Author and Soccer Sisters Founder
Andrea Montalbano is the voice and author of the Soccer Sisters. She grew up playing soccer in Miami, Florida, benefiting from the opportunities provided by Title IX. A star in high school, she was a four-year starter and co-captain at Harvard and in 2008 was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
After college, Andrea pursued a career in journalism. She was the English Anchor for Vatican Radio’s “Four Voices” program in Rome, and then received the David Jayne Fellowship from ABC News in London. She attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and enjoyed a long career at NBC News as a writer, producer and Supervising Producer for NBC News’ TODAY program.
Andrea left broadcast journalism to write books and authored “Breakaway” in 2010. Determined to create a series for girls, she spent the next few years writing the three “Soccer Sisters” novels as well as branching out into philanthropic efforts. She also continued her love of coaching by taking the helm of her daughter’s soccer team, and also coaching her son. She lives in New York with her husband and two children, and regularly contributes to The New York Times’ Motherlode and Dinner: A Love Story blogs.
Stacey Vollman Warwick
Soccer Sisters Co-founder and Business Manager
Stacey is currently SVP, General Manager at Intersport, an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, and entertainment-based media and marketing platforms for consumers, brands, and rights holders. Previously, Stacey ran Brand Innovation on the Global Marketing Team at JPMorgan Chase and was responsible for strategy, design, and implementation of enterprise wide marketing innovation across digital areas focused on mobile, content, social, data, and paid media. Prior to that, Stacey held several executive positions at Sports Illustrated; the most recent as the General Manager of Sports Illustrated’s Digital Division, including SI.com and SIKIDS.com. In addition while at Sports Illustrated, she was a founding and integral member of Sports Illustrated Women magazine, a publication rooted in empowering women through sports and fitness.
Stacey and Andy played Division I soccer together while at Harvard University, where Stacey also received her MBA. She currently coaches one of her two daughters on a U13 soccer team in Westchester County, NY. She is an avid sports participant and fan and lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and her two girls.
Official Soccer Sister
Soccer legend Brandi Chastain is best known for her game-winning penalty kick against China in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final. She is a two-time World Cup and Olympic Gold Medal winner.
She is renowned ambassador for the sport of soccer, active in non-profit organizations including the Reach Up! Foundation an the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) and is a role model for young girls. Recently, she was selected by the U.S. State Department to serve in a sport diplomacy program to empower and engage girls around the world in sports like soccer.
Brandi remains active and in demand, recently being invited by Michelle Obama as a member of the Official U.S. delegation to 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as working as a commentator for NBC Sports’ coverage. In 2013, she appeared as a finalist on ABC’s hit reality show, “Splash”, and was featured in ESPN’s acclaimed series 30 for 30, “The ’99er’s”. She will be competing on “Chopped” in the spring. She speaks frequently about the importance of sports and healthy living and embodies the spirit of the Soccer Sisters series.
Digital Content Editor
Marian Smith is an editor and writer based in London. Most recently she was front-page editor of NBCNews.com, where she covered breaking international news and managed the site’s social media accounts. Prior to joining NBC, she worked at the BBC News website and CBS-owned CNET Networks, as well as in creative publishing.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Marian grew up moving around the world with her diplomat parents but spent the majority of her childhood inside a gym, training as a gymnast and competing in Southeast Asia, the U.K. and the U.S.
After graduating from Johns Hopkins University and earning an MA in Journalism from New York University, she settled in London, where she now lives with her husband and son.
Social Media Editor
Christie is currently a Senior Producer for Publicis Experiences (PXP), where she develops and executes national and international event and marketing programs for large tech clients. Prior to PXP, her experience has taken her to New York, San Francisco and Houston where she worked for top sports agencies Octagon and IMG as well as for Nintendo, Major League Soccer and the USGA.
Growing up Christie played softball, basketball and ran track, but her favorite sports were gymnastics and soccer. She is an avid sports fan who believes that sports can have a positive impact on the world. There was nothing like the Soccer Sisters books available to girls when she was growing up and she hopes that Soccer Sisters can provide that positive role model for little girls interested in sports today. She currently serves on the Women In Sports (WISE) Digital committee and lives in St. Louis, MO with her boyfriend and their rescue pup, Vivian
Andrea and Soccer Sisters have partnered with the following organizations to spread the positive message that girls who play sports become strong women and their communities thrive because of that strength.
In December 2014, the U.S. government invited Andrea and her family to Armenia to encourage girls to play soccer and share the benefits of joining sports teams.
Her visit kicked off the beginning of a project that turned into the NGO Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS). The organization creates girls’ soccer teams in rural Armenia, where before there were none, promoting leadership and confidence in players.
Through after-school sports clubs, GOALS uses social impact games to create dialogue around cultural and social issues such as human rights, gender equity, and more. In two years, GOALS has started 21 teams across three different regions of Armenia, creating the opportunity for over 280 girls to play soccer. Currently, GOALS has 12 after-school clubs reaching over 150 youth throughout the country and has held the first girls’ soccer summer camps in 2016, with over 120 girls attending in three different communities.
Coaches Across Continents
Andrea was recently appointed to the Business Advisory Board of Coaches Across Continents, one of the most well respected charities in the field of sport for social change.
The organization’s female empowerment curriculum “ASK For Choice” teaches games that prompt children to challenge the way they think about gender equality, and ultimately teaches communities that society functions better when there are equal opportunities for girls and boys.
CAC has operated in 36 countries since 2008 and has impacted more than 1 million children worldwide, and recently announced a partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative.
One World Play Project
Andrea was one of the voices of support for the One World Play Project’s “All Girls Can Play” campaign launched during the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
The initiative raised awareness about the discrimination girls face worldwide and provided OWPP’s famous ultra-durable soccer balls to empower girls through play. The company began with the concept and creation of the indestructible ball, of which more than 1 million have now been distributed across the globe.
Founded by a mom who was looking for high-quality, age-appropriate girls’ sportswear that fit her ‘tween daughter, Dragonwing girlgear helps young female athletes focus on the game and not on trying to fit into boys’ athletic gear.
Andrea has supported this clothing company with a trunk show, sending the proceeds to One World Play Project (OWPP) and the One Love Foundation, which activates and educates campus communities about relationship violence. The foundation was established in honor of Yeardley Love, a college lacrosse player who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in 2010.