Seattle Storm Announces 2018 Inspiring Women Honorees


Seattle to honor four women during the Storm’s July 14, 6 p.m. PT contest vs. Dallas

SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm today announced the names of four local women who will be honored on July 14 during Inspiring Women Night. Anne Simpson, Lindy West and Nan Stoops will all receive the honor, while Maggie Walker will be recognized as the recipient of the Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award.

“Inspiring Women is such a special night on our schedule,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “We are honored to be celebrating Anne, Lindy, Nan and Maggie’s contributions to the Pacific Northwest community through their various ventures. On behalf of the Storm’s ownership team, our front office and our players, I would like to thank these women for their dedication to better our society and congratulate them on this honor.”

One of the first 30 women hired by any major airline, Simpson recently capped a stellar career for Delta Air Lines. She was the third woman in to be hired by Northwest Airlines, now part of Delta, where she served as an airline pilot for nearly 35 years.  In early 2000 Simpson was one four Boeing 747 female captains in the world and retired as an Airbus A330 Captain in 2015. Despite bidding farewell to her captain responsibilities, she has remained with Delta to lend a helping hand as part of the Delta Pilot Selection team where she interviews the next generation of commercial pilots.

“Opening the door for someone to see their possibilities is to inspire. It’s as simple as that. From the bow of an eight oared shell reminding your teammates of the months of training that mean they are strong enough to cross the line first, to telling the wide eyed 7 year old girl seeing a woman pilot, that yep, she can fly too, to believing in something so strongly that others listen and join the cause,” said Simpson.  “I am truly so honored to be recognized by the Seattle Storm for opening doors and inspiring others.”

Simpson is the first Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle’s Museum of Flight, and she has additional experience in Executive Compensation, Nominating and Governance, and three-year budgeting cycles with contingency planning. An expert in both Crew Resource Management and Threat and Error Management, she has led by example in a male-dominated profession and non-profit organization.

An influential writer, editor and performer based out of Seattle, West has been at the forefront of several social campaigns on a variety of topics, including pop culture, social justice, humor and body image. She is widely known for her work in The New York Times, where she is a feminism and culture Op-Ed contributor. Because of her instrumental skillset, West has landed pieces in “This American Life,” The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vulture, Jezebel, The Stranger and many more. She is the founder and editor of I Believe You, It’s Not your Fault, an advice blog for teens.

“As a second-generation Seattleite (and a girl who grew up playing basketball and idolizing the Washington Huskies women’s basketball team!), it is such a joy and a thrill to be recognized by the Seattle Storm,” said West. “Solidarity is more important now than ever, and I’m beyond honored to join such an impressive roster of women working to build a better, more inclusive world.”

For more than 40 years, Stoops has worked in the anti-violence movement as an advocate, trainer and organizer, and she currently serves as the strategic advisor for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), where she was previously the executive director for 17 years. This non-profit organization works on behalf of 68 community-based domestic violence advocacy agencies in Washington, and Stoops identifies the strong traits of the organization with those of the Storm.

“I am very honored to join the Seattle Storm in celebrating the strength, resilience, courageous survival, and bold living of women and girls in our community,” said Stoops. “This is our time, right now, to take the world by Storm!”

Before coming to WSCADV in 1998, Stoops was the associate director of the Faith Trust Institute, a national organization that mobilizes religious leaders and communities to address sexual and domestic violence. She was a founding member of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, a nation-wide network of radical feminists of color working to end violence against women, gender non-conforming, and trans people of color and our communities. Previously the board chair of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Stoops has served on numerous boards and advisory groups.

The Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award is given to an individual who has made an impact on improving the quality of life in the Puget Sound. Ackerley, who passed away in January at the age of 79, founded and chaired the Storm and was a co-owner of the Seattle SuperSonics for 18 years. This year’s recipient is Walker, who for decades has been building partnerships throughout the community and its institutions, all the way from the University of Washington to the Seattle Art Museum and the Woodland Park Zoo. Among the many places Walker has contributed, her most memorable one is the Woodland Park Zoo, where she served on the board for nine years. While most of her inspiration was environmental ethics, she also felt a responsibility in connecting diverse elements of the community.

“I am, and have always been, an athlete and a Storm fan,” said Walker, who played basketball in both middle and high school. “I love the Seattle Storm and the role it plays in the community. I am thankful for the honor!”

Despite retiring from the zoo, Walker has remained highly involved in community work in the city, both as a leader and philanthropist. A hard worker with a ‘big-picture’ perspective, Walker is the former board chair and a donor of the Seattle Foundation, and she is excited about the work the foundation is doing to address community issues and make Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community. Named Woman of Courage by Senator Maria Cantwell in 2017, Walker is also the board chair of the National Audubon Society, chair of Global Partnerships, chair of the Central Waterfront Steering committee, chair of Friends of Waterfront Seattle and chair of the UW College of the Environment Advisory Board.


About the Seattle Storm

The Seattle Storm is a two-time WNBA championship team committed to bringing a premium professional basketball and entertainment experience to a fan base rich in tradition and support. The organization places high value on community and building platforms to positively impact the overall entertainment, attraction and economy of the Puget Sound region. In addition, the Storm is dedicated to local youth development in the areas of fitness and wellness; with a special emphasis on inspiring leadership, motivation and the empowerment of girls and women. For more information, please visit