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In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted its inaugural Women in Business Summit on Tuesday. Nearly 300 attendees spent the afternoon at Paycom Center for professional development and networking. 

The event tipped off with keynote speaker Danette Leighton, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation and former executive of the Pac-12 and the Sacramento Kings. During Leighton’s keynote address, she shared insights on her path to success, and the importance of creating a space for women to share stories that pay it forward for the next generation.  

“I think what’s most important is creating community and allowing for a space for women to share some of their stories,” Leighton said. She said she wanted those in attendance to walk away “feeling inspired” to follow their dreams.

women in business oklahoma city okc thunder
OKC Thunder hosts inaugural Women in Business summit at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (OKC Thunder)

Breakout sessions included hearing from local, female business leaders on topics such as leadership, building culture, building community coalitions, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Oklahoma City Thunder propels new generation of Women in Business

The event concluded with a panel discussion with women leadership and non-traditional roles.

Panelists included Claudia San Pedro, president of Sonic Drive-In, Erika Lucas, founder of StitchCrew & VEST, which were created to build a more inclusive and equitable economy through entrepreneurship, and Dr. Vanessa Brooks, Thunder physical therapist, athletic trainer and the first Black woman to hold this dual certification in the NBA.

“If you think about how few women are in powerful positions and our efforts to really increase that, it can be lonely,” Pedro said.

OKC Thunder hosts inaugural Women in Business summit at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (OKC Thunder)

“And so the extent to which we can make it a common occurrence and create community where women can come together on a daily basis” will help eliminate those disparities, Pedro added.

The event was moderated by Paris Lawson, broadcast and digital reporter for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...

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