Mari has been on both sides of the giving desk having served as the President and CEO at ArtsFund for over seven years. At Artsfund, 90% of the funding came from the corporate community. She also served on many Seattle area nonprofits as well as worked as an attorney in several private firms. She understands the challenges of our sector and knows what it takes to be successful in securing corporate support.
She detailed the events of how the team was brought to Seattle and how rebuilding and expanding the 58-year-old Seattle Arena into the innovative Climate Pledge Arena was an integral part of that process. The naming rights for new Arena were secured by Amazon and in a partnership between Oak View Group (OVG), and Seattle Kraken. It is expected to be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world and will harness the power of sports and entertainment to inspire change on the climate crises.
As part of connecting with the Seattle art community and reflecting the “heart and soul“ of Seattle Center, the work of local diverse artists has been installed throughout the arena.
A nonprofit foundation was also simultaneously created so that the Kraken has a continuous connection with the surrounding community before, during and after its inaugural 2021-2022 season.
YouthCare, now has a 10-year formalized relationship with the Kraken in which the team will donate cash and in-kind services totaling $10 million to eradicate youth homelessness.
YouthCare works to end youth homelessness by addressing root causes and providing holistic and 24/7 support to youth in the greater Seattle region. For nearly 50 years, it has provided essential needs such as meals, shelter, housing, education and employment opportunities along with the simple yet powerful action of valuing the potential of every young person in our community.
Additionally, the Kraken is striving to promote diversity, both internally and externally by hiring Everett Fitzhugh, the first African –American announcer in the NHL along with connecting with organizations in the community to make hockey more accessible to all. This includes player of color recruitment, sponsorships, product donations, ticket donations and youth groups to support both viewing and participation in the sport.
Also, during this “pre-season” phase for the Kraken, an exclusive line of “Release the Kraken” merchandise was sold at a dedicated releasethekraken.com website between July 23 and August 21, 2020. The Kraken has donated $285K to YouthCare and $60K each to Community Passageways and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.