Q&A with Newly Appointed Storm COO Alisha Valavanis
After Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant announced that the beginning of the 2014 WNBA season would be her last with the Storm, the franchise hired new COO Alisha Valavanis to head up the organization. Valavanis took the time to speak with WNBA.com about her new position.
I think it is really important to build on what is already a strong foundation. All credit goes to Karen Bryant and what she started with this organization. So we're really going to focus on building on the strong foundation that already exists and continuing on the brand and elevating it. My first priority is to sit down and talk with everyone who holds an interest in this team, so it'll be the front office folks all the way through to stakeholders and even the Storm Crazies and really engage in conversation with them.
What attracted you to the WNBA and specifically the Storm organization?
There's no question I was attracted to the incredible brand from afar and was really excited by the opportunity to combine my basketball history and business experience with an organization like this. I was also really intrigued by the Seattle community. It's a wonderful iconic city with incredible fans and an incredible energy.
Can you talk a little about your basketball experience and how it led you to this opportunity
Well I'm a Hoosier so [basketball] is in my DNA. So I was born in Indiana and I have an identical twin and we both started playing at a really young age and we all loved basketball. I got to play at Chico State and coach there as well and I loved being part of a team and part of a community. I enjoy being able to empower and develop student-athletes.
What are you most looking forward to after joining this Storm organization
I'm looking forward to being a part of the Seattle community and a storied franchise like the Storm. I can't wait to get to know the Storm Crazies; the passionate fanbase in this community is really exciting.