Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant
For more than 18 years, Karen Bryant has been involved with professional women’s basketball.
Bryant got her start in professional sports when she was recruited by the American Basketball League to serve as the Seattle Reign’s Director of Operations during the team’s inaugural season in 1996. After the ABL folded, she was hired by the Ackerley family and the Seattle SuperSonics in 1999 to help bring a WNBA expansion team to Seattle. With Bryant’s leadership and the support of the Sonics, Seattle was awarded a WNBA franchise and the Storm played its inaugural season in 2000.
After the Sonics departed for Oklahoma, Bryant was named President & CEO by the new ownership group – Force 10 Hoops. As President & CEO, she is responsible for overseeing business and basketball operations for the organization. Under her guidance, the Storm won the WNBA Championship in 2004 and 2010. Bryant’s leadership has helped guide the Storm to be recognized as one of the league’s premier independently owned franchises, on and off the court.
As a businesswoman in the sports world, Bryant’s past as a notable basketball player laid the foundation for her success. From Edmonds, Bryant graduated from Woodway High School in 1986 and left high school with a girls basketball state championship and All-State honors. She concluded her playing career in 1991 as a member of the UW Husky women’s basketball team who qualified for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite 8.
Bryant has been widely acknowledged as a professional sports visionary and community leader, and her abundance of awards and affiliations speak for themselves. These prestigious awards include:
- Puget Sound Business Journal recognized her as one of their Women of Influence (2005)
- Awarded the prestigious Health and Dignity Award by the Americans for UNFPA for her continued efforts towards elevating the status of women and advocacy for equality (2010)
- Bryant and the Storm owners were named Girl Scouts of America’s Women of Distinction (2011)
- Bryant was a recipient of the Community Spirit of Seafair Award (2013)
- Bryant was inducted to the University of Washington Department of Communication Hall of Fame (2013)
- Named Sports Executive of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission (2011)
Bryant is also committed to giving back to the community and lending her skills as an entrepreneur and passionate individual and has previously served on the boards of Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, Special Olympics Washington, Girls Scouts – Totem Council and King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.