Renee Hess

A Southern California native, R. Renee Hess works in community engagement for La Sierra University, is an adjunct professor of sports journalism with University of Memphis, and, in 2019, launched the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit organization that focuses on equity and inclusion for Black women in ice hockey. In October 2020, Renee’s work was profiled in the New York Times and in June, 2021, she was named one of three finalists for the NHL’s Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, for individuals who have positively impacted the community, culture or society through the sport of hockey.

Renee received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in writing and literature at La Sierra University and has published nonfiction works and poetry in outlets such as Black Nerd Problems, Spectrum Magazine, and Racebaitr. Her combined passion for reading, writing, research and hockey has led Renee to archive stories from Black folks about race, community and sports that examine multiple aspects of hockey culture through the lenses of intersectional feminism and social justice.

Renee is a fan of being a fan and loves traveling to hockey games, listening to music that makes her cry, and hanging out in the sunshine with her dogs. Her most memorable moment as a writer includes interviewing Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura, “Star Trek: The Original Series”) at WonderCon and then telling her mother about it.

Building Equitable Spaces in Sports
In various speaking environments, R. Renee Hess discusses the topics of race, community, and sports; sustainable social efforts in sports; cooperative community building; fostering education and service in marginalized communities; creating authentic engagement with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities through hockey; storytelling within the Black community; archiving Black sports history; the power of radical self care for Black women; breaking stereotypes around Black women.

To book Renee Hess, contact Evan Brown, Brenna English-Loeb and Rob Firing at

Amy Stuart

Amy Stuart is a #1 bestselling author, an educator and a competitive hockey coach. She melds this wealth of experience to help companies improve their corporate culture. She worked for fifteen years as a public school educator before shifting her focus to writing, speaking and facilitation. Her first two novels, Still Mine and Still Water, were top bestsellers and she is currently at work on the third and final instalment in the linked series. As one of the rare female head coaches in youth competitive hockey, Amy has a particular insight into issues around inclusion and how that impacts companies and organizations and the individuals working within them. A lifetime fan of the Maple Leafs, Amy lives in Toronto with her husband and their three young sons.


“The Only Woman in the Room”

In this talk, Amy uses her experience of as “the only woman in the room” in the hockey world and addresses the sexism and obstacles she faces. She discusses how that has shifted her thinking about gender and inclusion in the other professional areas of her life and provides companies with the opportunity to reflect on their own workplace environments and steps they can take to improve it.

“Creativity and Performance”

As a creative person who has logged countless hours in traditional workplace environments, Amy uses stories and research to discuss the benefits of giving people space for creativity in their professional lives, regardless of their roles within an organization. She addresses how to nurture creativity among employees and the many ways this creative energy will benefit companies in terms of retention, efficiency and improvements to workplace culture.


As an experienced and trained group facilitator, Amy uses her wealth of experience to lead smaller-group workshops on a variety of topics, including:

  • Improving listening skills
  • Recognizing and addressing unconscious thoughts and biases
  • Promoting an inclusive workplace culture
  • Fostering creative thinking in the workplace

To book Amy Stuart, contact Rob Firing at