Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Getting Ahead, Making a Difference, and Succeeding as the Only One with Katrina Adams; Moderated by Jeanne Sparrow

March 2 @ 6:00 pm


  • OWN THE ARENA: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference, and Succeeding as the Only One | Katrina M. Adams | BUY BOOK
  • All registrants receive 10% off book purchase with code ‘EVENT’

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“Tennis is a preparatory sport for becoming who you are. It builds character and resilience both inside and outside the sport. It teaches us what it means to have a good loss that helps us to develop smarter strategies for the next match, along with the endurance and persistence that comes from repeatedly falling on your face.”—Katrina M. Adams

From the former President and CEO of the United States Tennis Association—the first black woman and youngest person ever to hold the position—comes a behind-the-scenes look at the leadership skills involved in hosting the U.S. Open, the largest and most lucrative sports event in the world—lessons that can be applied across business and to any life challenge.

One of professional tennis’s Grand Slam Tournaments, the U.S. Open has been described as a fourteen-day Superbowl. This single tennis championship, held annually in New York City, attracts top professionals from around the globe, generates more money than any other sporting event–or any other sport over an entire season–and attracts more than 700,000 attendees and millions of television viewers.

In Own the Arena, Katrina Adams offers a privileged, singular inside look at this sensational global event, while elaborating on what makes tennis the only sport of a lifetime. She opens with the women’s 2018 championship match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams that ended in boos. This was Adams’s last year as president and the whole world was watching. How would she respond? How should the press be handled? What needs to be said to Osaka? Serena? What does this break from decorum mean for the Open and the sport?

As Adams shares a wealth of stories from her career and personal life, as well as insights from top tennis professionals, she provides invaluable information on meeting life’s tests both on the tennis court and off. Own the Arena offers fresh perspectives on having presence, being remembered, directing a conversation, and moving boldly in spaces where “you are the only one.” It also covers good sportsmanship–treating others with respect and by being inclusive and open to diverse perspectives. Tennis is said to be 90 percent mental; this book shows how to take the elements of mental fortitude and use them to achieve greatness. By embracing and expressing one’s inner grace and humanity, Adams shows, you can own the arena.


Katrina Adams is the former President of the United States Tennis Association and the first Black woman and the youngest person ever to serve as President and CEO of the organization. An accomplished professional player, she previously competed for 12 years on the World Tennis Association tour, winning 20 career doubles titles and reaching the quarterfinals or better in doubles at all four Grand Slam events. She also spearheaded outreach to underserved communities of color and was named the chairman of the Gender Equality in Tennis Committee in 2018.  Adweek and Forbes both named her one of the “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and she was featured in Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” list. She is also the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program.


Jeanne Sparrow is speaker, consultant, voiceover artist and 7-time Emmy-winning television and radio personality. You can currently hear her on V103 Chicago, an iHeart Radio station. Jeanne is also a graduate faculty instructor in the School of Communication at Northwestern University.

Jeanne helps people and organizations find more success by fine tuning the way they tell their stories, express themselves and communicate their value. Connect with her at and on IG & Twitter @jmsparrow and Facebook @msjeannesparrow.


March 2
6:00 pm
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