“The guru.” 

That is the nickname coworkers have 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 highly respected among her peers in the NBA and WNBA and widely recognized as the subject-matter expert in the world of payroll and compliance. 

In addition to managing payroll for all Suns, Mercury and Footprint Center employees, Yammer and her team of six also manage the Arizona Diamondbacks, their minor league teams and Chase Field – a carryover from when Jerry Colangelo owned the Diamondbacks. 

“I find it hard to imagine that I would be where I am today when I started here 26 years ago,” said Yammer. “I started out as the Payroll Manager. We were a very small payroll department of just two employees. We’ve managed to grow, and as that journey has continued, I’ve been given several opportunities within the organization to grow my role. Recently I was presented with the opportunity to become part of the leadership team, which was really 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 does not take for granted. 

“I think one of the things that I like is the challenge that the Vice President role brings,” said Yammer. “Not only am I over payroll, but I’m challenged with innovating and adding ideas and value to the organization as a whole.” 

“What I really think is important is the opportunity,” she added. “Being able to freely express my ideas and gain 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 setting up coworkers for success, whether that be in payroll or wherever their careers take them. 

Growing up participating in basketball, softball, swimming and diving, Yammer credits sports as the foundation for her leadership abilities. 

“When I started with the organization 26 years ago, I didn’t really imagine myself in a leadership role, but I knew that if I worked hard and used those qualities when I was playing sports as a young child, such as hard work, perseverance and resilience, that someday I might move up the ladder and become a leader in the organization. I wasn’t the top athlete, I didn’t have the most talent on the floor, but I was able to use my mind and my skills to help our team excel, help my teammates excel.” 

Along with sports, it was Yammer’s parents who shaped the value system she has brought into her career daily.  

“My motivation comes from the values that my parents instilled in me as I was growing up – hard work, honesty, integrity and coming from a place of just being ethical in everything that I do.”  

While 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 is eager to bring a different perspective to the team, help push the organization forward and create a support system for other women, with her core values as the foundation. 

“The advice that I would give the next generation of women leaders is to be true to yourself and be true to your core values. Use those core values, share them with other women, find women to support and find women who can support you. Together we can all be successful.”