Tammy Dunn Featured as 'Women in Sports' Panelist
Tammy Dunn has helped promote the brand of the Snohomish County Sports Commission during her tenure as Sports Development Manager of the organization.
Tammy Dunn has helped promote the brand of the Snohomish County Sports Commission during her tenure as Sports Development Manager of the organization.

Friday, March 28, 2014
by Evan O'Kelly, Media Relations Assistant

Sixth in a series.

Previous Panelist Profiles
Lynda Goodrich, Western Washington (Jan. 24)
Kimberly Ford, NCAA (Jan. 31)
Chelsea Herman, Seattle University (Feb. 14)
Erin O'Connell, Seattle Pacific (Feb. 28)
Katie Simons, Saint Martin's (March 20)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Growing up in Belgrade, Mont., Tammy Dunn developed her interest in basketball during one of the most pivotal eras for women in sports. Though she was hardly aware of the impending Title IX battle as a sixth grader, Dunn took full advantage of the opportunities present at the time and got involved playing sports as soon as she could.

Now serving as the Sports Development Manager for the Snohomish County Sports Commission, it was the early exposure to and foundation within athletics that has pushed her career back into the world of sports.

Dunn will appear as a panelist at the Women in Sports Career Seminar, hosted by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference on May 17 in Seattle. She is excited at the prospect of assisting young women inspired to pursue a career in athletics, and her experience in a variety of different industries presents a unique and seasoned perspective on building a career.

While Dunn’s current position is focused on enhancing the athletic experience for athletes of all kinds, her current success has come thanks to a strong background in management. 

“I was a restaurant general manager for 20 years, and served as the marketing specialist for Papa John’s in Snohomish County,” Dunn said. “Through that I was involved in good networking opportunities and learned how to help people create good brand awareness.”

Dunn studied business marketing at Montana State University, touching virtually every aspect of the university’s business department along the way.

“I explored probably every degree you could; accounting, finance, management,” Dunn remembered about her undergraduate experience. “It took me about three years to figure out which degree I wanted, and I ended up in marketing.”

From there Dunn earned a master’s in business administration from the City University of Seattle, as she relocated to the Pacific Northwest after her studies at Montana State. 

As her career developed in the world of restaurant management, Dunn remained passionate about athletics and realized the value of her involvement in sports as a kid.

“I wasn’t really aware of the fight at that time, I was just excited that I could play basketball and sports in high school in general,” Dunn stated regarding the early years of Title IX legislation. “I didn’t realize the impact that it would have for women even 10-to-20 years down the road.”

One aspect of Dunn’s life that reconnected her with athletics directly was her involvement with the Tyee Club at the University of Washington. 

“What really drove me to get back into a career in sports was being a part of the Tyee group and helping student athletes to have opportunities to play,” Dunn said. “Helping students to get an education while playing sports is what it’s all about.” 

Today, the Tyee Club serves as the primary funding source for UW’s entire department of intercollegiate athletics.

“Another group I was involved with at the time was the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, which was originally from the Everett area,” said Dunn. “From there a regional sports council was formed, and the executive director hired me as a contractor to help with facility guide work.”

Known as the Amateur Athletic Association of Snohomish County when Dunn first became involved, the organization has since adopted its current name of the Snohomish County Sports Commission.

Dunn advanced within the group, becoming the manager of sports marketing in August of 2005.

“One of my main roles is to talk with organizations that put on sporting events and find out what all of their needs are in order to have the best event possible,” said Dunn. “The goal is to help take care of the organizational aspects of events so that our participants can focus on their performance.”

The notion of obtaining a career in athletics is not something Dunn had always possessed, but getting back into the world of sports has helped her find a sense of accomplishment and joy in several different areas.

“It’s all about getting the youth introduced to sports and to help them have fun while playing,” said Dunn. “We help provide an opportunity for boys and girls, men and women of all ages, and it’s really fantastic. I love seeing the smiles on peoples’ faces.”

Dunn has experience navigating through challenges and roadblocks, as developing and promoting the group’s presence is often times a tall task.

“People don’t really know where Snohomish County is, and think it is far away from Seattle,” Dunn said. “We actually have a great community and atmosphere around the Puget Sound region which is encouraging, and we are always trying to educate people and show them where we are located.”

Presented with the opportunity to serve as a resource for aspiring young women at the Women in Sports Seminar, Dunn hopes to convey a message of maintaining a broad perspective when beginning the job search.

“There are a lot of internships for athletics, including many opportunities within sports commissions,” Dunn commented. “Being able to volunteer at different events helps as well, because it gives you experience and an understanding that you can take on a leadership role.”

Above all else, Dunn’s experience and career path exemplifies pursuing a variety of opportunities and following something she is passionate about.

For more information regarding the Women in Sports Career Seminar, visit the 'related links' section of this article. To register for the event, click here.