She’s no stranger to history-making accomplishments!
Sarah Mensah got her start working with the Portland Trailblazers, Black Enterprise reports. Climbing the ladder in various positions from sales manager to chief operating officer, Mensah spent 19 years with the Trailblazers, serving as COO from 2009 to 2012. She excelled in that role, growing the organization’s revenue by 105% and making a name for herself as a corporate leader.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Mensah began working with Nike and Jordan Brand around 2013. She spent five years with the company before being named vice president of Jordan Brand’s Latin America and Asia Pacific regions. In 2021, she made history when she was promoted to VP at Nike North America, becoming the first Black woman to ever hold the position. Now she’s done it again, now named the first Black woman president of Jordan Brand.
“It’s important to me personally and to our athletes, our employees, our consumers. We talk a lot about listening to them, and the best way to listen is to reflect them. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility because Nike means so much to the Black community. To be the first Black woman leading…is an incredible mandate,” Mensah previously said of the brand’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
In her new role, Mensah will take over for Craig Williams, who will pivot into his new role as president of Geographies & Marketplace at Nike, Inc. Jordan Brand is one of the most successful companies to ever come out of Nike. Founded in 1997 by NBA icon Michael Jordan, the brand generated $5.2 billion in 2022 alone, Ebony reports.
Mensah brings her wealth of experience to her new role as president. She is paving the way for Black women in corporate and sportswear while opening doors for the next generation of changemakers. Mensah says she hopes to be an inspiration for the next generation of women to believe in themselves and take their rightful seats at the table.
“So many of us, especially in my generation, spent a good portion of our time in business trying to emulate what the guys were doing, thinking there would be some reward at the end. The best way to unlocking success is to trust that gut and know that your voice matters,” she previously told Footwear News.
Cover photo: Sarah Mensah makes history as first Black woman president of Jordan Brand/Photo Courtesy of Nike