Celebrating Women’s History Month

Women's History Month

For Women’s History Month, the Mercury is spotlighting some of the incredible women who help drive and support the team behind the scenes.

Hannah Wengertsman – Head Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist

Q: How does it feel to be able to lead an all-women’s performance staff at the highest level of women’s basketball?

A: “It’s really an honor. In the sports medicine field, it was always my career goal to be working in professional sports, and the fact that I’m able to do that in an all-women’s league is even more special. I love working with female athletes. I think as a female, there’s just a special bond that you develop with your athletes. A lot of us on the staff being former athletes as well, we all kind of have the understanding of what these female athletes go through.”

Women's History Month

Jariah Fulson – Assistant Athletic Trainer

Q: What excites you most about working in women’s sports?

A: “Just seeing other women that look like me and being around other athletes that look like me. Having that diversity and knowing that we can make it in this, I believe can be very educational for a woman, seeing us pave the way and uplifting each other. So, that for me is very exciting, and motivates me to come into work.”

Women's History Month

Annalise Pickrel – Head Strength Coach

Q: What drives you in your role?

A: “Being able to show up here and work with so many fantastic women is something that I will never take for granted. As a former professional basketball player myself, I hope I am able to inspire and show women and young girls the ways you can have an impact in the sport you are passionate about even after playing.”

Cari Stankaitis – Performance Therapist

Q: How does it feel to work alongside so many strong women?

A: “I think it’s a really special opportunity, and it’s also special for me because I grew up with four sisters and a really strong amazing mother. My household was filled with female mentors; both my older sisters and younger sisters were inspirations to me and continue to be inspirations. Growing up in a household with that type of environment and now working in a similar environment that mirrors that, it’s really unique to be in this setting and be surrounded by talented, creative, amazing and strong women.”

Charli Turner Thorne – College Scout

Q: How impactful is it for women of all ages to have female role models to look up to?

A: “Having young women and older women be able to see and visualize themselves in spaces that they want to be in or doing something that they want to do is super important. I watched Ann Meyers Drysdale when I was growing up in LA, and we are definitely inspired and influenced by the people around us. I think a lot of young women are looking at our trainers, at our strength coaches and at all the people in the organization. It’s not just Diana (Taurasi), and BG (Brittney Griner), and I think it’s highly influential to them to know that, hey, maybe I can be a part of professional sports.”

Women's History Month

Ciara Carl – Head Video Coordinator

Q: How important was it for you to join an organization like the Mercury where you have the opportunity to work alongside so many women?

A: “I joined the Mercury knowing I was coming into an environment where women were seen and mattered. And then getting here and seeing our training and operations staff and the work that they put in every day, I think it is amazing. It was cool knowing that it was a mostly female staff, and the strength and the power that comes from being inspired by them every day within the jobs that they do.”

Kyra Vidas – Manager of Basketball Operations

Q: What is the most special part about working for the Mercury?

A: “I came from Chicago and moved around a little bit before I moved here to Phoenix, so my family’s not local, but the Mercury is truly like my family. I grew up with all brothers, but here, I got all my sisters, so it’s just been a really great balance. I am truly grateful to have the Mercury family and the Suns family in my life. Hopefully, we can continue to build our family here and I am looking forward to just great things to come.”

Women's History Month

Monica Wright Rogers – Assistant General Manager

Q: When you look at Women’s History Month and what it means, how would you say the Mercury – past, present and future – fits into it?

A: “The Mercury has been a part of breaking barriers for women’s sports for a long time and they’ve got a lot of firsts. They are so intentional about making sure that there is visibility of women in these different roles. They’ll continue to bust down the door and raise the floor. It’s not just about raising the ceiling, sometimes it’s about bringing everyone along with you and raising that floor.”

Fleur McIntyre – Assistant General Manager

Q: What are some strengths that women have that help them approach their work in unique ways?

A: “My experiences of being a woman and working with women is that we’re sharers. With the Mercury, I get to move to a new country and work with amazing women whose stories go beyond their resume. I think the sharing of experiences and stories when women gather is remarkable. Incredible collaboration can take place when there’s a willingness to share ideas and experiences, and I think that’s such a motivating and powerful space to be in.”

*Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Join the family and become a member of the PayPal X-Factor in 2024!