Don't miss all the exclusive news, stories competitions, events, fundraisers information and more from the world of Laureus. Help Laureus spread Sport for Good.

Meet the Staff

October 15, 2015


Benita joined Laureus USA as CEO following her senior executive role with the
United States Olympic Committee as Chief of Organizational Excellence. Named a Game Changer by the Sports Business Journal in 2015, she led USA Track & Field’s 2012 Olympic team to win 29 medals in London, its best performance in 20 years, when she served as Chief of Sport Performance. Honored as Cable TV Executive of the Year by Television Week magazine, she was Women in Cable Telecommunication’s President and CEO for eight years. Her passion and appreciation for the values of sports participation includes her stellar performances on the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Teams where she won a gold medal in the 100 m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Benita and her husband Ron are parents to two children active in sports. Benita is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (UT) with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering.



James has dedicated his career to supporting underserved populations by IMG_3056 (3)creating joint ventures and overseeing partnerships with stakeholders from private industry, the public sector and the philanthropic community.  His entrepreneurial spirit and hunger to drive impact have led him to develop numerous national and community-based programs throughout the United States in the areas of health, education and juvenile justice.  Prior to joining Laureus USA, James was Deputy Director at the Clinton Foundation where he served on the senior leadership team for domestic health.  Throughout his career, James has been a tenured professor, a nonprofit executive and an organizational consultant.  His co-authored book, Youth Development and Physical Activity, is widely used in sport for development degree programs in colleges and universities nationally and internationally. James holds a Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Sport Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.


Patty is a marketing and communications executive with a passion for leveraging sports to bring business value and social programming to life. Prior to joining Laureus, Patty served as Program Activation Leader, Partnership Navigator and Event Director for espnW. Patty built the majority of her career in the agency/client service sector, serving almost 20 years with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, most recently as Senior Vice President.  Patty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Northeastern University, a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing/Corporate Public Relations from Northwestern University, and an Executive Leadership Institute Certification from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.




Rachelle has built partnerships between corporates, government organizations, and community organizations such as the British Council, Premier League, MLS, and New York Public Library at both a national and international level. Rachelle has been successful in raising money and building awareness for various organizations by producing quality events for audiences ranging from VIPs and high net worth individuals to young people, and by securing funds from grants and  individuals. Originally from South Carolina and with Haitian roots, Rachelle has a passion for helping others and for sport that provides a strong foundation for the work she does at Laureus USA. Rachelle graduated from Furman University with a B.A. in Communications and a B.A. in Political Science.




David has 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector. With a passion for social justice, he has held positions ranging from street outreach worker in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Englewood neighborhoods at Teen Living Programs to a Program Director of Youth Services in Durban, South Africa where he lived and worked for two years.  David is also Founder of “From the Roots,” supporting young leaders to kick-start community based organizations in Brooklyn. He continues to navigate partnerships with global corporations, community-based organizations, universities, and local governments to introduce and expand new programs for young people. David enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and traveling. He lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend Alex. He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Community Relations.



Jamie has a decade of experience in higher education and non-profit management and is a passionate advocate for the transformative power of sport and movement. Jamie brings extensive knowledge of partnership development, grants management, training/capacity building and group facilitation to her role overseeing Laureus USA’s Model City Initiative in New Orleans. She holds bachelor’s degrees in dance and gender studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University and is completing a master’s degree in philosophy at Tulane.  She has completed non-profit leadership coursework at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Jamie enjoys playing roller derby, lifting kettlebells and training clients at Cypress Fitness, studying Shaolin-Do Kung Fu, and celebrating the rich and diverse history and culture of New Orleans.



Julia has over 14 years of non-profit management experience. For Families First, she provided direct services in impoverished areas by determining local needs and designing economic opportunities to empower individuals to improve their own lives. Due to her keen insight and strong leadership, more than 1,200 Georgia residents gained economic security. Julia has also worked as the Neighborhood Revitalization Manager and Grants Manager for the East Athens Development Corporation, where she cultivated and stewarded relationships as part of a grant pipeline process.  She has been the recipient of numerous community service awards including the Young Professional on the Rise, and Forty under Forty Professionals in Northeast GA and ESSENCE Woman of the Year.  She received her B.S. in Political Science and Masters of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University, as well as her Accounting Certification from Athens Technical College. When Julia is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Toryn and her daughter, Teghan.



Katy is a specialist in research and evaluation with over five years of experience supporting research and program implementation at academic institutions and in diverse communities across four continents, including consultancy at the University of Alma Ata in Yogayakarta, Indonesia, evaluation research of interventions among Native North American Indian communities, and field research in Lima, Peru. She applies her research skillset to maximize the impact of Laureus and the projects we support, with the dual goals of improving the quality of work delivered and proving the success of the methods used. Katy is a Registered Dietitian with a B.A. from Rutgers College and a Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.




Mariah is a multimedia specialist, driven by sport’s ability to unite people and inspire change. As a broadcast liaison for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, Mariah managed broadcast networks including ESPN, FS1, and Univision at live events. For ONE World Sports, she oversaw the network’s program schedule and coordinated all NASL productions. She has also supported PR efforts for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, as well as the Michigan Sport Business Conference. Mariah holds a B.A. in Sport Management from the University of Michigan.




Amra has over 5 years of experience in event planning and operations management. Sheamra1 most recently worked as a Brand Support Assistant Manager for Richemont. North America where she provided logistics support for over 15 different luxury brands. As a former Bosnian refugee, Amra has always recognized the importance of non-profit organizations and their impact on communities and people in need. As such, she volunteers her free time to various organizations that benefit children and refugees. Amra holds a B.A. in Studio Art and Theatre from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.




Pharlone has a decade of experience as an advocate for using sports as a catalyst for social change; her passion blossomed in 2007 alongside the Honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a youth symposium hosted by Wheelock College targeting Boston Public school student leaders. Her experience working on both the college and professional level has allowed her to gain a greater insight into sport for development programming growth strategy and implementation. She has supported community relations and corporate social responsibility efforts for several professional sports teams including the Los Angeles Kings and Boston Celtics. She has also worked with professional athletes; both active and retired, on various social entrepreneurial initiatives. Pharlone is an Atlanta native where she is also a consultant in the creative-cause marketing arena and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing from Boston College Carroll School of Management.

Comments are closed.