2023 NFHS Better Together Women and Sport Leadership Virtual Summit

Building strategies for mental and emotional wellness, effective communication, and empowering the next generation of leaders.

This newsletter is meant to engage the female leaders in our field who are passionate about improving the professional and educational environment for students, coaches, athletic/activities directors and state association administrators. We will journey together to discover new ways to empower and collaborate with other female leaders in this industry.

Event Overview

The mission is to not only address systemic barriers, but to also develop meaningful, actionable solutions to continue the growth of women in the field of sports – coaching, officiating and administration. This hybrid model of pre-recorded and live sessions with dynamic general session speakers and tracks for coaches, officials and administrators is meant to educate, inspire and connect female leaders of past, present and future. Please join us for the second annual Women and Sport Leadership Summit.

The NFHS Foundation's purpose is to serve and protect the integrity of high school sports and activities by funding research and programs in the areas of risk minimization and leadership.

One of the pillars of the NFHS Foundation is leadership – donations, like yours, allow the Foundation to continue to fund leadership opportunities for high school students, coaches, officials, and administrators just like this one.

Keynote Speakers

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Vera Jones
Motivational Speaker, Author,
Conflict & Communication Coach

Vera Jones is an inspiring, funny, and relatable motivational speaker, author, and professional development trainer. She offers resilience, leadership, communication, DEIB, mental wellness, and conflict resolution keynote speaking, training, and coaching. A Syracuse University Hall of Fame athlete with a master’s degree in Television and Radio, and an MTI Certification in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Vera is also a veteran ESPN, MSG WNBA, and Big Ten Network Basketball Analyst. She has also performed on stage as an actress with the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company and as a stand-up comedian. In 2020, Vera founded the Perseverance Speakers Academy to help professionals polish their public speaking and presentational skills and storytelling. In all her endeavors, her faith-based mission is to inspire, uplift, and unite.

Vera is a Prince George’s County, Maryland native, who now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Suzanne Dodd, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, Anderson University and
NCAA and USA Volleyball Official

Suzanne Dodd, PhD, of Greenville, SC, is a mother to two young women; she’s a college professor, a volleyball official, and a lifelong lover of M&Ms (the peanut ones). Suzanne teaches classes in Sport Psychology, Health & Wellness, and Medical Terminology as an adjunct faculty member in Anderson University’s Kinesiology Department and in Furman University’s and USC-Upstate’s Psychology Department. She’s an active volleyball official working in several NCAA Division I and II conferences with multiple conference, regional, and national championships on her officiating resume. She is the supervisor of volleyball officials for an NCAA Division II conference. Suzanne serves on the Board of Directors for the Palmetto Region, a member of USA Volleyball, and actively officiates, trains, and certifies new and rising volleyball officials. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree from Presbyterian College, a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and a Doctorate in Physical Education from Florida State University, Suzanne works hard to utilize the principles of performance psychology to improve the sport officiating experience for all game participants.

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Angel Henry
Award-winning Author of Dents in the Ceiling,
Agile Mindset Champion, Inclusion Activist with Active Allyship Advocate

Angel is the author of "Dents in the Ceiling: Tools Women and Allies Need to Breakthrough"; it is her knowledge of why women and minorities are missing from the C-Suite that provides awareness for corporate leaders to make change. Angel has 20-years of tech muscle, a sought-after trainer, speaker, adjunct instructor, and inclusive workplace advisor.

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Tonya T. Wallace
Director, Solution Delivery
Cox Automotive

Tonya combines leadership coaching, and agility thinking to develop high performing IT teams. As a DEI enthusiast and mother of 6, her passion for equity and inclusion is driven by the most important role in her life- raising athletes. 4 D1 scholarships and more to come! She spreads the powerful message of how inclusion is a catalyst for diversity and can create positive momentum within your organization to raise your game!