Paramount Event Space | August 10, 2022 – 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM ET
Location: 222 Rowntree Dairy Rd, Woodbridge, ON L4L 9T2
Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we cultivate equal opportunities for participants on all fronts in sport. Sport is a powerful vehicle to create social change. Sports brings together people of all walks of life and experiences and connects us through the highs and lows of an athlete’s sporting journey.
Tennis Canada’s inaugural UNMATCHED Gender Equity in Sports Conference featuring Billie Jean King and presented by National Bank will bring leaders, influencers, athletes, advocates, and academics from across Canada and the world to celebrate the place of women and girls in sport.
The conference will take place on August 10th in conjunction with Tennis Canada’s National Bank Open event, which features top professional women tennis players from around the World. Attendees will be invited to rally together to advance the conversation around gender equity in sport.
Enjoy an immersive discussion with leaders and allies from across Canada.
What’s included in your ticket?
• Conference admission
• Keynote fireside chat with gender equity in sport pioneer Billie Jean King
• Networking opportunities
• Premium lunch and open bar
• Wine and cheese networking event to follow speaker series
• *Add on discounted lower bowl tickets to watch the 7pm match at the National Bank Open women’s tournament
JOIN OUR CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS
Billie Jean King
Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation and part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Angel City FC and the Philadelphia Freedoms. In her legendary tennis career, King captured 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles, including a record 20 Wimbledon championships. Her historic win over Bobby Riggs in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes, is one of the greatest moments in sports history. In September 2020, King became the first woman to have an annual global team sports event named in her honor when Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, was rebranded as the Billie Jean King Cup. The National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006 in honor of her accomplishments on and off the court. In 2017, Fox Searchlight released the critically acclaimed film, Battle of the Sexes, which depicts the cultural and social impact of the groundbreaking match. In 2018 King received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, in 2019 King’s deep Southern California roots were recognized with the opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library in her hometown of Long Beach, California, in 2020 King was honored with the release of the Billie Jean King Barbie doll, part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women Series and in 2021 she received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. King serves on the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is an adidas Global Ambassador and is a past member of the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a past member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Her memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, was published by Knopf in August 2021.
Registered Psychotherapist, Mental Health Clinician with the Toronto Raptors
Jhanelle is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), the supporting Mental Health Clinician for the Toronto Raptors, and the Clinical Director of a Toronto-based private practice. With compassion and understanding at the forefront, Jhanelle works with individuals to identify strengths, tools and personal determination that can lead to positive and lifelong changes.
Canadian Bobsleigh Pilot
Cynthia Appiah is a celebrated Canadian Bobsledder, capturing a Crystal Globe during the 2021/22 IBSF World Cup season as the 3rd ranked Monobob pilot in the world. Despite being the victim of occasional racism competing in a sport where black pilots are rare, Cynthia has persevered and maintains a positive and hopeful outlook for the future. Appiah’s journey toward a life in elite sport began through a Jays Care Foundation outreach initiative where children from under-privileged Toronto neighbourhoods are invited to learn to play baseball at a local park. Cynthia’s parents immigrated to Canada from Ghana and she’s exceptionally proud of all that her family has achieved. She’s never allowed living in Toronto Community Housing to define herself or her family. Cynthia looks to inspire all kids growing up in difficult circumstances to chase their dreams even when they seem impossible.
Vice President, Basketball Operations with the Toronto Raptors
Teresa Resch joined the Raptors for the 2013-14 season as Director, Basketball Operations & Player Development. She was promoted to Vice President, Basketball Operations in August of 2015. She is responsible for team operations staff and a liaison between the basketball and team business operations.
Resch played an instrumental role in overseeing plans for the team’s new practice facility, OVO Athletic Centre, which opened in February 2016. She was also a key member of the team that launched Raptors 905 – Toronto’s NBA G-League affiliate and was responsible for transitioning the Raptors to Tampa for 2020-21 season. Prior to joining the Raptors in 2013, Resch served as Ultimate Hoops National Basketball Operations Manager for Life Time Fitness where she was responsible for basketball programming at 104 Club locations in the US and Canada. Resch returns to the NBA, having spent four years at the NBA League Office from 2006 through 2011. While at the NBA, Resch assisted the International Basketball Operations department in operating Basketball Without Borders Camps on four different continents and was instrumental in the establishment of the first camp to feature women campers. Additionally, she assisted in maintaining and expanding the NBA’s relationship with the US Department of State’s SportsUnited program. In her initial role in the NBA domestic basketball operations department, Resch oversaw league roster management and operations of league-sponsored events NBA All-Star Weekend, NBA Draft and NBA Draft Combine. Resch earned her MBA in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University (FL) and a BA in Business Communications from Augustana College (SD) where she was an all-conference player for the Vikings Volleyball team and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the International Programs Office.
