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November 14, 2013

Kim Stone

She started as a fry cook in North Carolina, but today she’s one of the highest ranking women at the Miami Heat.

Vitals: 46; born in Binghamton, N.Y.; raised in Hendersonville, N.C.; the second of four children to Jim, a manager at General Electric, and Sheri, a homemaker, who passed away in 2011; majored in journalism and public relations at the University of North Carolina; earned an MBA from the University of Miami; married for seven years to partner Karla Jones-Stone, who owns a Strollercize franchise; mother to 3-year-old son Quinn.

Current Job: Executive Vice President of the Miami Heat and General Manager of the AmericanAirlines Arena. “I operate the arena and oversee the service and retention of the Miami Heat season ticket holder base.”

First paying job: “Burger King—I worked the fry station. I got to make all of their fried sandwiches, like the fried fish. You’ve got to start somewhere.”

Best advice ever received: “I always marveled that coach Ron Rothstein had a really good relationship with his family and I asked him one day, “How do you do that?” He said to me, “It’s really simple. Everybody will tell you that family comes No. 1 in life and that’s your No. 1 priority. But the reality of our jobs is your work is No. 1 until your family needs you. And when your family needs you, then they become No. 1.”

Hardest day on the job: “The 2006 Championship parade, because in that one, Shaquille O’Neal thought it would be fun to jump off of his parade truck and walk amongst the crowd. It caused what I called a “peaceful riot.”

Proudest day on the job: “When we won the 2012 Championship. My staff and I worked 72 straight hours to plan everything for the celebratory parade. It was strenuous and the staff truly did not sleep. It was a great parade, but the proudest time for me was after everything was done. The staff got together and we did our own champagne toast. In my line of business, there’s nothing better than when you’ve had a safe event.”

Something most people don’t know about you: “I’m a certified barbecue judge! Growing up in North Carolina, I loved barbecue. And once, I happened to be on vacation in Canada and they were having a barbecue championship. As part of it, the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association offered a one-day course—and I took it! So I am now a certified Pacific Northwest Barbecue judge. I like to brag about that to folks from Seattle.”

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