A word About the founder

Ashlee T. Fontes (Comber) PhD (abd)

Changing the norm and disrupting the space - with an undeniable record of building and revitalizing women’s sports organizations. She continues to challenge the status quo by consistently breaking through systemic barriers and defying all odds.’

Raised in an NFL coaching family, Ashlee continues the family legacy of playing, coaching, and leading within professional sports.

With a 20+ year track record of unparalleled success, it is difficult to find another individual who can match Fontes’ unwavering commitment, achievements, contributions, and well-rounded knowledge in women’s soccer —- from the technical side to the executive management side; from youth to pro…building championship organizations.


Fontes is an award-winning and history-making women’s football aficionado contributing to driving the advancement of the women’s game for over 20 years. She is a leading figure ingrained in women’s soccer as a player, coach, executive/board member, consultant, and start-up veteran.

In 2022, she served as the first elected female of color President in the 80+ history of United Soccer Coaches. As President, she led with integrity and inclusivity; listening to all voices and challenging systemic issues.

Representing her strategic management company, Nikao Management, Ashlee was instrumental in founding the only all-girls elite development league in the United States, the Girls Academy (GA) and advising ata football on its market strategy. Specifically with the GA, Fontes ensured tens of thousands of the top female athletes across the country were not displaced after the demise of the U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy (DA) in 2020. She established the For the Players, By the Players cornerstone philosophy to empower the girls to own their journey through with their own voice. Fontes led the innovative branding and commercial efforts for the GA, negotiating multiple multi-year six-figure deals and first of their kind strategic partnerships with the MLS, adidas, and USYS.

Fontes was the first female of color to ‘first in charge’ of a professional soccer franchise in the US. She transformed D.C. United Women into the NWSLs Washington Spirit, creating infrastructure and revenue streams for sustainability and profitability in just three years. Leading the Spirit, she built it into a championship contending club from scratch during her tenure while creating a robust youth academy and was a league-leader in capacity sold, selling out multiple matches. 

Fontes credits her continued drive to build and enhance the women's professional game because of WUSA folding the year before she graduated from FSU. She 'wins' when others succeed because of the platforms, roles, clubs, and systems she has established. 

She is a former W-League player and an award-winning, record-setting Florida State University alum.