Favorite breakfast cereal: Honey Graham Oh’s
Favorite dessert: Reeses PB Cup S’more
Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite movie: Rudy
All-time favorite sports play: Brandi Chastain’s World Cup-winning shootout goal in 2000
CLAIRE DURRELL – Founder & CEO
Growing up in a highly athletic family, Claire started her career in fitness and sport at a very early age. T-ball and ski racing progressed into select basketball and premier club soccer. While at Sammamish High School, Claire was a 4-year varsity letterman and 3-time captain in each of her respective sports: soccer, basketball and softball. She earned All-KingCo Scholar Athlete Honors, All-KingCo First and Second Team picks in both soccer and softball and All-State honors as one of Washington’s top first infielders before playing DI collegiate softball at Santa Clara University. Claire holds a BA in Sociology and a BS in Spanish Studies from SCU. She went on to earn her masters in Organizational Psychology with an emphasis in Leadership Development from Seattle Pacific University.
Her first love is working with young leaders to build the unity, trust, and capability to take their teams to optimal levels of productivity and performance. Prior to founding LEAD, Claire spent years consulting for people strategists of leading Fortune 500 companies on their most pressing talent management and leadership development initiatives. With five kiddos herself (one son, four daughters), she is now dedicating her life’s work to helping young women seek their passions and find their voice.
When she is not in the gym training tomorrow’s female leaders, she is shopping with her older twin girls, cheering in the bleachers at her son’s baseball games, touring the monkey exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo with her younger twin girls, or with her husband and extended family at summer home on Hood Canal.
Favorite breakfast cereal: Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, OH and Rice Krispy Treat Cereal
Favorite dessert: Fudge Brownie anything
Favorite holiday: Christmas – back East!
Favorite movie: Harry Potter (but the books are better)
All-time favorite sports moment: MJs “Flu game” in the 1997
TEANNA BLEES, Ph.D. (TEA) – President & Head Coach
If you’ve known Teanna throughout her life, you’d know that there has never been a separation between athletics and everyday life. As a Philadelphia native, she played travel soccer and AAU basketball through high-school, was a 4-year varsity starter, and continued her career at the collegiate level. After withstanding 4 knee surgeries and partially tearing her ACL at the end of her junior season, she reluctantly retired from her sport. She finished her BA in Psychology and Communications, jumped ship and moved to Seattle, and continued on to complete her Masters and Ph.D in Industrial Organizational Psychology.
Since the end of her basketball career, she never relinquished her passion for sports and fitness. She trained aggressively, competed in several Spartan Races and road races, and eventually found the sport of CrossFit. She now competes competitively, which is where she truly started to digest the deeply rooted link between physical capacity, character, fortitude, and leadership. As a LEADer and a CrossFit coach, she finds great joy in leveraging strength and movement as a gateway for people to realize their capacity to lead strong no matter where they are in their journey.
Prior to LEAD, Teanna worked in consulting and is fully invested in the importance of opportunities to develop as a leader, no matter where you are. Her dream is to apply her academic and athletics background to help inspire the leader in everybody, and raise up the next generation of women who aren’t afraid to “go first”.
Outside of LEAD, you’ll find Teanna working tirelessly at her craft in the gym, working out and hiking with her husband, and coaching her CrossFit Burien family.
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Frosted Flakes
Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans or The Shawshank Redemption
All-time Favorite Sports Play: Dak Prescott throwing the OT Game winning TD to Jason Witten versus their rivals the Philadelphia Eagles
MADDY GRAVES – Director of Corporate Communications
Since the age of 6, Maddy has been involved in sports. Growing up, she played soccer, basketball, and softball; and eventually decided to specialize in basketball in 8th grade. Maddy was a 3-year Varsity basketball player at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma where she participated in the state tournament all 3 years (Placing 6th her junior year), and was a captain her senior year. While her love for basketball transcends throughout her entire life, Maddy’s real passion is for football. She is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan who never misses a game, and also works in the front office with UW Football.
Maddy is currently working toward her undergraduate degree at UW in the Foster School of Business. She hopes to use her degree in the sports industry, with an emphasis on leadership and developing the wholistic athlete. When Maddy can find some down time, she is watching the Cowboys, shopping, or spending time with her family in Gig Harbor.
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Nature’s Path Pumpkin Seed + Flax Granola
Favorite Dessert: Ice Cream
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite Movie: The Blindside, Sweet Home Alabama and The Holiday
Alisha Brown – Community Engagement Coordinator
“Somewhere in the stands there is a little girl who wants to be just like you, don’t let her down.”
This quote has always resonated with Alisha, she was the little girl at a High School Football Game, watching with fascination as the Cheerleaders performed with such confidence and strength. In Junior High and High School she followed that dream and became the Cheerleader she once admired! During College she coached Youth Cheerleading further solidifying her passion for building young women up to know that they are Strong, Beautiful, Confident and Valuable Leaders.
Being front and center and on top of the pyramid is where Alisha has always felt most comfortable, where she gathers strength and gains energy. She has found that she can contribute so much more to a group or organization through Leadership. Where some struggle to take the Lead, Alisha Thrives.
Alisha has always been enamored with Female Human Anatomy as a young girl she dreamed of becoming an OBGYN, which is one reason that she studied Biology. During College she found that she enjoyed and excelled in Administrative and Support roles including Office and Operations Management as well as Personal and Executive Assistance. These positions challenged her and stretched her ability to learn many different facets of running small business like Human Resources, Accounting, IT and Management. Which has set her up for her being a Stay At Home Mother since 2011.
As a mother of two young girls, Alisha enjoys being home and shaping these two future leaders of her very own. She loves creating in the kitchen and at the craft table, reading and enjoying quiet time with her family. But even with her love for cooking, her very favorite thing to make for dinner is Reservations!
Alisha hopes that through LEAD she will be able to share her experiences with other Girls and Women to help them be the Strong and Confident LEADers that she knows we all are!
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Honey Bunches of Oats/Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Favorite Dessert: Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Movie: Jurassic Park
All-time Favorite Sports Play: 1998 NBA Finals – Bulls v. Utah Jazz, Michael Jordan strips the ball from Karl Malone and sinks a 2-point jump shot to give Bulls the lead – and another NBA title – with 5 seconds left in the game.
Russy Woods – Associate of Operations & Strategy
Russy grew up in a multi-lingual diverse family in Bellevue, WA, and is fluent in Spanish, Dutch and English. She swam for Phantom Lake swim club during summers since the age of 9. Later, she picked up tennis in high school and was the captain and number 1 seeded player for Sammamish junior and senior year. She also played basketball year-round, leading to 4 years on a Varsity Squad, serving as team captain, and then went on to play for the University of Sussex in England. There, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science with Honours. Today, Russy pursues excellence in Taekwondo.
Following university, Russy spent 10 years as an IT industry professional for a Fortune 500 company. Her natural passion for protocol, organization and communication emerged during this time as she managed teams of up to 30 people.
Russy has 2 wonderful boys and a very fluffy dog named Jack-Jack. They keep her on her toes and make life exhaustingly fun. In spare moments not otherwise occupied with family, she loves to shop and draw.