The Seattle Storm has announced the Inspiring Women recipients for 2013 sponsored by Deloitte. The honorees are: local educator and principal at Interagency Academy Kaaren Andrews, GSBA President & CEO Louise Chernin, former University of Washington basketball player Melissa Erickson, and former governor Chris Gregoire. A celebration of the Inspiring Women honorees will be held at halftime of the August 15 Storm game vs. Chicago.
“Once again, we have amazing women we are honoring in Kaaren, Louise, Melissa and Chris,” said Storm President & CEO Karen Bryant. “Their experiences and successes are truly remarkable and we are glad to have the chance to celebrate them.”
Kaaren Andrews is the principal of Interagency Academy in Seattle, which is an alternative high school that works with at-risk teens. In 1998, she coached the girls basketball team at Seattle Prep, leading the Panthers to the Metro League championship, the Sea-King District title and a sixth-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament.
Louise Chernin is the President and CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association. She has led GSBA to become what is now the largest LGBT Chamber in the United States with more than 1,000 members. Chernin was named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 20 most influential women in Puget Sound.
“I work with remarkable people and live in a city and state in which there is such a strong commitment to equality for all,” said Chernin. “The Seattle Storm has played an important role in our journey for equality by inspiring our youth and most especially our young girls and women to break down barriers, dream big and be all they can be. Thank you Seattle Storm for this honor.”
Melissa Erickson played basketball for the University of Washington from 1997 to 2001. She was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2006 and lost her battle in June of this year. She fought ALS the same way she played basketball, with toughness and courage. Erickson used her diagnosis to shed light on ALS and inspired people to always have strength, even in the toughest of times.
“Being able to honor Melissa as a 2013 Inspiring Woman with the Seattle Storm is an amazing way to celebrate her love of life,” said Leanne Erickson, Melissa’s mother. “Her fun-loving and caring personality was so infectious and is something we hope carries on in all the people her life touched.”
Chris Gregoire governed the state of Washington from January 2005 to January 2013. During her time in office, she was an advocate for improving the education system, protecting the environment and creating jobs for her constituents.
These four influential women will be honored at halftime on Thursday, August 15, when the Seattle Storm takes on the Chicago Sky. Go to StormBasketball.com to get your tickets to this game to help recognize four inspirational women from our community.