“Our girls and women section knows that female leadership is an important component of our long-term goals for growing the sport,” said Kristen Wright, USA Hockey’s director of female hockey. “We know that we need female volunteers that are empowered and able to go back in their communities and make a difference. The one piece that we felt was missing when we did our planning was the how-to skills necessary to be successful as a leader. So we wanted to put together a workshop that had all different components of leadership, whether it’s strength-finding, goal-setting, communication, how to connect and build allies, we wanted to make sure we connected all those dots for the participants and this workshop.”
Attendees came to the Honda Center — home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks — from more than 30 states. And after seeing the third and decisive game of the Rivalry Series — won by the Americans 4-3 in overtime — to cap off the weekend, those who soaked in the knowledge and advice said the experience was priceless.
“It has been absolutely amazing,” said Seattle’s Anne-Marie Dion, 27, who is director of female hockey for the Pacific Northwest Amateur Hockey Association as well as coach for a Washington Wild 14U Tier II team. “It really re-sparked all this joy and affirmed why I do what I do and why I love working in girls hockey.
“Meeting all these incredible women has been so thrilling, just to get a chance to talk to them and share problems and issues and know that what we’re facing in Washington isn’t unique to us, it is happening everywhere. And I think the importance of how girls can grow up to be leaders and how we as women, and as leaders and women’s hockey can influence how our girls feel more confident.”