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Meet the woman behind the planning for Super Bowl XLVI

FootballSuper BowlConseco IncorporatedIndiana HoosiersBreast CancerCancer

Allison Melangton is no stranger to big time events. The Emmy-winning television producer has worked seven Olympic games from Barcelona to Beijing.

“I never went into work that way and never thought that I was going to climb the corporate ladder and conquer all these things,” said Melangton. “But opportunities came to me and I continued to follow those, and I've had a great career doing that.”

Melangton is the president and CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee.

In Indianapolis, she has tackled everything from Big Ten basketball tournaments to the Pan Am Games. She also came up with the idea to put a pool inside Conseco Fieldhouse for the World Swimming Championships.

“I love doing things that everyone says, that's not going to work. I go, 'Really? Okay, let's try it then,'” said Melangton.

Bringing unique ideas like that to Super Bowl 46 has been her philosophy. One of the most important to her is Indy’s Super Cure.

“We started putting the pieces together that maybe there was something we could do as part of the Super Bowl for breast cancer,” said Melangton.

Melangton’s friend, Traci Runge, is the inspiration behind Super Cure. The goal is to raise awareness about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at IU Simon Cancer Center and increase diversity of breast tissue donations.

“The doctors at the bank are amazing women. Amazing women,” said Melangton. “I'm so proud that it's in Indianapolis, because it's not going on anywhere else in the world.”

As all the parties and hoopla associated with the Super Bowl inch closer, Melangton looks back at the past two years of preparing for this moment. She said the loves of her life, her son and husband, have been wonderful. In fact, she said she has not cooked a meal or gone grocery shopping in two years.

Still, as just the second female to be named CEO of a Super Bowl Host Committee, many people have questioned if a woman could handle the job.

She recalls a ride on a bus into downtown. “There was a commercial on the radio and one of the guys in the car said, ‘Can you believe they hired a chick to run our Super Bowl?’”

So what did Melangton do?

“I chose to say nothing at all, and actions will speak louder than words,” said Melangton. “And if I do a good job, they'll be reading the paper some day and they'll go, ‘Huh, I guess a chick can run the Super Bowl.'”

Melangton expects to be finished with all of her Super Bowl responsibilities in June. After that, she will head to London to begin working on her 8th Olympic games.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun