Leadership, power, empowerment—they never meant a lot to Donna Orender growing up. Being a strong young woman was about opportunity. She just wanted a level playing field. But she discovered that the path to enlightenment, to a passion focused on girls excelling and women rising, began with not being afraid to ask a simple question: WHY NOT? Orender will discuss the power of asking Why Not as something we must embrace in the interest of personal growth, transformation, and broader social opportunities.
Donna Orender, CEO of Orender Unlimited, a Jacksonville-based consulting and advisory firm, is a recognized business leader, trailblazer, game changer and executive. Prior to Orender Unlimited, Donna served six years as the President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). During her term the league solidified its base and grew double digits in all key business metrics. With her focus on revitalizing the brand, its value and relevance, the league experienced five years of consecutive attendance growth, after eight years of decline. Prior to the WNBA, Donna spent 17 years at the PGA TOUR, the men’s professional golf tour. 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 in growth for the TOUR. Her last position was in the Office of the Commissioner, as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. Donna’s business career began after playing three 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. As the CEO of Orender Unlimited, her current work has included the development of a strategic plan for the golf industry 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. In 2011, Orender launched GENERATION W and GENERATION WOW, which have become vibrant communities for enhancing and motivating people’s lives and creating change and impact in their worlds. The signature event is an annual gathering of nearly 50 national level speakers that provides the spark for year-round activity, conversation and action.