Tag Archives: Lisa Brummel

Lisa Brummel Storms To WNBA Title

The Seattle Storm — one of the classiest Women’s National Basketball Association franchises, on the court and off — just won its 3rd championship in 17 years. The team topped the Washington Mystics, 4 games to 1.

Congratulations to Lisa Brummel! The Storm’s co-owner is a big name in the Pacific Northwest — and in Westport.

Lisa’s story is legendary. The daughter of former Westport superintendent of school Ken Brummel, she was the first Staples High School basketball player to score 1,000 points.

The 1977 graduate also starred in softball, track and field hockey, earning All- FCIAC or All-State in all 4 sports.

She continued her success at Yale University, starring in 4 sports (adding volleyball to the list).

Lisa Brummel

Lisa was a 4-year All-Ivy basketball playing, adding Ivy League MVP when the Elis won the title in 1979. She was an Academic All-American 1981.

In addition, she earned Yale’s George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.

She also played three seasons as a catcher with the Raybestos Brakettes (1976-78), winning national titles each year. Lisa was elected to the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

For 3 years — beginning in high school — she was a catcher for the Raybestos Brakettes. All they did was win ASA national and WSA world championships.

In 1989 Lisa joined Microsoft. She retired in 2014, as Chief People Officer. EWeek named her 1 of the 25 Most Influential People there.

Brummel’s team’s title is a great one. Now let’s see what Westport’s other pro basketball co-owner — Marc Lasry of the Milwaukee Bucks — can do this year.

(Hat tip: Andre Lambros)

Longtime Westporters Pay Staples Tuition Grants Forward

When Richard Berkowitz served on Staples Tuition Grants’ board in the late 1970s, only a few small grants were awarded to graduating seniors. Board members quietly solicited donations from friends and neighbors.

In the early to mid-1980s — when Dick Fincher served on the STG board — a $1,000 grant was considered great.

Dick Fincher (left) and his son Doug.

Dick Fincher (left) and his son Doug.

Fincher recalls, “This was a period of very high unemployment. Interest rates got up to about 20%, for a short time. It was surprising then, as it probably is now, who in Westport had a financial need in terms of paying college expenses.”

Berkowitz and Fincher’s rewarding experiences serving on the STG board — helping students earn a college education — was noticed by their children.

“That sense of community drew me to the program. I’m following my dad’s lead,” says Dick’s son, Doug Fincher. He — along with Berkowitz’s daughter, Jody Beck — are now STG board members.

When Doug graduated from Staples in 1982, friends received grants. Some still live in town today.

Families he knew as a student continue to support STG’s named awards. There are nearly 100 of them, established by individuals, companies and civic groups.

The 2 newest named awards honor Ken Brummel and Westport Temple Lodge #65.

Ken Brummel

Ken Brummel

The Brummel award — donated by his daughter Lisa — celebrates a longtime educator. In 1964 — at just 28 years old — Ken Brummel was named principal of Bedford Junior High School. He later served 12 years as Westport’s superintendent of schools. He was widely admired as an innovator, and a strong supporter of teachers. He died a year ago, at 77.

The Temple Lodge has served the town since 1824. Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal organization in the world, with members dedicated to caring for those less fortunate and giving back to their community.

Staples Tuition Grants is not as old as the Temple Lodge — but few organizations are. STG was established in 1943 with a $100 gift from the Staples PTA. Last year it awarded $317,000 in grants to 122 students — graduating seniors, and alumni already in college — thanks to gifts from over 500 individuals, PTAs, civic organizations, local businesses, trusts and private foundations.

(To make a tax-deductible donation, or for more information, click here; email giving@staplestuitiongrants.org, or write STG, Box 5159, Westport, CT 06881-5159.)

Staples Tuition Grants new logo

Lisa Brummel’s Hall Of Fame Game

It’s been 30 years since Lisa Brummel starred at Staples and Yale. But Connecticut hasn’t forgotten her.

Next month, she’ll be inducted into the state Basketball Hall of Fame. She’s in good company. Her fellow inductees include UConn women’s head coach Geno Auriemma, and the Huskies’ longtime associate head coach Chris Dailey.

Lisa Brummel, back in the day.

Lisa Brummel, back in the day.

Lisa’s story is legendary. She began playing basketball here in 3rd grade, with guys from her neighborhood. An All-State selection in high school, she was the 1st Staples player to score 1,000 career points.

At Yale she made the All-Ivy League 1st team — 4 years in a row. She led the Elis to the 1979 league championship, and was Ivy MVP. Two years later, she was named an Academic All-American.

Lisa also lettered in softball, volleyball and track at Yale. She was named to the Ivy League Silver Anniversary Honor Roll in softball, and earned Yale’s George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.

For 3 years — beginning in high school — she was a catcher for the Raybestos Brakettes. All they did was win ASA national and WSA world championships.

In 1989 Lisa joined Microsoft. She’s still with them today. Her current title is Chief People Officer.(EWeek named her 1 of the 25 Most Influential People there.

But she has not forgotten her basketball roots. She’s co-owner of the Seattle Storm — the 2010 WNBA champs.

Lisa Brummel at Microsoft.

Lisa Brummel at Microsoft.

Next month’s induction ceremony in Hamden will be a nice homecoming for Lisa. But there will be one Westport connection even she might not know: A co-founder of the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, back in 1987, was Ann Fariss. Before she was a college athletic director, she taught physical education — at Staples High School.