Kathryn Beck

Women’s Leadership Breakfast: Past Panelists

2017 WLB Panelists | The Westin Hotel | October 26, 2017

Jen Cohen

Cohen was named the University of Washington’s fifteenth Director of Athletics on May 24, 2016. Cohen has been with the UW for 18 years and for much of that time has overseen the athletic department’s fundraising efforts. Cohen and her team led the “Drive for Husky Stadium” campaign, in which the department raised over $50 million in gifts for the renovation of Husky Stadium, which was completed in August 2013.

Cohen has also led development efforts for a number of other initiatives, including the renovation of Hec Edmundson Pavilion and the Conibear Shellhouse, the construction of the Dempsey Indoor Practice Facility, the Husky Legends Center, Husky Golf Center and various scholarship endowments.

Shaney Fink

Fink comes to Seattle U from the University of San Diego, a private Catholic university, where she most recently served as Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. Her full tenure at USD spanned more the 17 years and included previous roles in compliance and student services, academic support and as an assistant volleyball coach for the Toreros.

At USD, Fink was responsible for day-to-day operations and management of 17 NCAA Division I teams and 450 student-athletes. She was a key point person for many leadership, strategic planning, inclusion and fundraising initiatives during her USD tenure. She held oversight responsibility for a development team and assisted in development and management of a @20+ million Athletics Department budget.

Andrea Williams

Williams comes to the Big Sky Conference from the Big Ten Conference, where she spent the last decade as the conference’s associate commissioner, handling football and basketball operations.

In her role with the Big Sky, Williams will shape and develop her vision for the conference, which will include an emphasis on member institution cooperation, broad-based programming, innovative television and technology platforms, sponsorship and athlete health-and-safety.

Williams’ extensive experience in collegiate athletics began as a student-athlete, herself, as she competed as a two-sport athlete at Texas A&M. She helped lead the Aggies to NCAA Sweet 16 berths in both volleyball and women’s basketball.

2016 WLB Panelists | The Westin Hotel | October 27, 2016

Colleen McAleer

Colleen McAleer makes a difference as the President of the Washington Business Alliance working with businesses, nonprofits, and policymakers to advance bipartisan problem solving. She also made history when she became the first female Commissioner in the 91-year history of the Port of Port Angeles.
Prior to her work at the Port, Colleen served in the military and led a successful commercial real estate practice. She was also a collegiate cheerleader at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Carrianne Smith

Carrianne Smith is a leader in the Pacific Northwest hospitality industry. In her current role as Area Director of Sales and Marketing at Sheraton, she supports eight Starwood hotels in Alberta, B.C., Washington and Oregon. Recognized as a leader throughout her career, Carrianne has earned two nominations for Sales Leader of the Year for Starwood Hotels and Resorts of Northwest, and seven nominations for Sales Team of the Year, winning that honor in 2008.

She competed at a high level since childhood as a figure skater for the Peoria and Rockford, IL Figure Skating Clubs and as a member of the United States Figure Skating Association.

Frances Traisman

Frances Traisman oversees all aspects of Mariners ticket sales in her role as the Vice President of Sales, a position she’s held for the last nine years of her 21-year tenure with the Mariners. She also works closely with Major League Baseball on online initiatives, and currently serves as a member of the league’s committee exploring utilization of technology to enhance the fan experience.

Frances developed a competitive mindset as a gymnast and cheerleader in high school.

Alisha Valavanis

Alisha Valavanis oversees all business and basketball operations as the President & General Manager of the Seattle Storm. She also oversees Force10 Sports Management Agency, a business specializing in sales and promotion of athletic events for women and girls in the Seattle DMA.

Her current role draws on her extensive athletic background that includes a four-year basketball career at Chico State where she graduated as the team’s all-time leader in 3-pointers. She transitioned into coaching for her alma mater, spent time as a WNBA scout and served as Assistant Athletics Director of Development at UC Berkeley prior to joining the Storm.

2015 WLB Panelists | Seattle Sheraton Hotel | October 28, 2015

Karen Bryant

Former Husky women’s basketball player and Seattle Storm CEO, Karen has long been a leader in the sports community in our region. She helped bring the WNBA to Seattle, and led the Seattle Storm to two WNBA Championships during her tenure as CEO.

Ginny Gilder

A former Yale rowing star and current Seattle Storm co-owner has matched her business success to her athletics success.  As an athlete, Ginny was named to two U.S. Olympic Teams (1980 & 84) winning silver for the women’s rowing team in 1984 Summer Games. As a businesswoman, she is a co-owner of the 2x WNBA Champion Storm and CEO of her family investment firm.

Karen Moyer

Co-founder and Vice President of the Moyer Foundation, a highly successful foundation that helps children with severe distress, Karen is a leader in the non-profit community. Karen played everything growing up and was literally the first girl to play Little League baseball in South Bend, IN.  She was offered an opportunity to play Division II basketball but went to Notre Dame instead.  She has coached club soccer and HS girls varsity basketball and started and ran a select baseball league in Seattle.

Karen Spencer

Combining her passions for numbers and sports, Karen is the CFO of the Seattle Seahawks. Karen joined the Seahawks organization in 1991 as a staff accountant and moved up the ranks to financial director by 2003. In 2009, she was promoted to her current position as CFO. As a Seattle native, she received her degree in accounting from Seattle University.

 

2014 WLB Panelists | Washington Athletic Club | October 30, 2014

Charmaine Crooks

Crooks represented Canada in five Olympics and won an Olympic silver medal in the women’s 4x400M relay in 1984. In 1994, she co-founded and became the President of NGU Consultants, a sports marketing, management and consulting company.

Bob Ernst

Crew coach at the University of Washington, Ernst is the only collegiate coach to lead both men’s and women’s varsity to a National Championship. He has coached his teams to eight National Championships and one Olympic gold medal (1980 women’s crew team). In 2015, Ernst began his 41st year of coaching at the University of Washington.

Mimi Griffin

Griffin worked as ESPN women’s basketball analyst from 1983-1999 and is considered to be the first broadcast expert for women’s basketball. In 1990, she became the first woman color analyst for a NCAA Men’s Tournament game and the first woman to broadcast the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 1991. Since 1983, Griffin has owned and operated MSG Promotions, the hospitality management group for the 2015 U.S. Open Golf Championship.

Lt. Col Erin M. Staine-Pyne

Staine-Pyne was a collegiate soccer player for the U.S. Air Force Academy. In May of 1998 she graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy where she was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Currently, Staine-Pyne is the Commander for the 8th Airlift Squadron of the U.S. Air Force.

 

2013 WLB Panelists | Hyatt at Olive 8 | Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lisa Brummel

From Hall of Fame athlete to Microsoft Executive Vice President, stunning success has followed Brummel every step of the way. A four sport athlete at Yale, Brummel was named to the All-Ivy team as a basketball and softball player and is in the Ivy League Women’s Hall of Fame for softball. As EVP, she has overseen the Human Resources department at Microsoft since 2005 and is a co-owner of the two-time WNBA champion Seattle Storm.

Karch Kiraly

Kiraly is the most decorated volleyball player in the sport. Taking home the Olympic gold medal in both indoor and beach volleyball, Kiraly is the only athlete to medal in both sports. Kiraly’s transition from player to coach has been equally as successful as he is now Head Coach of the USA Women’s Volleyball team.

 Stephanie Rempe

From walk-on to SWA, Rempe helped lead University of Arizona volleyball team to the NCAA Tournament and advance to the sweet sixteen in her senior season. As an administrator, she has risen to become Sr. Associate Athletic Director and SWA at the University of Washington.

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