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Dean A. Spanos
Under the leadership of Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos, the Los Angeles Chargers are making bold moves to set up the franchise for long-term success in an exciting new market. Spanos is providing senior leadership, strategic direction and critical resources as the Chargers begin a new chapter in their storied history.
Spanos has led the team through numerous franchise records and victories. During the 11 seasons from 2004-14, the Chargers won 113 games (playoffs included) -- five of which were AFC West championships (2004, 2006-09) -- and four playoff games. Only three teams in the NFL won more games during that time span.
Spanos had served as President of the Chargers since early in 1994, the same year the team culminated its most memorable season with an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. Dean and has father, Alex Spanos, also secured Super Bowl XXXII (1998) and Super Bowl XXXVII (2003) for their community, each event bringing an estimated windfall of more than $300 million to the local economy.
In 2015, Spanos handed over the reins of day-to-day leadership to sons A.G. and John. Eldest son A.G. Spanos now serves as President-Business Operations while John Spanos is President-Football Operations.
Dean’s leadership is also present throughout the National Football League. As a member of the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee (CEC), he played an integral role in negotiating the NFL’s current labor agreement. Through 2015, Spanos served as chairman of the NFL’s Business Ventures Committee, which has oversight regarding various league commercial activities, including consumer products, sponsorship, events, marketing, and new business initiatives. To this day, Spanos continues to serve on both committees. His previous committee work included membership on the NFL’s International and Legislative Committees.
Spanos also serves as President of the A.G. Spanos Companies, and along with his brother, Michael, oversees all construction operations nationwide.
TRADITION OF GIVING
The Spanos family has a multi-generation commitment to community involvement, and is recognized as one of the NFL’s most philanthropic families and one of Southern California’s most active and caring contributors to local causes. Their financial and emotional support for youth, sports, education and our brave men and women in uniform has been a hallmark of their team ownership and legacy.
In 1995, the Spanos family created The Chargers Community Foundation, which has since provided nearly $13 million to support a wide range of services and programs directly benefiting children and families. In 1999, Dean Spanos created the Foundation’s largest ongoing program, Chargers Champions, which has provided nearly $6 million in direct assistance to schools, teachers and students. The program provides grants to improve fitness, nutrition and athletic programs on school campuses.
The generosity of the Spanos family reaches throughout California. When wildfires ravaged San Diego County in 2003 and again in 2007, the family made identical $1 million donations to aid affected families and the recovery effort.
In 2010, the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized the generosity of the family and Chargers organization when they were both named as San Diego’s Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation, one of the most prestigious awards for community service.
In 2012, following the passing of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, Dean and his wife Susie brought a shocked team and community together when they hosted a “Celebration of Life” for Seau. The event was seen and heard live by more than 150,000 fans and made it possible for a grieving community to heal and pay tribute to its native son.
In 2014 the A.G. Spanos Heart and Vascular Center at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento opened thanks to a lead gift of $15 million from the family, the largest gift Mercy General had ever received. In speaking at the opening, Dean said the family’s commitment to Mercy General Hospital was to ensure that that no one from the region would ever be turned away from proper care for lack of space or the kind of critical care they needed.
In 2014, Spanos pledged $500,000 to the University of California-San Diego to upgrade and expand the existing Alex G. Spanos Training Facility, which was then renamed and opened as the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center. UCSD is the Chargers’ former training camp home and this gift raised the value of the family’s support of the institution to more than $1.6 million.
Spanos is also known for his generous backing of youth and high school football and, in 2015, he and the Chargers were honored by National Pop Warner with its prestigious NFL Team of the Year Award -- in recognition of the team’s outstanding support for youth football and cheer at all levels. The Chargers, who were also honored in 2007, are the only NFL team to be so honored twice.
Spanos has also been a long-time contributor to many other important charities and organizations working to improve the lives of children and families, including: the Make-A-Wish Foundation; American Cancer Society; Armed Services YMCA; Susan G. Komen; Rady Children’s Hospital; Girl Scouts; Huntington’s Disease Society; San Diego Blood Bank; STAR/PAL; Special Olympics of Southern California; San Diego Food Bank; Casa de Amparo; and the Salvation Army.
