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Capacity Crowd At GNAC's Women In Sports Seminar
A sold-out audience attended the third Women In Sports seminar that was hosted at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, by the GNAC. Photo by: Adam Wickham
A sold-out audience attended the third Women In Sports seminar that was hosted at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, by the GNAC. Photo by: Adam Wickham
Founder of Coaching Peace Diana Cutaia addressed the attendees about the importance of showing up and being present in the moment in life.
Founder of Coaching Peace Diana Cutaia addressed the attendees about the importance of showing up and being present in the moment in life.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Great Northwest Athletic Conference hosted its third Women In Sports seminar with this year's successful sold-out edition taking place at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, where high school and collegiate women interested careers in athletics had a chance to network and hear from professionals in the industry.

Keynote speaker Diana Cutaia addressed the group of 125 aspiring women, sharing experiences from her journey as well as advice about the importance of showing up on a daily basis in life.

"Show up. Be there with your eyes, heart and ears," Cutaia said. "I've learned so much by just being there. Today, you chose to be here. You showed up here."

Cutaia encouraged the women that, while they are determined to achieve their goals, they should enjoy and make the most of the current position that they find themselves in.

"We're so focused on the end, but all of the learning happens in the process," Cutaia said. "Don't be so focused on where you want to be that you forget where you are. Be in the moment all the time and embrace the place that you are in."

Cutaia has years of coaching experience under her belt and is now the founder of Coaching Peace, which supports coaches and encourages relationship-based leadership.

"Women before me have showed up in spaces so that I have my opportunity right now," Cutaia added. "We have to be good stewards of that opportunity. Women have opportunities now, but it hasn't always been that way and may not necessarily always be that way."

Participants also had a chance to hear from four groups of panelists that focused on coaching, internal operations, administration and external operations. Each of the four panels featured four panelists that are professionals in the area that the panel addressed.

The 16 featured panelists discussed the breadth of work that goes into the collegiate athletics and the breadth of opportunities that come along with that. Along with personal stories, the panelists also shared tips on resumes and interviews among other pieces of advice for working in sports.

"Show class, have pride and display character," Alaska Anchorage Associate AD/SWA Dede Allen said, describing her athletic department's mode of operation during one of the panels. "That phrase has always stuck with me. My colleagues and I have been able to create an atmosphere, using that slogan, for success for our student-athletes in both the classroom and field of competition."

Following the four panels, participants got the valuable experience of networking with various professionals at the event, including the 16 panelists along with experienced professionals. Professionals and participants broke into smaller groups, where the high school and college women had the chance to ask specific questions to females who work in fields that they aspire to join some day.

After the seminar, attendees walked to another part of the Moda Center to watch the NBA game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz, which was a free addition to the seminar for all in attendance.

2017 Seminar -- Panelist Profiles

Holli Howard-Carpenter     Basketball Coach Western Oregon University
Megan Robertson Director of Promotions/Game Day Experience      University of Oregon
Alice Loebsack Assistant Athletic Director/Sports Medicine Saint Martin's University
Stacie Matz-Gordon Volleyball Coach  Lewis & Clark College 
Ann Walker  Director of Events and Communication Alliance of Women Coaches 
Christa Stout Vice President, Social Responsibility Portland Trail Blazers 
Anne Peterson  Sports Writer  Associated Press 
Karen Baebler Assistant Athletic Director, Sports Operations  University of Washington 
Merryn Roberts-Huntley President and Founder FIXX Consulting
Ngozi Monu Corporate Communications Coordinator  adidas 
Cat Wade  Interim Director of Sports Performance  University of Portland 
Chelsey Zimmerman Assistant Basketball Coach  Portland State University 
Traci Swanson  Member Services  Portland Timbers/Portland Thorns 
Dede Allen Associate Athletic Director  University of Alaska Anchorage 
Marianne Vydra Deputy Athletic Director Oregon State University
Lisa Peterson Deputy Athletic Director University of Oregon
Sonja Robinson Director of Inclusion NCAA
Diana Cutaia Founder Coaching Peace
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