Kathy Nelson, a fixture of Kansas City’s burgeoning sports scene, was named as one of USA Today‘s Women of the Year.

The publication’s readers submitted nominations for national and state Women of the Year honorees. National honorees include Michelle ObamaGoldie HawnSheryl Lee Ralph and others. USA Today also chose one honoree for each state.

Nelson, CEO of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation, was picked as Missouri’s honoreeUSA Today highlighted that she was instrumental in bringing the FIFA 2026 World Cup and 2023 NFL Draft to Kansas City.

Nelson, who also is a Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee, told the newspaper that building her team in Kansas City is among her biggest achievements.

“I would love to say bringing the World Cup and NFL Draft to Kansas City, hosting multiple NCAA events and keeping the Big 12 (conference basketball tournament) here long term,” she told USA Today. “But I’d like to think it’s the team I built around me. I have some of the most talented people in the industry that I consider my work family and that’s what makes our city shine.”

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