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Volume 22 No. 27
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Ana Shapiro Queenan, GMR Marketing

Photo: Kenichi Ooki

Ana Shapiro Queenan

Vice President, Global Event Operations, GMR Marketing

Born: Dallas
Education: McGill University, B.Ed; University of Massachusetts Amherst, M.S., sport management

Ana Shapiro Queenan’s job would be daunting even without gender stereotypes.

 

At GMR Marketing, her job is to start and lead the company’s in-market operations for years leading up to the Olympics and World Cup. She’s built local operations from nothing in Brazil, Russia, China, South Korea and now Japan — all places where women still aren’t seen very often in boardrooms.

“It motivates me just to continue to do it, and set an example, and to be present and show that there is a place for women in these types of situations, even if it’s not something very prominent in the culture and the country,” said Queenan from her Tokyo office. 

In 2017, her life changed. While six months pregnant on a trip to GMR headquarters in Milwaukee, she went into early labor. Her daughter lived for two weeks. GMR rallied behind her and her husband, she said, and she returned to work a few months later.

At first, Queenan didn’t want to talk about it, fearing pity. Now, it’s a part of who she is, and she sees professional improvement as a way to honor her daughter’s memory.

“I think I became a more compassionate person,” she said. “I used to get caught up with the drama and the politics, now I’m able to step away from that because I have more perspective.” — Ben Fischer

Getting to know... 

Guilty pleasure: Japanese Reality TV (Terrace House) … and dumplings.

Attributes I look for when hiring: Accountability. Someone that can talk about mistakes that they have made and what they learned from them, and a sense of humor.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet:Marisol Casado, president of the ITU and an IOC member. She has been a strong defender of gender parity and a strong voice for female leadership in the Olympic Movement.

Role of sports in social issues: The true power of sport is at its most grassroots level. Sport and play are powerful tools in helping children build resilience and self-confidence and teamwork and communication skills. People learn to effectively communicate, even in times of stress or when time and resources are limited. They can bring those skills with them into the rest of their lives and we can build societies that are strong and resilient.