New WNBA President Laurel J. Richie
The start of the WNBA season is a hectic time for players as they return from overseas, get situated in training camp and prepare themselves for five grueling months of competition. But the start of the season is also a busy time for the league's Manhattan office as various departments put the finishing touches on projects that range from finalizing player contracts to hashing out marketing campaigns. Offseason additions that are new to the scene now finally have a chance to see what the in-season atmosphere is like. Front office vets that have been a part of the league for a number of seasons have a little more pep in their step as they rush down the hall; an extra sense of urgency as the elevator works its way up to the next floor at a fast pace, but not fast enough.
For Laurel J. Richie, this is all new territory. As the newly appointed WNBA President, it's her job to continue the legacy left behind by previous league presidents Val Ackerman and Donna Orender. She has been appointed the responsibility of building the image of the league, growing its fan base, developing relationships with sponsors and brainstorming new ways to appeal to fans not only in the cities where teams play, but also across the country and throughout the world.
Having grown up a Cavaliers fan in the outskirts of Cleveland, Richie is no stranger to the game of basketball. But while she's quick to compliment a player's athleticism, Richie also believes a huge part of the league's success hinges on the positive images portrayed by some of the finest role models the sports world has to offer. The former Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA is a firm supporter of embracing opportunities that help empower and strengthen young women and girls and is already actively thinking of more ways to build potential partnerships with organizations that do the same.
Richie officially took office on May 16 and has since hit the ground running. She was an active participant during the WNBA's Week of Service, hosted the May 24 Inspiring Women's Luncheon and already has plans in place to visit arenas throughout the country.