Program Overview

Just as Seattle Storm players provide inspiration as role models for young girls and boys across the Puget Sound, many other Pacific Northwest women also serve as role models. They are mothers, daughters, volunteers, public servants, business owners, entertainers and oftentimes unsung heroes whose individual contributions make a positive difference in our community.

In 2009, the Storm also established the Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award. 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.
Inspiring Women Night is an annual opportunity for Storm players and fans to thank those who have had an important influence on making our community strong. It is also a chance to shine the limelight on some who are rarely noticed for their work but have had a profound positive impact on those they have touched.

2019 Honorees

Amy Pak – Ginger Ackerly Award

Partner with Social Venture Partners and founding Executive Director of Families Of Color Seattle

This year’s Ginger Ackerley recipient is Pak, a Korean American immigrant, transracial adoptee and a mother of two elementary-aged boys. Pak has 20 years creating high-impact change in Seattle as a coalition builder in community mental health, youth and family, and non-profit sectors. She shapes meaningful community engagement with remarkable social change program design and innovative problem-solving. Pak serves as a Partner with Social Venture Partners and is the founding Executive Director of Families Of Color Seattle (FOCS). Seattle Human Services Coalition awarded FOCS The 2016 Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award. Pak has designed signature equity programs at UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Asian Counseling & Referral Service and numerous non-profits. She consults and trains with local schools and organizations on anti-racist education and family engagement. Pak received a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington, and her work has been featured at Facing Race 2018, Red Tricycle’s “Seattle’s 13 Power Moms”, ParentMap’s, “Someone You Should Know,” and KUOW. Female Founder’s Alliance 2019 Champion Awards recognized Pak as an “Unsung Hero,” and Seattle University’s MBA program honored her with the Red Winged Leadership award.

“It is with tremendous gratitude to receive the honor to stand in sisterhood with such innovative change-makers and healers. The Ginger Ackerley Service award not only brings to light the soulful humanity of our city, it also gives all of us non-conforming women and non-binary femme people, the courage to fly with purpose and joy,” said Pak. “This determination and unbridled power, that is perfectly emboldened by our Seattle Storm, is in great harmony with grace and community. Nurturing our children and families is at the heart of healing and our service to each other. Thank you Seattle Storm and the leadership for being a beacon and a gorgeous gem for us all to embrace.”

Chris Charbonneau

CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK)

Charbonneau has been with Planned Parenthood for nearly four decades and is the longest-serving CEO in the nationwide federation. Together, these organizations operate 45 health centers in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Western Washington, providing medical services and sex education to more than 180,000 people each year. In her tenure, Charbonneau has changed laws and health policy in a number of states, proved that it is sex discrimination for employers to fail to cover contraceptives if they cover other pharmaceuticals in employee health plans, co-founded Planned Parenthood Online (PPOL) and is the Board Chair of Afaxys, an organization she helped to found to secure supplies of affordable contraceptives for Planned Parenthood affiliates, health departments and health organizations serving low-income people. In 2017, the Storm partnered with Charbonneau and PPGNHI to host a pregame rally and online auction in addition to donating $5 per ticket sold.

LaNesha DeBardelaben

Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM)

DeBardelaben assumed her current post in 2017. A Michigan native with over 15 years of museum experience, she has forged impactful partnerships with community stakeholders while increasing NAAM’s national recognition. With exhibitions such as Warren Pope’s Blood Lines Time Lines Red Lines – showing now through Sept. 8, 2019 – NAAM has experienced nearly a 40% increase in attendance since DeBardelaben’s arrival in the Pacific Northwest. In 2019, NAAM was one of only 15 museums in the country as a finalist for the nation’s highest and most prestigious award – the 2019 National Medal for Museum Service Award.  Additionally, NAAM won the 2019 Exhibition of the Year Award from the Association of King County Historical Organizations for its Bold as Love: Jimi Hendrix at Home exhibition. As a public historian, LaNesha has contributed scholarly writings to national publications and is the national Vice President of the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Board of Directors.

Amy Nelson

Founder and CEO of The Riveter

Nelson is founder and CEO of The Riveter, a national membership network of community, content, resources and coworking spaces, built by women for everyone. Since launching The Riveter in May 2017 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Nelson has raised over $20 million in venture capital and continues to expand to cities such as Portland, Ore., opening on July 22. The Riveter offers professional and personal development programming, world-class events, flexible membership, and collaborative workspaces focused on elevating the conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in work and business. In addition to regularly hosting high-profile speakers, including Maria Shriver, Jane Fonda and Backstage Capital Founder Arlan Hamilton, The Riveter offers resources such as one-on-one office hours with venture capitalists, financial experts, attorneys and more to help women and allies fuel business growth.

Inspiring Women Night

Tickets for Inspiring Women Night are still available, but not for long. Purchase here.