Michelle M. Brooke‑Marciniak
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Michelle M. Brooke-Marciniak dared to dream after experiencing an “aha” moment and in that instant, an entrepreneur was born. Now, as a Co-Founder/Co-CEO of SHEEX®, Inc., she has transferred her prodigious skills from the athletic arena into the business world and carried her visionary ideas of cutting-edge bedding into the world’s first performance fabric bedding company, SHEEX, with globally patented technology inspired by the ultra-soft feel and breathability of athletic performance fabrics.
The same competitive drive which propelled Brooke-Marciniak to be one of the best players in the WNBA and collegiate ranks fueled her to raise $25 million in equity and debt financing to get the SHEEX enterprise off the ground and into the marketplace. In the ninth year in retail, SHEEX has enjoyed a meteoric climb in the bedding industry as a result, in part, of Brooke-Marciniak’s entrepreneurial initiative and determination. SHEEX has earned the distinction of being certified as a woman-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Brooke-Marciniak and fellow SHEEX Co-Founder and Co-CEO Susan Walvius, received the Ernst & Young (EY) Winning Women Award in 2012, a prestigious honor celebrating the top female entrepreneurs in America.
The Aspen Institute took note of Brooke-Marciniak’s ambitious approach to entrepreneurship and included her in the 2014 Class of Henry Crown Fellows from which she graduated in August 2016. The esteemed Henry Crown Fellowship program mobilizes a new breed of leaders, all under the age of 45, to tackle the world’s most intractable problems. All are proven entrepreneurs, mostly from the world of business, who have reached a point in their lives where, having achieved success, they are ready to apply their creative talents to building a better society.
Brooke-Marciniak has volunteered her time as a Co-Founder of Pedal for Alzheimer’s, Ltd., a 501(c)(3) charitable platform committed to organizing cycling events to raise money, create awareness, and provide education towards the mission of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Formerly known as “Pedal for Pat”, the 1,098-mile cycling event was created to honor the legacy of the late University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt who died of Alzheimer’s in 2016 and has raised over $200,000 to date.
Since the initial SHEEX invitation in 2009, Brooke-Marciniak has been actively involved in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. Brooke-Marciniak and Walvius were invited to address 500 of the top female C-suite executives worldwide, only two years after the SHEEX brand was created.
Before she was delivering her message of entrepreneurism, Brooke-Marciniak was selected as the unanimous 1991 National High School Player of the Year and carried her role-model persona and big-dream attitude to the basketball court at the University of Tennessee where she played for the late-legendary coach Pat Summitt. With Brooke-Marciniak as the starting point guard, the Lady Vols made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament and into two Final Four National Championship games (1995, 1996). She reached the pinnacle of her collegiate success leading her team to the 1996 NCAA title and securing the NCAA MVP and honorable mention All-America honors. In November 2012, the University of Tennessee honored her extraordinary basketball career and contributions to UT women’s athletics by inducting her, alongside Pat Summitt, into the 2012 Class of the Lady Vol Hall of Fame.
Following Coach Summitt’s announcement of her diagnosis of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, in August 2011, Brooke-Marciniak was called on to speak on behalf of her former coach. She volunteered to serve in the capacity as a spokesperson for Summitt having served on the Board of the Pat Summitt Foundation for six years.
In tandem with, or on behalf of her Coach, Brooke-Marciniak addressed a number of groups including: keynote at the 2014 Drug Delivery Partnership Annual Convention; keynote at Innovation 2013 and the 2013 Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conferences sponsored by the Mayo Clinic; the 2012 IWF World Conference, and the keynote speaker at Accelerant Technologies in July 2012. At the request of Time, Inc., she was asked to provide the tribute and introduction of Summitt when she was presented as the 2011 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year. Additionally, Brooke-Marciniak delivered the eulogy at Summitt’s funeral on June 30, 2016.
From basketball superstar to entrepreneur, Brooke-Marciniak still approaches every challenge and opportunity with the grit and determination that made her an outstanding athlete. She was a 10-year USA Basketball veteran who began her six-year professional playing career in the ABL en route to becoming a fan favorite before retiring from the WNBA’s Seattle Storm in 2002. A consummate competitor, she elevated to the basketball coaching ranks at the University of South Carolina in 2003, where she worked alongside her SHEEX co-founder, Walvius. While at USC, Brooke-Marciniak inked back-to-back top-10 nationally ranked recruiting classes before she and Walvius co-founded SHEEX in 2007 and retired from collegiate coaching in 2008.
Brooke-Marciniak was an academic standout at the University of Tennessee where she was on the Dean’s List, collecting multiple conference and national academic awards while attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1995. A workout junkie, Brooke-Marciniak completed two Half Ironman’s (70.3) and her first Full Ironman (140.6) in 2018 and has currently taken on boxing to stay in shape. She married Beth A. Brooke in April 2014 and have three rescue cats and two English Springer Spaniels.