Tommie Storms drives the business operations of the organization. If not for her enterprising nature, AAASP’s prominence in Georgia and national recognition might have come at a much slower pace. She is also a respected speaker in the field of youth disability sports, traveling extensively throughout the United States to raise awareness.
Having recruited Storms as a volunteer in Georgia’s first adapted sports programs, Bev Vaughn grew to know of Storms’ executive aptitude. In 1994, Vaughn introduced the idea to Storms of forming AAASP as the organizational vehicle by which the mission of providing opportunity through sports for America’s physically disabled youth would evolve.
Storms’ role as co–founder would be to shore up the business component of Vaughn’s Adapted Sports model by directing operations, developing community partnerships and acquiring funding for the statewide programs. Balancing her position as an academic director at an Atlanta college, with her conviction to push forth the AAASP vision, Storms’ penned the business plan for AAASP’s staged growth. This plan would entail progressing from one school system throughout Georgia, and then become the national body to oversee a network of statewide youth adapted sports programs. This is the foundation for what is now known as Project ASPIRE.
Storms’ involvement with adapted sports started in 1990 when she began working as a volunteer for the Youth Adapted Sports Programs in Georgia’s DeKalb County School System. She quickly understood the impact and importance of these sports programs, and over the next six years, Storms’ commitment would become much more than an answer to the call of community responsibility. Storms would devote the full force of her entrepreneurial talent to promoting youth adapted sports.
For three years, Storms worked on the Volunteer Placement Steering Committee in preparation for the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. She was instrumental in enlisting agency and community support. In 1998, Storms was a member of the Planning Committee for Initiative 2000, a national torch run across the country to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the ADA, 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games and the approaching millennium.
Twenty-five years as a successful broadcaster, executive producer and program manager led to her recruitment by the Department of Music Entertainment Management at the Art Institute of Atlanta from 1988 to 1997. From an instructor position, she was promoted to Assistant Director and then Director. As Director, she was responsible for running the largest academic department at the college. Concurrent to teaching, Storms owned a company that produced commercial training videos throughout the Southeast.
Storms has a Bachelor of Arts from Limestone College, Gaffney, South Carolina, where she served as president of Alpha Psi Omega, Tau Psi Chapter. She is also an NCPT certified paralegal and received her certification as a mediator from the Justice Center of Atlanta.