Olympic Gold Medalist and Mental Health Advocate
Stephanie started her professional playing career in 2009 after graduating from the University of Connecticut – where she played for four seasons. She has played for Piteå IF, KIF Örebro and Linköpings FC and Rosengård FC in the Swedish Damallsvenskan, which is the highest women’s league in Sweden. Stephanie has represented Canada at two youth World Championships, two Pan American Games, three World Cups, and was selected as an alternate for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. She has been one of three goalkeepers for Canada since 2008. In 2016, Stephanie helped lead Canada to its second Olympic bronze medal, in Rio. In 2020, Stephanie represented Canada at the Tokyo Olympics, where she generated a highlight-reel performance from start to finish. Steph stopped the last two penalty kicks from Sweden to capture the Gold for Canada! A historic moment for Canada, and the honourary ‘Minister of Defence’.
Paralympian, Former World #2 Wheelchair Tennis
Sarah Hunter is the most decorated Canadian wheelchair tennis athlete. After sustaining a spinal cord injury playing hockey in 1997 she went on to become a two-time Paralympian (Athens, Beijing) finishing 4th in doubles in Athens, with a career-high #2 ITF world ranking and Top 5 ranked for 10 years. Sarah is an 11-time national singles champion and 6-time doubles champion. She is a long-time National High-Performance Program athlete and is currently sharing her knowledge as a fully certified coach 3 with next-gen athletes as the BC Provincial Wheelchair Tennis Coach. Sarah is a super Series Champion, Athlete of the Year: Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association & BC Wheelchair Sports Association, former Chair of ITF Athletes Council, former Canadian Paralympic Committee Ambassador and public speaker, former National Field Lacrosse team athlete.
President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto
Leanne Nicolle, idea generator, humanity advocate and globally-minded social innovator left her private sector marketing executive career to dedicate her life to helping girls around the world and social impact initiatives. Leanne has a passion for human development and has worked in the social space for UNICEF, Plan Canada and as the founder of girl !mpact. Leanne continued her journey in the social space as the Executive Director of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. She was instrumental in creating programs to increase accessibility to high-performance sport for those in marginalized communities. Her legacy program, RBC Training Ground, provides a platform to recruit the best athletes in Canada for our high-performance stream. Currently, Leanne is the President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto where she is thriving in her role as leader and mentor. BBBST is an organization entirely dedicated to empowering children and youth to reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty through intergenerational connections. She is an Executive Mentor in Residence at Toronto Metropolitan University lending her expertise and lived experience in inclusive leadership; ethics & values; and women in leadership at the Ted Rogers School of Management MBA program.
CEO of Canadian Women & Sports
Allison Sandmeyer-Graves is the CEO of Canadian Women & Sport — a national non-profit and the leading voice and authority on women and sport in Canada. The organization works to create systemic change that permanently expands equity and inclusion for all girls and women at all levels of the sport. Canadian Women & Sport is particularly committed to increasing the retention of girls in sport, expanding the presence of women in leadership roles, and improving the policy and investment conditions for women’s sports to grow and develop. In pursuing these goals, Allison works closely with researchers, government leaders, sports administrators, media and other corporate and non-profit leaders across Canada to drive learning and action. She brings 15+ years of social impact leadership experience to the role, part of a career focused on mobilizing large-scale, lasting change. Allison is motivated every day by the power of sport and believes that inclusive, equitable sport will help drive progress for women in all areas of society.
Women’s Tennis Association President
Micky was appointed as President of the WTA in October 2015. She brings close to three decades of sports and entertainment expertise to the organization, during which time she has played an important role in strengthening the geographic footprint and commercial value of women’s tennis. During her tenure, she has propelled growth in all aspects of the tennis business across athletes, events, sponsorship sales and consultancy by leading various campaigns designed to further champion women and female athletes. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawler activated new opportunities to accelerate the WTA’s commercial investments, including the largest title sponsorship in WTA History, new mental health and wearables partnerships, and welcoming the WTA’s first authorized gaming operator. Advocating for the future of the sport, Lawler has provided strong strategic leadership, spearheading the WTA’s broadcast, streaming, and data asset agreements, as well as driving unprecedented collaborations with the ATP in support of a more unified tennis fan experience. Such recent milestones include a complete rebranding of the WTA, the launch of an integrated marketing team with the ATP, the debut of a joint live tennis app, and an innovative data rights partnership.
