April 5, 2022 — Today, Athlete Ally announced University of Texas’ Drew Martin, WNBA’s Bonnie Thurston and Dow’s Louis Vega as new members of the Athlete Ally Board of Directors.
Drew Martin is the Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Texas and a member of the NCAA Common Ground Leadership Team. Bonnie Thurston is the WNBA’s Director of Player Programs and has been at the league for 17 years. Louis A. Vega serves as president of Dow North America and vice president, Government Affairs & Advocacy, North America. Full bios for each are listed here and below.
“I am honored to welcome Drew, Bonnie and Louis to the Athlete Ally Board of Directors,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “They each bring tremendous expertise and passion for LGBTQI+ inclusion in athletics, and I look forward to working together to maximize our organizational impact.”
About Drew Martin
Drew Martin became Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Texas in June of 2018, bringing an extensive external services background ranging from trademark licensing and brand management to marketing, social media and communications. He joined the Longhorns staff after spending six years at TCU, where he was Associate AD for Marketing and Licensing.
Prior to TCU, Martin spent a year as a Regional Marketing Manager for Pepsi covering west Tennessee, Arkansas, north Mississippi and Louisiana.
Martin began his full-time career at Texas A&M where he gained valuable experience handling several different roles. He joined the staff as an Assistant Sports Information Director in 1997, and in 2000 was promoted to Director of Internet and Special Projects/Brand Manager. He then assumed the role of Assistant AD from 2006-11.
A Memphis, Tenn., native and 1996 graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in communications and public relations, Martin was a student assistant and eventually a graduate intern for the Bulldogs’ media relations department. He was a media relations assistant at the Big 12 Conference for a short period after Mississippi State.
Martin is a member of the NCAA Common Ground Leadership Team. The group’s focus is to advance discussion around the intersection of LGBT student-athletes at faith-based institutions, as well as people of faith at private secular organizations.
Martin and his husband, Blake Macon, were married in Fort Worth in 2015.
About Bonnie Thurston
Bonnie Thurston is the WNBA’s Director of Player Programs and has been at the league for 17 years. In this role, Bonnie handles off-court matters for the WNBA’s players including such things as marketing appearances and professional development and everything in between. In addition to her work with the WNBA’s players, Bonnie co-founded and serves as co-chair for NBA Pride, the first LGBTQ+ employee resource team in professional sports. She is passionate about inclusion in sports. Bonnie lives in NYC with her wife, a professional dancer, and her two children, Ella and Jasper.
About Louis Vega
Louis A. Vega serves as president of Dow North America and vice president, Government Affairs & Advocacy, North America.
Over his 20+ year career at Dow, Vega has gained wide-ranging expertise, honed his strong business acumen, and led significant growth projects and business development programs. All of this has been augmented through his extensive international experience, which includes roles in Horgen, Switzerland; Washington D.C.; Dubai, UAE; Midland, Michigan; New York, New York; and Melbourne, Australia.
Previously, from 2011 to 2017, Vega served as chief of staff of the Office of the Chairman and CEO. Later, he was named vice president of Dow’s Olympic & Sports Solutions business, where he served from 2014 to 2019. He most recently headed up Dow’s presence in Australia and New Zealand as president and managing director for the two countries from 2016 to 2019.
A passionate leader who advocates for inclusion and works towards full equality for all, Vega strives to demonstrate how diversity can ensure enterprise success and deliver bottom line results. He was named to Australia’s 50 outstanding LGBTI business executives in 2018 and 2019. A philanthropist and member of many nonprofit boards, Vega is also a proud multi-year member of the OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Models list.
Vega is a trustee of the Chemical Industry Labor-Management Committee and a member of the Trilateral Commission. And, in 2015, his alma mater, New Mexico State University, honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Award.
Prior to joining Dow, Vega had a series of roles in Washington, D.C. – from Capitol Hill to the Executive Branch – over the span of 12 years.