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Penguins to Help Amanda Kessel ‘Find my Way,’ Create Exec Management Program



Pittsburgh Penguins, Amanda Kessel

Say nothing if not the Pittsburgh Penguins organization is often forward-thinking and goes outside the usual. Earlier this season, the Vancouver Canucks hired the first female AGM, Emilie Castonguay, and the Penguins are opening the door for more.

On Wednesday, the Penguins announced Executive Management program for women and minority athletes to spend one year with the Penguins front office. The inaugural student is U.S. women’s hockey star, Amanda Kessel, who is also the sister of former Penguins two-time Stanley Cup champion, Phil Kessel.

The Executive Management Program offers candidates an opportunity to work alongside executives within the Penguins hockey operations, partnership, marketing, communication, and broadcast departments. The first-of-its-kind program will consist of a rotation through different departments to expose participants to all aspects of the sports business and includes graduate school education and community service components.

“It’s really important. And I’m happy to be one of the first leading the way. There are women that came before me and I’m really grateful that they’ve started to pave the way. And you see it now,” Kessel said. “There are a few women that are now assistant GMs and growing up, I didn’t really think that was a possibility. But like they always say if you can see it, you can be it. So I’m happy to be a leader in that.”

Kessel, 30, represented the United States at the 2014, 2018 and 2022 Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold medal in 2018 and a silver medal in the others. She has also represented the U.S. at six IIHF World Championships, including victories in 2013, 2017, and 2019.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are putting Kessel on the fast track to becoming one of or the first female GM. Kessel agreed, that’s the goal if that’s where her skills lie.

“Yeah. I mean, that would be an ultimate dream. And this program gives me the opportunity to find my way. Maybe there’s something else that I end up liking or somewhere that I’m needed or something that I’m better at,” said Kessel. “So I think this is kind of the perfect opportunity to explore all my passions.”

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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25 days ago

Leave it to Lemieux and company to come up with unique programs be it Charity work or partnership with UPMC. Great ideas flowing thru the Penguins network to uplift women, minorities.

25 days ago


Dorothy Tecklenburg
Dorothy Tecklenburg
25 days ago

I love it! In the late ’70’s, I was denied a job as Assistant Director on NBC’s football games in New England because I was a woman. They were not shy about telling me that- I was highly recommended by a person who was told “We’ll hire whomever you recommend.” I am so glad to see things change.

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