Behind The Scenes

Gatti Honored with AWSM Award

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “A very special woman,” “honorably kind,” and “ahead of the curve” were just three of the glowing phrases used by Lesley Visser when she introduced Rosa Gatti, ESPN senior vice president, communications counsel and corporate outreach, as the 2011 Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner.

The award was presented Friday night at the Association for Women in Sports Media’s (AWSM) annual conference. Gatti is the first communications professional to win the award since it was established in1999; all previous winners were journalists.

Gatti’s remarks focused on three keys to her many successes — communication, conviction and change.

She told Front Row immediately after the event, “This recognition is overwhelming when I just tried to do my job.  The rewarding experience of sharing stories and tips with women coming up the ranks is what I value the most.  Organizations like AWSM are so critical to the development of young women and the sharing of wisdom from experienced members is a key component of their growth.”

The award recognizes individuals who have broken barriers and have served as role models for women in sports media.  Rosa has consistently done so in a career spanning five decades, including 31 years at ESPN.

Gatti has received numerous awards for her contributions in communications including the Association of Cable Communicators Achievement Award; a Wonder Women of the Year by Women in Cable and Multichannel News; and CoSIDA’s (College Sports Information Directors of America) “Keith Jackson Eternal Flame Award.”

She is especially proud of her Communications staff receiving PR Week’s Corporate Team of the Year Award in 2005.

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