The Team

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Our Team

By Swingers

In celebration of IWD and Women’s History Month, we are shining spotlights on a few of our incredible female leaders: Shaneka Hannam, Gemma Keegan, Barby Rivers, and Erin Ward.

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Our Team

International Women’s Day was established in 1911 to honor the women’s rights movement and build support for universal suffrage for women. Spurred by great unrest and critical debate over gender equality, women were campaigning against oppression and inequality to demand civil, social, political, and religious rights. In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama declared March, Women’s History Month to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women.

Some of the first milestones of the Women’s Rights Movement happened right here in New York. In 1848, Americans Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the nation’s first women’s rights convention in New York, after women were barred from speaking at an anti-slavery convention. On March 8th, 1908, over 15,000 women in New York City marched in protest of unfair working conditions and to demand suffrage.

Today, International Women’s Day honors women globally by celebrating their achievements and reflecting on progress made. In celebration of IWD and Women’s History Month (U.S.), we are shining spotlights on a few of our incredible female leaders: Shaneka Hannam, Gemma Keegan, Barby Rivers, and Erin Ward. Without their wisdom, courage and determination, our teams and company would not be the same. We synced up with them for their thoughts about leadership and their inspirations.


Shaneka Hannam, Operations Manager, Swingers Dupont Circle 

My first job in hospitality was working with my parents in their restaurant and catering company. My mother started the company by selling plates of food and street vending at outdoor festivals, carnivals, and the like. She grew the business by organizing larger events like weddings and secured a contract with the DC Convention Center. I am incredibly inspired by my mother, who successfully navigated the challenges of being in a new country, raising a family, and running her own business.

Working with my parents through the different phases of their business shaped my work ethic, motivated me to be ambitious, and guided my passions. Within the past year, I have stepped into a larger role in training our team. It’s important that employees receive proper training, so they are equipped with the tools needed to be successful and feel supported in their roles. It is rewarding to watch people grow and to be able to be involved with many aspects of the business.


Gemma Keegan, SVP of Marketing and UK Director 

This year marked a significant milestone for me as I stepped into a global role as SVP of Marketing and UK Director, responsible for shaping the marketing strategy at Swingers. Having grown my career here over the past 7 years, it’s clear that Swingers is committed to supporting women in leadership positions – an approach I believe every company should embrace. I strongly advocate for gender diversity in top-tier roles to ensure a well-rounded leadership team. My passion for our brand is mirrored by the exceptional teams I work with, including some exceptional women balancing successful careers and personal lives.

And speaking of inspiration, I’m truly inspired by my amazing friends and colleagues who effortlessly juggle motherhood and careers. Being a mum myself, I understand the balancing act they undertake each day, and it’s truly remarkable. Watching them seamlessly transition from boardrooms to bedtime stories, from meetings to mum duties, is a testament to the strength of women who refuse to let anything hold them back. Together, we support each other through it all, sharing stories, advice, and encouragement (and wine!). It’s through these bonds that we empower other women to tackle the challenges of modern life with grace and determination.

Life is, of course, a balancing act, but I firmly believe that we don’t have to compromise; we can excel in both our careers and personal lives. It’s about mastering the art of juggling, knowing when to focus on work and when to pivot towards personal priorities. It’s through the support of Swingers, my colleagues, friends, and the remarkable women in my circle that I’m able to confidently tackle whatever comes my way.


Barby Rivers, General Manager, Swingers NoMad

International Women’s Day is an interesting paradox… as opposed to highlighting women one day every year, I try to honor women and their contributions every day. Working to empower and acknowledge the women in your life consistently is a much more impactful way to engage in the world. As I’ve moved up in my career, it has been a real honor and pleasure to reach people on their paths and impact their development with skills or experiences they can carry on forever.

I am particularly proud that we have such a female-dominant team, which is typically unheard of in hospitality. Having the opportunity to work with so many strong women every day gives us a unique bond and allows us to create an environment that encourages us to work not only on our business acumen but also do the personal growth work that allows us to become even stronger leaders but even more importantly, happier people.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a counselor for other young girls who had suffered traumas; my path didn’t take that journey, but realistically, in my career, I’ve been able to do that with so many. As women, we are often taught to live a life exclusively in the service of others, with our needs and desires being secondary. My path through self-healing has helped me to seek out my own personal happiness and prioritize it. What inspires me is continuing that journey of making my life something that’s beautiful and feeding myself so that I can then feed others. I want to teach others how to walk that journey themselves.


Erin Ward, SVP of Sales

International Women’s Day should be every day; women should be celebrated constantly and intentionally for the work they do while balancing the pressures of life beyond the work day. I appreciate the opportunity to speak about women’s issues in the workplace due to International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. 40 years ago, I would not be sitting in the same position I am sitting in now simply because I’m a woman; we have come so far and burst through these glass ceilings in my lifetime. Yet we still have a way to go, and in many ways, we are still looked on with limitations and expectations of what we can and cannot do, or how we should and should not act. International Women’s Day is a good starting point, but it’s also a stark reminder that we need to take the conversation beyond.

I grew up in a generation and culture where children, especially girls, should be seen and not heard, and women should be submissive both in the workplace and at home. In high school, Home Economics graded us on baking, sewing, and carrying around a flour sack baby—I had to monitor a feeding and changing schedule for a sack of flour while the boys got to take Shop and work on cars and build things. My life would have been entirely different if I had continued the path of societal expectations without taking risks and challenging the norms.

Throughout my career, I decided that I was not willing to compromise what I wanted for my future, and I have fought for possibilities. I have learned that it is okay to say how you feel, to have your own opinion, and to use your voice and abilities. I’m proud of being a mentor to the women in my life. I love sharing my experiences and knowledge with others and encouraging them to utilize their strengths.


We are honored to celebrate International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month.  Though women have greater equality in legislative rights and visibility as role models in every aspect of life, the fight for women’s equality and rights is far from over.   International Women’s Day should also serve as a reminder to groups everywhere to continue the dialogue—think globally, act locally, and make a difference.

If you’d like to get involved, we recommend checking out Women’s Sports Foundation, a movement of movement. They exist to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sports and life. During the month of March, we’re donating $1 of every cocktail from our International Women’s Day menu, which will be matched in full by La Gritona, to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience