As a fan of the Golden State Warriors, and a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, I watched with great interest as the new Chase Center rose as part of the San Francisco skyline and as a new neighbor to Mission Bay residents. Opened in September 2019, it’s an exciting addition to our community. Of course, running a modern arena is a complex challenge that requires a super talented individual.
Fortunately, the Chase Center found Kim Stone, from the Miami Heat and American Airlines Arena in Miami. They convinced her to switch coasts and come to San Francisco as General Manager! I’ve been seeing and reading about Kim since then (and I’ve experienced the awesome Chase Center), and I’ve been impressed and inspired by what I learn about her.
It’s gratifying to see a woman having such success in a normally male-dominated industry. At ATR, we serve many companies in the IT and Engineering industries and I live and work in Silicon Valley. Like other working women, I know from experience how challenging it can be in the business world. Kim’s secret? Seems to me to be hard work! Kim spent 23 years with the Miami Heat and American Airlines Arena, working her way up from an initial entry level job to SVP and General Manager. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
Working hard, learning the business from the ground up, and then moving up the ladder is not at all a unique story, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t inspiring. In fact, I think it is extra inspiring in a way. It can feel sometimes as if success comes from a moment of luck or superstar talent or genius that you somehow possess. In truth, it comes from working hard day in and day out. It comes from paying attention, being curious, and always striving to do better and be better.
Kim inspires a similar work ethic and is a reminder of the results it produces. She told NBC Bay Area in an interview when she was hired that:
“[Miami] was a job I could have easily retired in, but for me that’s not what life is about. I wanted a second chapter in life.”
I find this passion for her career inspiring too. Women juggle many roles and it’s challenging to give the time and effort you want to all areas of your life. I’m inspired that Kim took on a big new challenge in her career at this stage with a young son at home. Her choice was to lean into a new experience that required even more hard work.
Business leaders have a special responsibility to give back to the communities that they live and work in. On this front Kim, is also a leader. She is a proud member of the LGBTQ community, actively celebrating and supporting the community in South Florida before bringing the same enthusiasm and commitment to the Bay Area. As with so much else in life, this year’s celebration of Pride Month was virtual, but Kim was a part of it, including this interview along with Warriors COO Rick Welts, and this discussion with ABC7 News Reggie Aqui that included Welts, Chase Center’s transportation director, Manoj Madhavan, their husbands, and Kim and her wife.
She’s also obviously been a big part of the Warriors/Chase Center response to the pandemic, overseeing the Center’s efforts to introduce protocols to make it a safer place for everyone. The Center just earned the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Facility accreditation for advanced cleaning procedures. They have also been working hard to ensure that Thrive City and their strong commitment to serve the surrounding neighborhood continued. They launched their Thrive City Farmer’s Market on Wheels as a mobile program aimed to deliver essential grocery items and resources to area residents and have held multiple blood drives designed to attract diverse donors whose blood might help illnesses and inherited diseases.
I’m not surprised that the Warriors found a talented, inspirational person like Kim for the job. The current ownership, led by Joe Lacob, has been committed to being a strong community partner since they bought the team in 2010. I’m a season ticket holder and have been a supporter of their charitable efforts in the area. I follow their team as a fan and their corporate leadership in the community as a fellow business leader. I’ve been impressed by the people they hire and how they conduct themselves as a whole organization. Kim is another great addition to the team, and an inspiring one at that!
Know an inspirational woman like Kim? Let us know in the comments below!