Honors for their generosity come frequently to Dean and Susie.
Most recently, the Spanos family and the Chargers received the Light of Hope Award from the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego. In 2015 San Diego’s Military Advisory Council presented the family with their annual Achievement Award for the team’s outstanding annual support of the region’s military. The Armed Services YMCA also recognized the team’s longtime support of military families with its 2015 Vice Admiral St. George Award.
In 2014, the Spanos family received the Outstanding Community Service Award among all family-owned businesses by the San Diego Business Journal.
Previously, the Make-A-Wish Foundation presented the team with its Wish-Granting Partner of the Year Award while the California State Athletic Director’s Association presented the Chargers with its President’s Merit Award, both in 2012. The Rotary Club of San Diego also presented Spanos and the Chargers organization with its prestigious Heilbron Award, given to companies that “exemplify the pay it forward spirit – that give of themselves and their professional expertise to advance the well-being and success of others in the community.”
The Spanoses received the 2012 Herb Klein Spirit of San Diego Award from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual awards dinner. In 2011, the Salvation Army recognized Spanos and the Chargers’ dedication to helping San Diego’s homeless citizens during their annual Golden Bells ceremony.
In 2010, the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Spanos and the Chargers as San Diego’s Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation, one of the most prestigious awards for community service.
The American Diabetes Association honored Spanos at its annual Fathers of the Year Dinner in 2010. In 2007, the local Salvation Army named Dean and Susie as their Most Valuable Philanthropists.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Spanos as a Board of Trustees member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. That same year, he was the honored recipient of the Golden Achievement Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego, and Junior Achievement of San Diego inducted him into its Hall of Fame for his community leadership and specifically for his support of youth education initiatives.
The Warner Award, the top honor of the national Pop Warner football organization, was bestowed on Spanos for his commitment to youth football and its Little Scholars education initiative in 2005. The San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation also presented him with its highest honor, the Distinguished American Award. In 2004, the Police Historical Society presented him with their first Cota Award for community philanthropy and support of law enforcement. Dean and Susie received the Harold Leventhal Community Service Award in 2003, the top national award of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
Spanos has the unique distinction of being a second-generation recipient of the renowned Ellis Island Medal of Honor, so honored in 2002, 16 years after his father was similarly honored. He also was inducted into the DeMolay International Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. DeMolay International is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful and productive lives.
In 2001, the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum presented Dean and Susie with its Community Champions Award, the Hall’s most distinguished award.
BUSINESSMAN AND FAMILY MAN
Dean Alexander Spanos was born in Stockton, Calif. He earned varsity letters in football and golf at Lincoln High School and later received Lincoln High School’s Hall of Fame Award, which honors alumni whose contributions and accomplishments are representative of the school. Dean was recognized for his achievements in the areas of business as well as athletics.
Spanos continued his golfing career at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, graduating in 1972 with a degree in business administration. He maintains close ties with his alma mater, having served as a regent at the university. An avid golfer post college, Dean has been on the winning team in five Pro-Am tournaments, including back to-back wins in 1990 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach with partner Hubert Green. He successfully defended his title at the Hope Classic the following year. Spanos’ first win came with Green at the 1985 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, where he was awarded the “Most Valuable Amateur” trophy for supplying the most help to his professional partner.
Susie Spanos is a spokeswoman for the NFL’s cancer campaign and is a breast cancer survivor. She was also honored as a “Woman of Dedication” by the Salvation Army in 2001 and has been named the Woman of the Year by the San Diego Leukemia Society for her philanthropic work in the community.
Susie works with and serves on the boards of many charitable organizations. These organizations include the San Diego Women’s Foundation, the board of the Salvation Army and as an advisory member for Las Patronas, one of San Diego’s leading non-profit organizations. Susie has been a driving force in supporting the Blood Bank’s umbilical cord blood program, helping the Chargers’ annual blood drive become one of the most successful in the nation.
Dean and Susie have two sons, A.G. and John, and two grandsons.