Former President/Commissioner WNBA & CEO Orender Unlimited
Donna Orender is a highly respected corporate business leader having led growth and innovation in several high-profile companies. She has been recognized as one of the top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports and one of Newsweeks 100 most Influential people in the business of sports and is a best-selling author with her 2018 release of Wowsdom! the Girl's Guide to the Positive and the Possible.
Donna was recruited by Adam Silver to lead the WNBA in its most vulnerable time. She served 6 years as the President/Commissioner of the league, during which time she solidified its base and led double digit growth in all key business metrics.With her focus on revitalizing the brand, its value and relevance, the league experienced 5 years of consecutive attendance growth, after 8 years of decline.
Prior to the WNBA, Donna spent 17 years at the PGA TOUR where she was one of 3 senior executives serving in the Office of the Commissioner. She developed and led the global production, programming and digital businesses for the TOUR, building globally recognized businesses in both revenue and prestige. She led the negotiating team that changed the paradigm for how PGA TOUR golf was both packaged and sold for television, resulting in billions of dollars of growth for the TOUR.
Donna’s business career began after playing 3 years in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, the WBL, where she earned All-Star status. This experience enabled her to work in network television sports at ABC and later in cable television at SportsChannel before forming her own production company. An accomplished producer, director and writer, she was responsible for the creative development and sales of programming globally.
As the CEO of Orender Unlimited, her current work has included the development of a strategic plan for the golf industry, initiated by the PGA of America, focused on the development of new consumer markets and the accompanying transformational changes necessary to realize success. Donna authored “Connecting with Her”, a guidebook on the impact of the women’s market, and how to understand and access it.
The focus on the betterment of women and girls is at the core of the development and launch of a platform called Generation W. Launched in 2011, GENERATION W and GENERATION WOW have become vibrant communities for enhancing and motivating people’s lives and creating change and impact in their worlds and beyond. Generation WOW a teen girl mentoring and leadership program is growing exponentially and is poised to enter several new markets in the near term.
Donna’s business building expertise led to being elected as a founding board member of the WSL the World Surfing League. The League relaunched its global business in 2014 and a global re-branding in 2015, where she serves on the global media and digital committee. She serves as an advisor for the College Sports Management Group, as well as the creative programming company Religion of Sports and private equity.
In addition, she serves on the nominating and compensation committees for the V Foundation for Cancer Research board, was elected to the executive committee of Maccabi USA and contributes to the boards of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at UCF, UNF Brooks School of Health, Co-Chairs the UJA Sports for Youth Initiative and a founding member of the board of W.O.M.E.N, a mentoring organization for young women capable of reaching the C-suite. She has also been a Global Ambassador for Vital Voices, traveling to India to help mentor young women entrepreneurs.
The mission of the Women with Vision Council is to mentor, inspire and empower women in professional environment through education and collaboration to embrace their own vision, purpose and value. We want to inspire women to live the lives they love, igniting their passion for business and to make a positive contribution in their community.