Raven Jemison is one of only a few women and minorities at the executive level of sports business – and a gay Black woman, no less. Since February, she has been executive vice president of business operations for the Milwaukee Bucks, serving as the world champion organization’s No. 2 to President Peter Feigin. Previously, she was vice president of team marketing and business operations for the NBA – only the second Black woman to hold that position – and has held management roles with franchises in all four major U.S. sports.
“Rarely are women in revenue-generating leadership roles, such as selling tickets or sponsorships, because there are few role models,” says Jemison, 43. “A lot of people say, ‘representation matters’ – that is, you can’t be what you can’t see. I say access also matters.”
So Jemison makes sure that her door is open. “In this business, giving your time to young women is as important as anything else.”
Raven Jemison is one of the 2021 recipients of a Betty Award. Each year, Milwaukee Magazine presents these awards as a tribute to the late Betty Quadracci, the magazine’s former publisher who founded Quad with her husband Harry. Read more about this year’s honorees here.