Hired on June 18, 2014, Alisha Valavanis is currently the President & General Manager of the Seattle Storm. In this role, Valavanis oversees all Storm business and basketball operations, in addition to Force10 Sports Management Agency, a business specializing in sales and promotion of athletic events for women and girls in the Seattle DMA. This business is owned by Force10 Enterprise, the ownership group of the Seattle Storm.
In Valavanis’ first WNBA Draft as General Manager, the Storm used its No. 1 overall pick to select guard Jewell Loyd, who went on to win Rookie of the Year. Seattle selected forward Breanna Stewart the next year, adding the only player to ever win three consecutive AP Player of the Year awards in college. Entering the 2016 season, the Storm entered into a marquee jersey and community partnership with health provider Swedish Medical Center, a new television partner in Q13 FOX and elevated long-standing Carter Subaru partnership to include court-naming rights.
A native of Valparaiso, Ind., Valavanis came to the Storm with a strong involvement in women’s basketball, both as a former player and coach, uniquely blending with her experience in athletics business operations.
Valavanis joined the Storm in 2014 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was an Assistant Athletics Director of Development. With Cal, she oversaw annual giving, alumni relations and development operations. Valavanis was responsible for annual fundraising efforts, oversaw the ticket-based donation program, established new courtside scholarship programs for both men’s and women’s basketball and drove comprehensive alumni engagement strategies.
Valavanis’ coaching career began in 2002 at California State University, Chico. In her four years as an assistant coach, the program made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2006 she moved on to the University of the Pacific, where she was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2008 season. She has also worked as a WNBA scout with the New York Liberty.
A 2000 graduate of Chico, Valavanis played four years of basketball for the Wildcats, finishing her career as the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers. She was recently named a 2016 CSU, Chico Distinguished Alumni.
Valavanis is a member of the Seattle Sports Commission Board of Directors and is part of the American Cancer Society’s CEO’s Against Cancer. Formerly, she served as a board member of the Greater Seattle Business Association and the 2016 Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk Executive Leadership Team hosted by the American Heart Association.
For her efforts in the community, Valavanis was honored with the 2016 Washington Leadership Excellence Award from the Washington Diversity Council.
Valavanis spends time in the community doing speaking engagements dedicated to illustrating the powerful intersection of business, leadership and sports. She recently spoke at the Women’s Leadership Breakfast hosted by Seattle Sports Commission, Women’s Leadership Forum hosted by Group Health and was part of the Executive Speaker Series: Professional Sports Industry, organized by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.