Caroline is Director of Community Relations for the Chicago Bears and is responsible for providing strategic direction, management, and growth of the philanthropic outreach and charitable initiatives across the entire Bear’s organization.
Caroline’s department is charged with administering community programs and fostering charitable partnerships, which benefit countless deserving organizations and individuals across Chicagoland. In addition, Caroline works closely with Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears.
A natural self-starter, Caroline applied for a part-time job with the Chicago Bears while in college. “I never envisioned this career, I just needed extra spending money!” laughs Caroline. Reflecting her outstanding performance and leadership potential, she was offered a full-time position managing the Bear’s Corporate Suite Program upon graduation.
Caroline was responsible for the sales and marketing of the Soldier Field Skyboxes during and following the remodeling of the stadium.. “When the Community Relations position became available I jumped at the opportunity to expand my résumé and gain new experience,” shares Caroline.
Caroline has always loved learning, and one of her long-time goals was to get an MBA. Knowing she needed a better understanding of business overall and wanting to gain new insights from others in Corporate America to maximize her contribution to the Bears and Chicagoland, in 1998 she enrolled at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Her MBA experience was just what she had hoped. “I enjoyed the ‘soft skill’ classes, but learned the most and worked the hardest in Finance and Accounting. I also gained a broader perspective of the business world, how to make successful business decisions, and how to be more organized and structured with both my daily and strategic responsibilities,” says Caroline. Perhaps most importantly, Caroline gained confidence in her abilities, including her presentation skills and her ability to work effectively with her colleagues, achieving the best possible outcomes for the Bear’s organization.
Since graduation, Caroline’s management responsibilities have increased. Today she leads a staff dedicated to giving back and interacts with players and leaders throughout the entire Chicago Bears organization.
Her MBA education and her new skills have proved to be invaluable as she has transitioned from direct sales to management. She understands the importance of aligning her department’s responsibilities with the organization’s overall business goals. She is also able to strategically bring value to the Chicago Bears through their outreach and philanthropic efforts. And, of course, her new skills in finance and budgeting directly apply to her work managing the Community Relations Department.
“I think my husband gets tired of hearing it, but I love my job!” shared Caroline, “My work is fulfilling and rewarding and it’s a privilege to work for the Bears.” Whether it’s administering Tales to Tackle, the Chicago Bear’s program that encourages middle school children to read, or arranging visits by Chicago Bear players with terminally ill children, she leaves her office every day knowing that deserving people were helped because of the benevolence of her organization. And, thanks to her Lake Forest MBA, Caroline’s been able to expand the vast impact of the Bear’s generosity and help even more people across the Chicagoland area and beyond.