9 Least Known Amazing Women Entrepreneurs in Hockey



The number of women entrepreneurs in sports is growing. It’s a career path that’s rarely taken by former professional athletes, who tend to be in a dilemma when deciding what they’ll do after their active playing careers are over. While broadcasting or coaching seems like the natural path to follow, some have become entrepreneurs. 

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Some former hockey players did just that and today are some of the most powerful women entrepreneurs in the sport. Others interested in growing women’s sports saw an opportunity in hockey and dipped their toes. Find out more about them.

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Kimberly Davis

Kim Davis making a TedTalk. Video Credit: TEDx Talks

Davis is the most powerful African American female entrepreneur in hockey. She’s the NHL’s Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs. Her role involves growing the sport among underrepresented communities. 

Her background reflects her ability to grow a brand in areas it wasn’t dominant. She was the advisor to former tennis player Billie Jean King which led to her establishing the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. Davis has been recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in the sport”.

Renee Hess

Renee Hess’ talking about the Black Girl Hockey Club. Video Credit: SPORTSNET

Renee Hess is making an impact in hockey by creating spaces for black women to forge a career in the sport. She’s the founder of the Black Girl Hockey Club, a non-profit organization that aims to make the sport inclusive. Additionally, the space helps black women have conversations they aren’t allowed to have in the wider sport. For example, their hair.

Sheila Johnson

The story of Sheila Johnson. Video Credit: CBS Mornings

Sheila Johnson is the first black woman to become an owner of a professional sports team. Her portfolio includes basketball teams, the Washington Wizards and WNBA team Washington Mystics and is the only female owner in the National Hockey League (NHL). 

She’s part of Lincoln’s Holdings LLC, the group that owns the Washington Capital. Johnson said that her new role showed that it was about time an African-American woman occupied such a space in sports. 

Stephanie Jackson

Stephanie Jackson talking about hockey inclusion. Video Credit: Notre Dame Day

Jackson is USA Hockey’s director of diversity and inclusion. Her main role is to create strategies that will lead to the team’s diversity. Before this, she worked in a similar capacity in companies like Nike Inc., YouTube and BBC among others. Additionally, she has a wide portfolio of working with sports organizations which is an added advantage for USA Hockey.

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Tracey McCants Lewis

Tracey joins the list of African Americans in hockey as she’s the Pittsburgh Penguins Chief People Officer and General Counsel. She plays a crucial role in the functioning of the organization and the human resource functions smoothly. Lewis is a lawyer and teaches at the Duquesne University School of Law.

Delvina Morrow

Morrow also works for the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Vice President of Community Affairs, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her main task is to help the team execute its diversity plan to ensure everyone has an equal chance to work in the sport.

Kelsey Koezler

Kelsey Koezler speaking about her appointment. Video Credit: Good Morning America

Kelsey Koezler had an outstanding hockey career. She played in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). In 2019, she made history by becoming the first black female head coach in NCAA ice hockey, after her appointment by Arcadia University.

Additionally, she’s a member of the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee in the NWHL.

Erica Ayala

Erica Ayala talking about hockey. Video Credit: Black Rosie Media

Ayala might not have been a professional hockey player but is an important part of hockey. She works tirelessly to share her knowledge about the game through writing. Ayala has written for major publications, including The Athletic. She’s the founder of Black Rosie Media, through which she gives a platform for black women in sports media to create. Her work has elevated women’s hockey and black voices across the sport is what makes her one of the most impactful women entrepreneurs in the game.

De’Aira Anderson 

Source: Seattle Chambers

De’Aira Anderson went from not understanding the hype around hockey to becoming a Public Relations (PR) guru in the sport. She’s now the Corporate Communications Manager at Seattle Kraken. Her previous communication experiences involve working at Syracuse Silver Knights and the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Ice Hockey. 

Women entrepreneurs outdo themselves in most, if not every, field they work in. These women are proving that in hockey. They’ve tirelessly worked in a discipline that didn’t recognize black women and have elevated their presence and voice. Young women today believe they can play the game professionally and work in other areas of the sport.

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