Remembering Yolanda L. Jackson

As many of you know, Yolanda has been battling pancreatic cancer for over ten years but has finally lost the battle. She succumbed on Friday, July 5th after it spread to her lung.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Lustgarten Foundation. It is with heavy hearts that we created this page to honor our partner, family member, colleague and friend. Please consider a donation in Yolanda’s memory to Pancreatic Cancer Research:

Arrangements are being handled by:
Fred H McGrath & Son
20 Cedar Street
Bronxville, NY 10708

Family and Friends will gather for Visitation and Remembrance on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4pm to 8pm.

About Yolanda L. Jackson

Yolanda L. Jackson was a strategic marketing professional with proven success at marketing athletes, directing promotional events and securing strategic partnerships that increase brand value. Through her in depth knowledge of athletes, she re-engineered their public image and generated sponsorship revenue from some of the world’s leading corporations. She was a savvy business developer with the ability to cultivate and maintain strong alliances not only with athletes, but also with corporate sponsors, organizations, sports industry executives and the media. 

During her twenty-three year tenure at the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, Yolanda created and nurtured working relationships with hundreds of elite, Olympic, world-class and professional female athletes in close to a hundred sports. She advised corporate sponsors on program and event possibilities involving athletes, assisted in the development of sponsor-driven events, presented education and development seminars for athletes and coordinated athletes’ participation in the Foundation’s major events. 

Responding to the needs of athletes to promote themselves and their sport, Yolanda created and managed the Foundation’s Speaker Service program comprised of 100+ female athletes which generated $4M in speaker service revenue for the organization. 

After developing a strong relationship with the United States Olympic Committee, she partnered with the 47 national sports governing bodies to spearhead the first-ever research study that addressed the needs and concerns of female professional and amateur athletes. 

Yolanda’s interest in international collaboration prompted her to create the role of International Liaison. In that capacity she lead delegations to conferences in England, France, South Africa, Japan, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Morocco, China and Switzerland and delivered presentations on topics dealing with athletes at each conference. Her international experience made it possible for her to negotiate the coveted Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. 

Inspired by her dedication and in recognition for the work she did with so many athletes, Billie Jean King endowed an award/grant in her name, the Yolanda L. Jackson Give Back Award, which is distributed each year. It is awarded during the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Gala in New York to an athlete who has given back to the Foundation and the sports community. The one thousand dollar grant is earmarked for the girls’ sports organization or program of the athlete’s choice. 

Before branching out to the Women’s Sports Foundation, Yolanda was handpicked by tennis legend, Arthur Ashe, to play a key role in implementing policies that would become the cornerstone of his new organization, the African American Athletic Association, (later renamed the Arthur Ashe Athletic Association). She continued to manage the organization after his death. Under her leadership, the organization developed and presented the first student athlete mentoring symposium held at Madison Square Garden in New York City for 400+ students from 80 NYC schools. The symposium was positioned as a major annual corporate sponsored event which provided more than $40K for the Arthur Ashe Vision Award grants given to select high school female and male seniors who participated in the program. The program led to internship opportunities in major media and corporate institutions. In order to implement and sustain the program, Yolanda created the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award annual fundraiser to operate the programs. The award was given to educators, corporate executives, entertainers and athletes who give back to their communities.