Log in

Breakfast event - Authentic leadership and diversity in the world of sport

  • 20 Sep 2022
  • 7:15 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Auckland University of Technology, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland, 1010


Registration is closed

Authentic leadership and diversity in the world of sport

Dr. Jen Welter, Phaidra Knight and Julie Paterson

Moderated by Melodie Robinson

The American Chamber of Commerce welcomes panelists Dr. Jen Welter, Phaidra Knight and Julie Paterson, three leading lights in the world of sport and sports management.

Marking the 50th year since US Title IX legislation was enacted, Dr. Welter and Ms Knight are visiting Aotearoa New Zealand to promote diversity in sports, authentic leadership and female empowerment.  Dr. Welter is the first female to coach in the NFL, and a member of the Women’s Football Hall of Fame. Phaidra Knight, a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, is a former international athlete, sports media talent, motivational speaker, lawyer and business entrepreneur.  Julie Paterson, a leader in New Zealand sport, is C
hief Executive of Tennis New Zealand and Co-founder and Chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa.

The panel will be moderated by Melodie Robinson, sports journalist and broadcaster, and former international rugby union player with the New Zealand Black Ferns.

This event is supported by the Embassy of the United States.

Date: Tuesday, September 20th 2022
Time: 7.15am for 7.30am to 9.00am
Venue:  University of Technology, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland, 1010
Cost: Members $50.00 inc GST non-members $65.00 inc GST

Dr. Jen Welter

Dr. Jen Welter is the first female to coach in the NFL, serving as a linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. Widely known as a trailblazer and pioneer in professional football, her accomplishments include:  defensive specialist for the Alliance of American Football; head coach of the first Australian women’s national team; first woman to play running back in a men's professional football league with the Texas Revolution; and first female coach in men’s professional football, helping coach the most successful Revolution season in franchise history.

Prior to joining the world of men’s professional football, Welter’s highly decorated career in women’s professional football included four World Championships, two gold medals as a Team USA member in the IFAF Women’s World Championship, and eight all-star selections. She was inducted into the first class of the Women’s Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

Welter is committed to increasing access and opportunities in football, and empowering women through football. She has created a number of programs and camps for girls and women, including her “A Day in the Life” Camp which debuted with the Washington Redskins women's program, the GRRRidiron Flag Football Camp, and other community initiatives to bring football to youth in under-served areas.

She holds a doctorate degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Sport Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She released her first publication, “Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL” in 2017.

Phaidra Knight

Phaidra Knight is a former international athlete, sports media talent, motivational speaker, lawyer and business entrepreneur. As a professional rugby player, she made three appearances in the Rugby World Cup and two-time selection as the top player in the world in her position. She was named the US Rugby Player of the Decade in 2010 and inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2017. She serves on the USA Rugby Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees for the Women’s Sports Foundation.

From her upbringing in a small rural town in Georgia, Phaidra learned the core values of integrity, commitment, respect and discipline that have fueled and guided her career. On the field, she learned the indispensable attributes of teamwork, leadership and effective communication.

Phaidra earned bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Speech Communications at Alabama State University before studying Law at the University of Wisconsin. Just as her studies weren’t limited to one field, her athleticism isn’t confined to one sport.  In 2010, she became an avid CrossFit competitor and in 2013, a member of the United States Developmental Bobsled Team.

Phaidra recently founded PeaK Unleashed, a non-profit organization devoted to cultivating youth leadership and development through rugby with an emphasis on the incarcerated and sexually exploited populations.  She is a regular speaker on leadership, resilience, fitness, childhood obesity, and anti- bullying, and has served as a Rugby Analyst for NBC Sports, ESPN, and FloRugby. 

Julie Paterson

Julie Paterson is co-founder and co-chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa, finding the spark of inspiration when participating in the espnW Global Sports Mentoring Programme in the USA in 2015. Currently CEO of Tennis New Zealand, Julie has had an extensive career as a sports administrator and is one of just a handful of women leading a National Sports Organisation in Aotearoa. She was CEO of Netball South and the Southern Steel before moving to Auckland to lead Netball Northern and the Northern Mystics for five years; guiding the transition from a trans-Tasman netball competition to the domestic ANZ Premiership.

In 2019, Julie was appointed to the Gender Equality sub-Committee for the International Tennis Federation. She is a vital and prominent voice of advocacy for women and girls.

Melodie Robinson

Melodie Robinson is a New Zealand sports journalist and presenter, and former international rugby union player for the New Zealand women’s national rugby union team.  She played 18 tests for the New Zealand women's team, the Black Ferns, from 1996 to 2002, winning two world cups. She also represented New Zealand in sevens at the Hong Kong 7s and Japan 7s.

Melodie has earned a bachelors degree from University of Otago, a journalism certificate from Wellington Polytechnic and an MBA from Auckland University. She has served as an online and on-air sports producer and commentator. She was the regular host of Super Rugby and ITM Cup build-ups, also hosted the ANZ Championship and international netball build-ups, has hosted the Halberg Awards, and is a regular commentator for the World Rugby's Women's Sevens Series.  She was also a journalist for Sky TV NZ on events like the Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup 2015.

Robinson was appointed TVNZ's General Manager in 2019, and managed the Rugby World Cup 2019, Paralympics, and America’s Cup coverage for TVNZ.


   © American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc  •  Site by