Chicago Union Announce All Female Advisory Board


Chicago Union Announces All Female Advisory Board

The Chicago Union Disc League is pleased to announce that they have partnered with The Global Women's Leadership Forum to assemble the world’s first all-female advisory board for a men’s professional sports team. By establishing the Women's Advisory Board, team management will receive guidance from a dedicated group of women with a variety of backgrounds to help the organization gain exposure and enhance  community engagement and gameday experience. But most important, the boards leadership will help shape the growth of the Union with specific objectives focused on increasing awareness, sponsorships, and game attendance.

"The first few meetings have been really impactful," said CJ O'Brien, the Union majority owner. "The expertise of these professionals across a wide range of industries has given us invaluable perspective on our business. Within a few minutes they identified some key challenges and pitfalls to avoid that took me a few years to learn."

The board held its first meeting in October and will continue meeting with team management throughout preseason planning. When asked what he's most looking forward to from the engagement, O'Brien said, "I've been doing a lot of the speaking in the first couple meetings to help fill them in on ultimate and things that worked and didn't work in the past. But I'm mostly looking forward to doing more listening than talking. I've already learned a lot from the suggestions they've offered, and I'm excited to implement some new changes and ideas as we head into 2023."

The AUDL includes 25 teams across the US and Canada that are divided into 4 divisions. The regular season runs from May through July with playoffs in August and a Championship Weekend for the final four division champions, which the Union have reached in their last two seasons and fell short to the New York Empire in the 2022 championship game. The Chicago Union is entering its 10th season as a franchise and season tickets are available on their team store.

For information on the Chicago Union, Youth Camps, and more, visit


Advisory Board Members:

Jayne G. Beck, Norton McMurray Manufacturing Senior Engineer

Jayne was an engineering manager for Siemens for over 30 years where she also led nationwide efforts on diversity and inclusion. She is a sports enthusiast, Green Bay Packers Season Ticket Holder and Shareholder, and avid bicyclist and sprint triathlete.

Jennetter F. Dobard, USAA Human Resources Business Partner

Jennetter is an experienced Human Resources professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic HR business operations, diversity, change management, and leadership within a fortune 100 company. She was an executive for Allstate where she oversaw underwriting, call center operations, talent acquisition, and HR.

Joy Gallo, Senior Procurement Executive

Joy is an accomplished global supply chain Chief Procurement Officer responsible for large-scale sourcing, demand planning, inventory management, working capital, and supplier management within Fortune 500 companies. She monitors worldwide trends and creates clear paths for goal achievement and accountability across functional groups and businesses.

Dr. Mariana Gonzalez, YMCA Associate Vice President

Mariana is an AVP at the YMCA of Austin focused on Health and Wellness strategy, growth, innovation, technology, culture, and people leadership. Her personal story, professional experience, education, and passion all come together in Health & Sport.

Kim B. Holmes, Inclusion Nation Strategy Consultant

After 18 years with Kemper Insurance, Kim spent the next 25 years at Morgan Stanley and Discover Financial Services in Director roles in Information Technology, where she found her passion for creating workplaces for everyone can thrive and now serves as a leader in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space.

Angela Y. Jones, ACCO Brands Global Chief People Officer

Angela spent 20 years in operations and supply chain positions with Procter & Gamble and The Clorox Company before transitioning to VP of Human Resources roles with Conagra Brands and Rembrandt Foods. Her latest work is focused on building and enhancing inclusive people practices around the globe and leading the development of new organizational capabilities to enable the company’s bold growth agenda. 

Maureen O’Brien, Global Women’s Leadership Forum CEO

Maureen left a sales job with Alcoa in 1985 to found an exterior remodeling company, and based on her life experiences later added professional speaking to her services. In 2009 she founded the Global Women’s Leadership Forum to equip women and men to lead, empowering individuals and cultures to reach their fullest potential.

Maureen Powers, Senior Marketing Executive

Maureen’s experience includes leadership roles at Discover Financial Services, AAA Auto Club, and most recently as President of Direct Marketing for RR Donnelley. She excels in customer experience, rewards and loyalty programs, and brand and product management.

Wendy Prosser, Vice President, Customer Operations & Inside Sales at SouthernCarlson, Inc.

Wendy is a respected persuasive leader and a proven change agent with a solid background in delivering innovative solutions, cultivating customer loyalty, and gaining competitive advantage. She demonstrates the rare ability to combine visionary leadership with impeccable execution to deliver market differentiation and competitive advantages for the company and stakeholders.

 Ronna Smith-Zahner, Senior Continuous Improvement Executive

Ronna was the Director of Engineering at AT&T Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies before taking a position with Motorola as the Senior Director of Engineering. She then held various Senior Director roles with Nokia in quality, technology, and continuous improvement.

Sheryl von Westernhagen, Walgreens Compliance Manager

Sheryl managed a compliance team at Accenture for 9 years before moving on to leadership positions with OfficeMax and BMO Harris Bank. She leveraged her DEI experience to shift to HR leadership roles until 2022, when she began working in the Affirmative Action and EEO space for Walgreens.