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Six Individuals to be Honored as Emerging Industry Leaders at National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:56am | By: NCS4 Staff

NCS4 Conference: Emerging Industry Leader AwardSix professionals will be recognized for their leadership in addressing safety and security issues during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition set for Nov. 9-10 in Phoenix.

This year’s theme is Reconnect. Reflect. Inspire. and boasts the most exhibitors and sponsors in conference history. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

“The Emerging Industry Leader Award allows professional leagues, NCAA member institutions, marathon and endurance events organizations, and interscholastic athletics programs to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing safety and security related issues,” said Brooke Graves, MSCJ, NREMT, NCS4 Senior Training Manager and Awards Luncheon Master of Ceremonies. “These contributions involve enhancing safety and security at their venue beyond what is normally required and setting an example for other young aspiring sports security professionals to follow.

Each league or organization selects the criteria and makes the determination as to who will be recognized. Individuals being recognized include:

  • Michelle Juehring, Race Director, Quad-City Times Bix 7 (Marathon/Endurance)
  • Dena Scott, Director of Athletics, Fort Bend Independent School District (High School)
  • Kory Dahlen, Director of Championships, Southeastern Conference (NCAA)
  • Melissa Lesperance, CSSP, Director, District Command Center, Olympia
  • Development of Michigan (MLB)
  • Zoe Irizarry, Manager, Safety and Security, Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • Sarah Mathis, Director of Fan Experience, Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)

For more information about the conference, visit and for more information about the awards, visit

About the 12th Annual Conference:

The National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition will be held in Phoenix at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa on Nov. 9-10. The conference will attract over 450 attendees and 60 exhibitors representing professional sports, intercollegiate athletics, interscholastic athletics, marathon and endurance events, sport and entertainment facilities, and those who provide safety and security products and services to the industry. For more information, visit

About NCS4:

Established in 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) is the nation’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of sports safety and security. The NCS4 is partially underwritten by grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NCS4 mission focuses on three key pillars – Training and Education, Research, and Outreach. For more information about NCS4, call 601.266.6183 or visit