NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After a competitive search nationwide, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has a new commissioner.

On Tuesday, the MEAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors named Sonja Stills as the next MEAC Commissioner effective January 1, 2022. Stills will be the first female commissioner in MEAC and HBCU Division I history.

Stills currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and also serves as the MEAC’s Director of Esports, a new, cutting-edge initiative that began in the summer of 2020. As a 2021 MEAC 50th Anniversary Pioneers in Women’s Sports Award recipient, Stills brings over 19 years of experience.

In a release from the MEAC, Stills says her goal is to “enhance awareness of the MEAC’s esports initiative” by working with industry business leaders and encouraging growth. She has previously negotiated corporate partnerships by working with major companies including iHeartRadio, US Marines, Home Depot, Hampton Roads Transit, Priority Automotive, ESI, TowneBank, Nike, and Harley Davison.

Aside from managing conference budgets, Stills was instrumental in developing the MEAC Strategic and Long-Range Plan in December 2008 and 2021-22, along with securing global creative agency 160over90 as the marketing company for the MEAC in 2020. 

Sonja Stills, Oct. 26, 2021 (Photo Courtesy – MEAC)

Still graduated from Old Dominion University in 1993 where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Services Counseling. In 1996, she received a Master of Arts in Counseling (College Student Work Personnel) from Hampton University. She would later go on to graduate from the Sports Management Institute in 2002 and the NACWAA/HERS Institute for Administrative Advancement in 2008. 

Stills previously served as Hampton University’s Coordinator of Athletic Academic Support for four years where she was appointed Senior Woman Administrator. During her tenure at Hampton, she created the university’s first Athletic Academic Support Program and implemented the CHAMPS/LifeSkills Program.