, CEO, Events by Emily

From her nominator: I don’t know where I would be without Emily and the impact she has made in my life as a mentor and boss. She reminds us we can do hard things and guides us on how to do so. She also has created a nonprofit ALL THE WAY UP that funds second chances for individuals that are already sober, working an active recovery program and ready to strengthen their work ethic. They assist with life skills, safe housing, uniform acquisition, transportation and peer support. She truly cares and it shows in her coffee shop NO FILTER that provides a safe place to commune with others after or before meetings or those in need of a community that understands the struggle in sober living.

WOI voting is restricted to members of WISE Arizona. You should receive a link to the ballot in your email inbox. If you are a current member, and have not received the email, please let us know:

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