Exciting, exhausting, exhilarating and inspirational is how you would describe Netball America President and KPMG Director, Sonya Ottaway. Her motto is"what matters is whether you've created something special, and whether you've made a real difference to other people's lives".
Her extensive background with KPMG International has helped her set out to create something special in forming Netball America Inc., a USA 501c(3) national not-for-profit corporation. This has allowed her to make a difference in people's lives, especially to youth and those in underserved areas. Sonya’s role with KPMG is an international project manager within the Risk Consulting business. Her projects have led her to provide opportunities for Australians globally.
On Global Happiness Day, April 1 2014, Sonya received the Happy Charity Action Award in Washington D.C. for her philanthropic work providing opportunities to youth across the USA and inspiring them to be empowered and become leaders in their community. She also recently received recognition from the Women's Sports Foundation (founded by tennis great Billie Jean King) for her work in introduce health, leadership and physical fitness programs into underserved youth across the USA. In 2014, Sonya was a top 5 finalist for the Los Angeles Business Journal Awards in the ‘Rising Star’ Category and is also a 2015 finalist in this same category.
Based on her achievements, Sonya has certainly made a real difference in increasing Australia/USA relations in regards to sports. Sonya spoke on a prestigous panel at the inaugural Asia Pacific World Sport and Women Conference held at the MCG. She sat alongside the CEO of Bowls Australia and Suiko Consulting, and disussed how to increase women participation in the sports industry.
Sonya has been very active in the USA Australian community, as a former treasurer of the Australian American New Zealand Assocation, she now works closely with the Australian Consul General in Los Angeles to help promote their agenda while also utilizing the Australian community for fundraising efforts, volunteers and recruiting Australians for jobs in America. Netball America was successful last year in having the first netball O-1 athlete visa issued in the USA.
Sonya was charged with taking the 1st ever team of Americans to the inaugural World University Netball Championship held in South Africa. This was a large feat given that Netball wasn’t played by college students and Sonya had a period of 3 months and to recruit Americans, teach them Netball as well as raise $60,000 USD in order to get the team to South Africa. The team finished with a world college ranking of 8. As part of this trip, Netball America was invited to attend Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy in South Africa. Sonya talked to the students about the importance of physical activity and the impact it has on their studies while the USA Collegiate Team and Coach spent time teaching the students netball skills. She also was the COO chosen to host the World Netball Festival in which over 15 teams from Australia participated; and won the bid to host the 2016 FISU (Federation of International Sports Universities) World Unviersity Netball Championshipa and the 2021 World Games.
Education, Licenses & Certifications: Bachelor of Business, with Distinction from the Central Queensland University, Australia; Chartered Accountant (CA), with Distinction in Auditing ; Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).