The Power of Women in Sports

Women's professional sports have gained momentum and recognition in recent years, and Tampa Bay plays a prominent role in this positive movement. With the addition of the first women's pro soccer league and the University of South Florida adding women's lacrosse and beach volleyball in 2024-25, plus hosting the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship and Women's Final Four in the next two years, there is a lot to discuss. These events not only showcase the talent and dedication of female athletes but also provide a platform for women's sports to reach a broader audience. We will hear from female leaders leading the way in this historical paradigm shift during this invigorating conversation as they highlight the growth of women's sports, specifically sponsor investment, broadcast deals, and the importance of grassroots participation, access, and equity.

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Rafaela A. Amador Fink was promoted to chief public affairs and communications officer in November 2021 and enters her 10th season with the Rays. In this role, she oversees broadcasting, baseball information, communications, public affairs, social media, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She works across departments to ensure consistent and effective communication internally and externally, manages all crisis communications and serves as the club’s government affairs liaison. Prior to joining the Rays, she served as an account director at a public relations and public affairs firm, was vice president of public affairs and communications at a chamber of commerce, worked in local politics and taught high school English. She received a 2009 Ford Foundation Fellowship for Regional Sustainable Development through the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and traveled to various cities in the United States and China throughout her course of study. Amador holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a Spanish minor from the University of South Florida. She serves on the board of directors for The Orenda Foundation, Tampa Theatre, Tampa Bay EDC, Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Sports Commission, and is a member of the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations and USF’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy. She was also a founding board member of the New Leaders Council Tampa Bay chapter and served as an Honorary Commander at MacDill Air Force Base. Outside the office, she is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and lives in Tampa with her husband, Jason, son, Maddox and rescue dog, Gonzo.