GAIL MARQUIS, moderator, earned a silver medal as a member of the U.S. women’s basketball team at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal—the first year the game was included as an Olympic sport. As a Queens College student she played for the 1972-73 Lady Knights basketball team, which held a record-breaking undefeated streak against New York State colleges that would last nearly a decade. The team made history again in 2004 when it became the first women’s squad to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame; five years later Marquis would become the first African-American woman inducted as a player. Marquis played for the New York Stars—the first women’s professional basketball team to call Madison Square Garden home—and in France. She has also served as a sports broadcaster and analyst for the NBA and WNBA.
Marquis has spent more than 25 years in financial services in positions ranging from management, sales, and finance to information technology. She is currently a vice president at Element Financial Group, a boutique financial services firm in Manhattan.
HARVEY E. BENJAMIN, as Executive Counsel, Business and Finance, for the National Basketball Association, has senior executive responsibility for negotiating many of the NBA’s important business transactions. He acts as principal legal liaison with the finance department and various business segments and was the principal architect of the NBA’s Leaguewide Credit Facility. He assists the NBA and NBAP operating departments in structuring transactions and negotiating with outside parties, and is currently involved in expanding the WNBA and NBA Development League.
As a member of the law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, Benjamin was the NBA’s principal outside attorney for commercial and business matters. Upon joining the NBA, he created the business/tax structure of the league’s international business.
Benjamin earned a bachelor’s degree from Queens College and his L.L.B. cum laude from Columbia Law School.
HOWIE ROSE is the full-time Mets play-by-play announcer on WFAN Sports Radio 66. He started his broadcasting career in 1975 with “Sportsphone” while working as a freelancer on local New York radio. Stints followed at WHN, where in 1977 he served as the station’s sports director and an on-air sportscaster, and at WCBS News Radio. From 1984 to 1986 he hosted a TV sports show on Cox Cable.
In 1987 Rose became an original member of the WHN sports air staff when the station switched to an all-sports format. While there, he hosted “Mets Extra” and the 7 pm to midnight slot on WFAN. With Marv Albert, he handled the play-by-play for the New York Rangers on WFAN through 1995. That same year Rose joined Sportschannel (which later became Fox Sports New York) as play-by-play announcer for the New York Islanders. The following year he began doing play-by-play of New York Mets games on FSNY and MSG, occasionally working for WFAN as a Mets announcer. He continues to announce Islander games for FSNY and the MSG Network.
Rose earned a bachelor’s degree from Queens College in 1977.
The recipient of 23 Emmy awards, MICHAEL WEISMAN was the executive in charge of production for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He began his career in 1971 as an NBC page and joined NBC Sports in 1972, serving as executive producer from 1982 to 1989. As executive producer for NBC Universal Television Group, he worked closely with NBC News and on other news and information programming.
Responsible for significant advances in live-television production, Weisman is best known as a producer and executive producer of high-profile sporting events, including the World Series, Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl, Wimbledon, and the NCAA basketball championships. He introduced the first-ever female play-by-play NFL commentator as well as the first female network sports host, and was the innovator behind the “Silent Minute” and the “Ten-Minute Ticker” for updating NFL scores. He has also worked on entertainment shows, network and cable specials, talk shows, reality programming, documentaries, and music videos.
Weisman attended the University of North Carolina on a baseball scholarship. He graduated from Queens College in New York with a bachelor of arts in radio/television.