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Preisinger settles into new role as Atlanta Dream CEO
by Greg Oshust
March 05, 2013 02:41 PM | 2293 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo<br>Brookhaven resident Ashley Preisinger was named the chief executive officer of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream last October.
Special Photo
Brookhaven resident Ashley Preisinger was named the chief executive officer of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream last October.
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Ashley Preisinger has made her mark in the Atlanta business community for nearly two decades.

The 41-year-old Brookhaven resident now looks to use her expertise in the sports world as the chief executive officer of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, a position she was appointed to last October.

For Preisinger, the job has been a positive challenge as she prepares for the 2013 season, which opens May 25 with a game against the Tulsa Shock at Philips Arena downtown.

“I’ve been having a complete blast doing it,” Preisinger said. “[It’s] a very intense pace. It’s very varied in terms of that there’s really no typical day and dealing with a lot of different issues. But, it’s a lot of fun. I’m really having a good time.”

In 2012, the Dream finished in third place in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference with a 19-15 record and lost to the Indiana Fever three-games-to-two in the conference semifinals.

In her role as Dream CEO, Preisinger oversees every aspect of the team’s functions, from the business end to working with coach and general manager Fred Williams on player signings and trades on the basketball side.

“In my role, I have responsibility for sales, marketing, finance and basketball [operations], so I have responsibility for all the different pieces of the organization,” she said.

Preisinger joined the Atlanta Dream with a wealth of experience in the business world

Before assuming her position with the Dream, she worked for Homrich Berg — an independent wealth management firm she joined as director of business development in 2008.

Preisinger also spent 11 years at INVESCO — a global investment management organization, where she was senior director of strategy — from ’96 to ’07.

Preisinger, who had never worked in the sports industry before, was approached by Dream owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler about taking the team’s CEO position.

“The owners approached me through an intermediary last summer,” Preisinger said. “We started with some quiet discussions about their vision and what they were trying to achieve and my background and some of the things I’ve been involved with, and that piqued their interest and kind of started the discussion. And after several meetings, it was a real good fit.

“There was a lot of chemistry among the three of us. I think we were aligned in a lot of the same areas and I believed in the product of what we were selling. We’re selling a very strong product and we were all aligned on that.”

One of the things that has impressed Preisinger during her first few months on the job is the support the Dream receives from various parts of the Atlanta community.

“The more I’m here, the more I realize what we offer appeals to a lot of different groups,” she said. “Women really support the Dream — 75 percent of our consumers, ticket buyers, are women. Families really support the Dream. We provide a great alternative in the summer for a family outing, coming indoors and watching a really great sporting event at Philips Arena.

“I think the nature of what we do creates a good networking event. We get a lot of executive women working groups, so they like to come to Dream games as well as other business boards. They like to have their summer board meeting at a Dream game, so it’s a good opportunity for networking.”

She has also played a big role in the community, serving on the Zoo Atlanta board and as co-chair of the Georgia Shakespeare organization’s board.

“That’s an area I just started,” Preisinger said. “I started stepping up my civic obligations about five or six years ago. That comes from a fundamental belief of a responsibility of giving our ideas, our time, what we can, our resources towards these groups that speak to our heart. That’s something that’s very important to me.”

Preisinger and her husband, Mark — a 29-year veteran with Coca-Cola and the company’s head of corporate governance — have two daughters, Katie, 13, and Brooke, 10.
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