It’s the nickname that employees affectionately bestowed on Sheila Yammer, Vice President of Payroll Services for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center.
Yammer, who has been with the organization for more than 26 years, is well respected among her peers in the NBA and WNBA and is widely recognized as a subject matter expert in the world of payroll and compliance.
In addition to managing payroll for everyone at the Suns, Mercury, and Footprint Center, Yammer and her team of six also manage the Arizona Diamondbacks, their minor league teams, and Chase Field — a holdover from when Jerry Colangelo owned the Diamondbacks.
“I can’t imagine that I would be where I am today when I started here 26 years ago,” Yammer said. “I started as a payroll manager. We were a very small payroll department with only two employees. We have managed to grow and over the course of this journey I have received several opportunities within the organization to expand my role. I was recently offered the opportunity to be part of the leadership team, which was very exciting for me.”
In October 2020, Yammer was promoted from Senior Director of Payroll Services to Vice President and now serves as part of the organization’s leadership team – an opportunity Yammer doesn’t take for granted.
“I think one of the things I like is the challenge that comes with the vice presidential role,” Yammer said. “Not only am I responsible for payroll, I am also challenged to innovate and bring ideas and value to the organization as a whole.”
“What I think is really important is the opportunity,” she added. “To be able to express my ideas freely and to reach the next level of training and development from the existing leaders within the organization, especially the women leaders within the organization.”
Yammer has always embraced her role as a leader and is passionate about supporting her team and leading colleagues to success, whether on payroll or wherever their career takes them.
Yammer grew up playing basketball, softball, swimming, and scuba diving and credits sports as the foundation of her leadership skills.
“When I first started with the organization 26 years ago I didn’t really see myself in a leadership role, but I knew if I worked hard and leveraged those qualities from playing sports as a young kid, like hard work, perseverance and resilience, that I could one day climb the ladder and become a leader in the organization. I wasn’t the top athlete, I didn’t have the greatest talent on the floor, but I was able to use my wits and skills to help our team perform at its best and help my teammates perform at its best.”
Aside from sports, it was Yammer’s parents who shaped the value system that brought her to her career on a daily basis.
“My motivation comes from the values my parents instilled in me growing up – hard work, honesty, integrity and an attitude of just being ethical in everything I do.”
Although Yammer has been with the organization for more than two and a half decades, she is excited about the new journey she is embarking on as a member of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury leadership team.
As a female leader, she strives to bring a different perspective to the team, move the organization forward and create a support system for other women, using her core values as a foundation.
“The advice I would give to the next generation of women leaders is to stay true to yourself and stay true to your core values. Use these core values, share them with other women, find women who can support you and find women who can support you. Together we can all be successful.”