Our Advisory Board is a strong talented group of women who have achieved great success in athletics, business and public service. They are champions of the Play it Forward Sport Mission of Empowerment, Inclusion and Education through the platform of women’s sports.
Molly retired from the US. Women's National Hockey team in the spring of 2015. During her eight year career, she won two Olympic silver medals (2010, 2014) and four World Championships (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015). A former standout at Boston College, Molly led the Eagles to two Frozen Four appearances, three Beanpot championships and the school's first Hockey East Championship in 2011. She was a first team All-American in her senior year and was named Boston College's scholar-athlete all four years.
She has gained valuable experience in the non-profit field as Director of The Foundation for Goaltending Research and Education in Woburn, MA, as well as a Champion Volunteer and Group Volunteer Leader at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton, MA. She has traveled internationally with Habitat for Humanity and is currently an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play and an Athlete Role Model for the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Co-Founder of Play It Forward Sport
A lifelong trailblazer and advocate for women in sports, Digit Murphy decided to step away from coaching in 2015, to launch the Play It Forward Sport Foundation as a vehicle to continue to drive gender equity in sports.
After winning her second Clarkson Cup championship with the Boston Blades women’s professional hockey team, she realized she could do more to increase leadership and salary opportunities for women in pro sports.
2013 CWHL Coach of the Year, Digit Murphy spent three years with the Blades, the only women’s professional hockey team in the USA, upon her retirement from college hockey. During those same years, she pioneered girls’ junior hockey development with the Islanders organization and created her own teams to help lead junior hockey development in New England.
During her 22 years as the first female Head Coach at Brown University after 2 years as the assistant. She is a top-five-all-time leader in career wins by a Division 1 head coach with 318 across her career. In that time her teams garnered numerous awards including 3 National Championship appearances, 6 ECAC regular season or tournament and 5 Ivy League Titles, producing 7 Olympians and 3 All-Americans.
In 1998 Digit became the first female color analyst for the Four Nations Cup against Canada and again at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. In 1992, she was named assistant for the US National team, taking silver against Finland. In 2004 she was inducted to the International Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame for her work on the ice and off the ice in women’s sports. She is a 4-year varsity standout at Cornell University serving as captain during her junior and senior years, earning All-Ivy honors all four years and Ivy League Player of the Year in 1981. She is ranked third on Cornell’s all time scoring list with 213 points (123 goals and 90 assists).
Co-Founder of Play It Forward Sport
Working with Digit Murphy to found the Play It Forward Sport Foundation, Aronda Kirby has helped found the non-profit which focused on establishing a model where female pro athletes can get paid by 'playing forward' their skills learned as elite athletes to be sport ambassadors—mentoring and empowering other athletes in the community. The PIFS team was honored at the Tribecca Film Festival with a Disruptive Innovator award and at the UN Leadership Impact 21 Summit for shattering the status quo and shifting the paradigm in creating opportunities for women in professional sports. Soon after launching PIFS, and spending time marketing the model, it became apparent that it would apply to all sports and PIFS launched it’s first sport league with the United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX).
With over 15 years experience in hockey development and operations and over 30 years in business and technology project management, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a springboard to start this new initiative. As GM she served as Director of Operations, Game Management and Finance for the Blades organization, facilitating and coordinating all aspects of team operations, game day logistics and personnel; as Director for Digit Murphy Enterprises, she managed player recruiting and retention, the operations of elite player development camps, community day camps and help start the RI high school development league of players.
As a co-founder and Director for the RI IXpress, a hockey program in Rhode Island, she was instrumental in the development of the first girls’ Tier 1 hockey program in the state; in this capacity Aronda had administrative oversight for finance, game operations, personnel player development initiatives and worked as the liaison for all the community outreach programs. She is currently a member of the RI State Labor Relations Board and previously served as a board member of The Friends of the Blades organization and was a 2013 fellow of the Rhode Island Women’s Fund Policy Institute
CEO of Gelb Global
Valarie Gelb is CEO of Gelb Global, a consulting service providing viable business and brand strategies to businesses and non-profits. Prior to this, Ms. Gelb was Chief Sales Development Officer and Executive Vice President, MasterCard Worldwide, 1997 to 2010. She was one of the eighteen top executives who served on the Management Committee chaired by the CEO and was responsible for the global sales force in 210 countries and territories. Her expertise lies in the strategic development, global customer due diligence, products and solutions, sales, marketing, business development, multi-channel distribution, operations, technology, e-commerce and risk management.
Ms. Gelb holds an MBA and an Undergraduate Business Degree with emphasis in Finance and Economics from Baldwin Wallace University. She served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Global Fund for Women and currently co-chairs their Corporate Leadership Council; and is currently Chairman of the Board of MPOWERD, lead Board director of Cimbal Inc. and serving as a University of Connecticut Student Advisor to MBA and Ph.D. students and President of the International Women Forum Connecticut.
Debbie is a broad based business executive with 20+ years in the Talent Management and Saas – Workforce Management Technologies space. Her experience ranges from Process/Technology Consulting, Enterprise Implementation, Account Management and Support Operations. She has worked with global clients in the Financial, Investment Banking, General Services, Retail, Entertainment, Pharmaceutical verticals. Domain expertise in Recruitment/Staffing strategies.
Deb has led various webinars and presentations on Talent Management Best Practices, Getting the Best ROI out of Your Talent Management Strategy and Technologies and has been a key contributor within various organizations that include Successfactors/SAP, IBM/Kenexa and Taleo to name a few.
Debbie resides in Marblehead, MA with her husband and two daughters and spends her spare time chasing her daughters around at rinks!
Jazmine A Smith
Founder of Eyekonz Field Hockey and Lacrosse League
The vision of Jaz and Eyekonz Field Hockey and Lacrosse is to provide opportunities to young ladies of color through playing this sport that will expand the athlete’s world view and educate them about cultures across the globe. We see field hockey as a medium for bridging opportunities, culture and sportsmanship as a catalyst for growth, change and exposure.
Eyekonz Field Hockey /Lacrosse established to serve the needs of African- American girls from the ages of 5-17 living in the Philadelphia PA and throughout the United States of America. Eyekonz will be using field hockey/lacrosse as a tool to teach life lessons like hard work, sportsmanship, self-discipline, healthy self-esteem and coping with adversity. The girls learning field hockey/lacrosse will gain knowledge of how to learn the basic skills and advance skills as well. They will have the opportunity to compete against other teams as well. Throughout this league they will also have additional curriculum's of learning to prepare them for life, such as African/Kemetic /African-American History, Etiquette, Mediation/Yoga, Conversation of Self Love, Daily Affirmations, Financial Literacy, Creating Dream boards, Healthy eating and Lifestyle choices. We offer this unique approach to our league to create a platform for success within our community and offering the tools necessary to foster the next generation to achieve whatever they put their mind to.