SBD/November 29, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Trail Blazers COO Mensah Resigns; Would Like To Return To Pro Sports

Mensah lobbied to replace President Larry Miller when he resigned in July
Trail Blazers COO SARAH MENSAH yesterday resigned after 19 years with the team. Mensah departs at the end of November and leaves her job after CHRIS MCGOWAN was named President & CEO last month (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal). In Portland, Joe Freeman noted Mensah was "one of the longest tenured Blazers executives and one of the highest ranking women in professional sports." When President LARRY MILLER "surprisingly resigned in July after a five-year reign, Mensah lobbied hard to replace her one-time mentor and she was thought to be a leading contender for the job." When Mensah "didn't get the job, she was forced to reassess her position and ponder what more she had to offer the Blazers." Mensah said, "I've almost been with the organization for 20 years and I've worked at every level. The next opportunity for me was the president job. It's not a secret that I was interested in it. When that didn't materialize, you have to keep growing, you have to keep learning. When you're not in a position to do that, you have to get in a position where you have the chance to do that." Freeman wrote Mensah "has been a rare constant and steady force in an organization that has endured countless rocky moments over the years." SportsBusiness Journal also named Mensah to its inaugural "Game Changers: Women in Sports Business" list in '11. Mensah said that she is "unsure what her next professional move will be." But after she takes some time off for "evaluation," Mensah would "like to return to professional sports, perhaps even the NBA" (, 11/28).
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