Tracy Ellis-Ward

Pacers Sports & Entertainment Hires Senior-Level Executive to Lead Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Efforts

KEY POINTS:

  • PS&E has hired Tracy Ellis-Ward, a respected and seasoned DEI executive in the sports industry, to lead diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the company.
  • The position is the first of its kind for PS&E and will report directly to PS&E President & Chief Operating Officer Rick Fuson.
  • PS&E continues to focus on becoming a stronger, more diverse company through efforts including a new supplier diversity program, inclusive excellence training for all employees, and more intentional corporate giving.

INDIANAPOLIS – Pacers Sports & Entertainment today announced that it has hired Tracy Ellis-Ward as its first Senior Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a senior executive role that will lead these efforts across the company. The position will report directly to PS&E President & Chief Operating Officer Rick Fuson and will be responsible for establishing and leading the organization’s strategic vision and metrics for DEI and driving initiatives to meet those goals.

Ellis-Ward will officially join the organization on January 6, 2022.

"This is immensely important work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to join an organization that understands diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to making our company and community better," said Ellis-Ward. "Over the course of my career, I have welcomed roles that are 'firsts' within organizations, and I am excited about leading efforts and working with committed PS&E colleagues."

Ellis-Ward joins PS&E from the BIG EAST Conference, where she has served as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Senior Associate Commissioner since 2015. In that role, she was responsible for creating and implementing the conference's strategic plan, developing new external partnerships and initiatives, and leading innovative programming specific to social justice and civic engagement. She was also the BIG EAST's primary administrator for women's basketball.

"We have worked hard to make DEI core to the PS&E culture for all employees, and we are fortunate to have someone with Tracy's experience and expertise to build upon the important steps we have taken," said Fuson. "Her knowledge of these important issues, understanding of the sports industry, and Midwest roots made her a terrific fit for our organization, and we are excited about all she will add to the PS&E family."

Prior to joining the BIG EAST Conference, Ellis-Ward held several executive-level positions in athletics and higher education. These include:

  • Senior Associate Athletics Director of Internal Operations, University of Massachusetts – Lowell
  • Director of the Unity Multicultural Education Center, Gonzaga University
  • VP and Director of Women's Basketball, Sports Leadership Ministries/NBC Camps
  • New York City Area Director, Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • WNBA Senior Director of Basketball Operations, National Basketball Association
  • Assistant Athletics Director, Michigan State University

Ellis-Ward holds a masters in Sports Administration from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri. She is also pursuing a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga.

PS&E continues to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority across the company. Earlier this year, the organization unveiled its first supplier diversity program and hired a team of procurement specialists to lead it. They have made inclusive excellence leadership training a requirement for all employees and adopted a more strategic set of philanthropic priorities, Intentional Generosity In Intentional Geography, which focuses resources on social justice causes in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.

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