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Professional development events added at the Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis

Beyond the Baseline Advancing Women Summit features panel discussions, networking, social events and one-on-one meetings

Providing professional development opportunities for sports pros is a personal mission of mine, so when I started working at the NCAA, I was thrilled to find out about the vision of Anucha Browne, vice president for women’s basketball, to align professional women with the Women’s Final Four. After working together for two years, we are hosting the inaugural Beyond the Baseline Advancing Women Summit on April 1-5 at this year’s Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

The summit is a mix of panel discussions, networking, social events and one-on-one meetings featuring coaches, administrators, professional athletes and Indianapolis businesswomen. Creating diverse conversations allows us to show the parallel between business and basketball, specifically leadership advice for recruiting, motivating and winning as a team on the court or at the office.

With most of these events provided at no cost or for a nominal fee, our goal is to provide support for 1,000 women through the Beyond the Baseline program this year. Check out the events below to make your plans to be part of the ultimate celebration of women at the 2016 Women’s Final Four. Even Salt-N-Pepa will be part of this event!

Beyond the Baseline Advancing Women Summit – April 1-5

Much like the season, Beyond the Baseline culminates Women’s Final Four weekend in Indianapolis with the Advancing Women Summit. Brought to you by the NCAA and its partners, we hope you’ll participate in one of the various professional development and networking events on the schedule. Celebrate women’s basketball and women’s advancement by joining an inspirational and motivating event. Go Beyond the Baseline in work and in life by registering today! For questions, contact Tracie Hitz at thitz@ncaa.org

Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Marketing Symposium

Hear from NCAA coaches and CEOs as they discuss the parallels between leadership skills in sports and in business. Speakers include Joan Cronan, former athletics director at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and author of “Sport Is Life.” Get tips on how to recruit, motivate and win as a team on the court and in the office. This is the opportunity to network with top professionals across various industries.

• Time and date: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 1.

• Location: Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave.

• Be there: Admission is free, but registration is required.

WBCA Convention agenda.

Friday Night Tipoff Party

Shyra Ely-Gash, former college and WNBA standout, will officially tip off Women’s Final Four weekend at the Friday Night Tipoff Party. Be there to experience her “Hoops Meets Heels” Fashion Show at Tourney Town presented by Capital One. This Indianapolis native, thriving as a business owner in her hometown, will inspire you. Register for a special networking event with other successful local and national businesswomen throughout the night. The fashion show will feature former female college and pro basketball players, local celebrities and models from the Indianapolis area.

Top off the evening with a special concert featuring three successful businesswomen in their own right, Salt-n-Pepa. This American hip-hop trio from Queens, New York, has been entertaining fans since 1985. With 30 years of successful brand building and countless chart-topping songs, celebrate the weekend with Salt-N-Pepa as they take the stage at 9 p.m. at Tourney Town.

• Time and date: 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 1.

• Location: Tourney Town presented by Capital One inside the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave.

• Be there: Friday night party admission is free, but registration is required for the networking event from 7 to 8 p.m. (125 maximum capacity).

Personal Branding Center

Featuring WNBA Fever standout Layshia Clarendon, this event begins with tips to create your personal brand and continues with time to network and establish business contacts in a group setting. After networking, you will have the opportunity to participate in individual mock interviews and receive resume and cover-letter tips, LinkedIn profile assessments or one-on-one networking with various businesswomen. A photographer will be on site to take professional head shots at no cost to attendees.

• Time and date: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

• Location: NCAA Hall of Champions, 700 W. Washington St.

• Be there: Admission is free, but registration is required (200 maximum capacity).

Women in Sports and Business Panel and Brunch

Attend this panel of elite former and current student-athletes in various levels of sports and business as we discuss gender bias, stereotypes of female athletes, the disproportionate representation of female athletes in the media and other topics relevant to women in sports and business. A brunch will take place after the panel, where fans will be able to interact with these elite women.

• Time and date: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 3.

• Location: Georgia Reese’s, 14 E. Washington St.

• Be there: Ticket is required ($50).

Women’s Final Four Gameday Party

Businesswomen are invited to join members of AlumNation, former college and pro basketball players, at Buffalo Wild Wings and hang out before cheering on teams at the national semifinal games beginning at 6 p.m. in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The second semifinal game will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.

• Time and date: 3:15-5:15 p.m. Sunday, April 3.

• Location: Buffalo Wild Wings, 7 E. Washington St.

• Be there: Game ticket is required to attend (prices start at $40). Registration is required (150 maximum capacity).

Divisions II and III National Championship Games

Bring your mentor or mentee out to the national championship games for Divisions II and III for a unique way to spend time together, as well as support these young women who are competing at the highest level. In addition to the fun of watching basketball, the games also provide an opportunity to analyze coaching styles, take away leadership tips and observe how the teams respond to different situations. The Division II game starts at 3 p.m. followed by the Division III game at 6 p.m.

Plus, attendees are invited to network at the Joint Reception hosted by NACWAA, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NCAA Women’s Employee Resource Group, and NCAA LGBT Employee Resource Group from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Legend’s inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

• Time and date: 3-8 p.m. Monday, April 4.

• Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St.

• Be there: Game ticket required to attend (prices start at $5).

Creating World-Class Teams Panel and Reception

Attend this panel of industry leaders to learn how to create world-class teams on the court and in the office, presented by the NCAA and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. After the panel, there will be time for networking until 8 p.m., followed by the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship at 8:30 p.m. in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The panel features: Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, the co-founder and co-CEO of Sheex; Courtney Banghart, the women's basketball coach at Princeton University; and Allison Melangton, senior vice president of Hulman Motorsports Properties. The moderator will be Patti Phillips, CEO of NACWAA.

• Time and date: 5:15-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 5.

• Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St.

• Be there: Game ticket is required to attend (prices start at $35). Registration is required (500 maximum capacity).