Prior to her role as president, Micky led significant contributions to sport during her 11 years as a WTA Board member and 27 years as a leader of tennis with Octagon. Prior to joining Octagon, Lawler began her sports career in communications at the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council, the predecessor to the ATP World Tour.
Born in Holland, Lawler earned a BA in Political Science from The American University of Paris and a Master in Applied Linguistics from the University of Delaware. She was named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Sports,” by ADWEEK in 2020 and 2018, a “Game Changer: Women in Sports Business” by the Sports Business Journal in 2012, and recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of their “Women Who Mean Business” honorees in 2009 and recipient of the Warsaw-Thurston Award by the University of Oregon College of Business in 2012. Having lived in nine different countries across South America, Central America, Europe, Africa and the United States, Lawler is fluent in Dutch, Spanish, French, German and English. She is the mother of three children, Charlotte, Trevor and Juliette.
Host, Sportsnet Central
Since joining Sportsnet in April 2007, Evanka Osmak has established herself as one of the network’s most trusted and recognizable personalities as primetime host of Sportsnet Central – Sportsnet’s nightly sports news program. Alongside regular co-host Ken Reid, Osmak breaks down the day in sport’s highlights, headlines and interviews for viewers across Canada
In addition to her role on Sportsnet Central, Osmak contributes to Sportsnet’s coverage of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, serving as host and courtside reporter in either Toronto or Montreal.
Hailing from Oakville, ON, Osmak originally pursued a career in civil engineering before transition to her true passion – broadcasting. After graduating from Seneca College at York University, Osmak launched her broadcast career with JACK-FM in Orillia, ON before moving south of the border to work as a morning show host on KYMA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona.
Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist and 2SLGBTQ+ Advocate
Mark Tewksbury first came to prominence as a record-breaking backstroke swimmer. His sixteen-year athletic career included 21 national titles, 7 world records, Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals, and a cover appearance on TIME magazine. When he publicly came out in 1998, Mark was one of the first openly gay Olympic Champions in the world and has been a leader with the global LGBTQI2S movement ever since.
Mark is the author of three books including his revealing and honest autobiography, Inside Out: Straight Talk From A Gay Jock (2005). He is the playwright and performer of Belong, a one-man-show featured at Calgary’s iconic High Performance Rodeo theatre festival in 2020. Since 2007, Mark and business partner, Olympic coach Debbie Muir, have brought their Great Traits leadership training programs to thousands of corporate audiences worldwide. Mark is also currently Vice President of the Canadian Olympic Committee. In 2015, Mark was one of three pioneers featured in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights exhibit recognizing trailblazers in sport. In 2019, he was awarded a Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for his work in gender inclusion and sexual diversity. In 2020, Mark was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Former Chair of the Board of Directors, Tennis Canada
Jennifer Bishop is a partner in the Corporate/Commercial Group of Aird Berlis LLP. Her extensive business law experience and dedication to providing creative solutions make her a trusted advisor to client teams. Jennifer advises on mergers and acquisitions, the negotiation and drafting of major commercial agreements and provides strategic advice on domestic, cross-border and international corporate matters. Jennifer works with private sector clients across a variety of industries, including retail, packaged and consumer goods, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, technology, healthcare, insurance, sports and media.
Jennifer has been recognized as one of Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 and is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada for Corporate Law. In law school she was awarded the J.W. Whiteside Award for outstanding volunteer commitment to under-served legal communities. Jennifer is a frequent speaker on matters relating to corporate law, governance, leadership and gender equity, and is an officer of the International Bar Association’s Women’s Leadership Group.
Jennifer’s passion for sports law is driven by her own experience competing at the national and international levels. She serves on many boards and holds key leadership positions in the sporting world. In 2020, Jennifer was appointed to one of the most prestigious committees of the International Tennis Federation, the Billie Jean King Cup Committee. As a junior, Jennifer was awarded the National Achievement Award for Amateur Sport in Canada and was granted an NCAA Division 1 tennis scholarship to the University of South Florida, during which time her team was four-time conference champions. Jennifer remains an active player, is past president of the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club and fuels her passion for giving back to sport as Chair of the Board of the Doug Philpott Inner-City Children’s Tennis Foundation.
in a world that celebrates women in sport, and champions equity!