Four local women are being honored for their outstanding accomplishments , courage, service and dedication as the Seattle Storm announced its 2012 Women of Inspiration, presented by Moss Adams LLP. The honorees will be celebrated during a pregame reception and halftime ceremony when the Storm hosts the Phoenix Mercury at KeyArena Aug. 30.
As a part of the WNBA and Seattle Storm’s commitment to its community and to inspiring women, the four exceptional Seattle-area women chosen were selected from a diverse group of nominees, all of whom share remarkable stories and achievements. They join a class of 27 esteemed women selected in previous years as part of the program which began in 2006.
The 2012 Seattle Storm Women of Inspiration are:
Paula Boggs has served in numerous professional and community leadership roles for the past 25 years. From 2002 to the spring of 2012, she served as Starbucks’ executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, advising Starbucks partners on legal and business issues. In 2010, President Barack Obama named Boggs to the 26-member White House Council for Community Solutions. She is a U.S. Army Airborne Veteran.
Bobbe Bridge is the founding president and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization she created in 2006 to reform Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. From 1990 to 2008, Bridge served as a judge on the State Supreme Court and in the King County Superior Court. Recognized statewide and nationally as a leading advocate for foster care reform, domestic violence victims, truancy prevention, juvenile justice reform and a host of other issues, Bridge currently chairs the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care and is a board member for many nonprofit organizations. Bridge will also be presented as this year’s Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award winner.
Kate Starbird shifted her focus from a long and successful professional basketball career to the world of academia, working as a Ph.D student at the University of Colorado at Boulder to improve disaster relief using social media. Currently, Starbird is finishing her degree and transitioning back to her home state for an assistant professor position with the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, starting this Fall Semester. Following a successful college career at Stanford, Starbird spent nine years playing basketball professionally for the ABL’s Seattle Reign and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, helping the Storm to its first playoff appearance in 2002.
Patty Stonesifer is the former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has spent years working to improve access to advances in global health and learning. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the chair of the Smithsonian Institution and in 2010, President Obama appointed her as the Chair of the White House Council on Community Solutions. In 1996, Stonesifer was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time.
In 2009, the Seattle Storm established a new award – the Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award. While serving as Co-President and Co-Chair of The Ackerley Group, Ginger played an instrumental role in bringing a WNBA team to Seattle in 1999. In conjunction with the Storm’s 10th Anniversary Season in 2009, the team honored Ginger by establishing the annual award in her name. The Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award will be given annually by the Seattle Storm to an individual who has had a measurable impact on improving the quality of life in Puget Sound through a significant and sustained record of volunteer service to the area’s youth. This 2012 award winner is former justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, Bobbe Bridge.
The 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm is one of six independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s preeminent women’s professional basketball league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. The team also plays an active role in promoting literacy, health and fitness, support for women and girls and youth basketball in local communities.