SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Jeanne Bonk

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MIKE NOWAK / SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Bonk loves football, and she doesn’t like to lose.
Jeanne Bonk
San Diego Chargers
Chief Financial Officer

Jeanne Bonk remembers her first NFL owners meeting in 1991, when roll call came to the San Diego Chargers and she answered, causing heads to turn. Top league ranks had few women at that time, so the higher-pitched voice stood out. Not so much today, Bonk said, adding that she never feels as if she is a woman in the NFL — just a top finance executive. “I don’t feel that I am treated any differently,” she said. In fact, Bonk said, she makes it a point not to join any women-in-sports groups, feeling that women can prove their worth individually.

Her job is all things financially Chargers, whether that’s trying to get a new stadium or overseeing business and player contracts. A Southern California native, she grew up playing tennis and softball (one year collegiately), but she has learned to love football so much that her peers know never to call her the morning after a loss.

— Daniel Kaplan
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Life is not fair (courtesy of my dad) — helps me to accept things as they are and focus on the positive.
  • What keeps you awake at night?: Trying to look at things from other peoples’ perspectives so I can come up with the best solution to a problem.
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Being friendly the day after a loss.
  • Ten years from now, I hope to be …: The CFO for the Super Bowl champion San Diego Chargers.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Jeanne is one of the most dedicated and loyal individuals any organization could have. Over the last 20 years, she has done an incredible job. Her knowledge of the NFL and the total Chargers operation is unmatched.”

  • Dean Spanos, chairman and president, San Diego Chargers
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