The Chargers Business Alliance presented by Pacific Premier Bank hosted this year's first event, "Leading the Charge: Prominent Leadership in the Local Business Community," which celebrated female business leaders.
Guests in attendance enjoyed networking opportunities at the LASED Premiere Center in Playa Vista and a panel discussion moderated by KABC's Weekend Sports Anchor and Reporter, Ashley Brewer. The panel featured: Jeanne Bonk, Los Angeles Chargers EVP, COO/CFO; Nicole King, Los Angeles Chargers General Counsel; Maria Salinas, President and CEO for the LA Area Chamber of Commerce; and Lucy Dunn, President and CEO of the Orange County Business Council. The women spent the evening discussing their experiences that led each of them to prominent leadership roles.
Below are some takeaways from the discussion:
Jeanne Bonk, Los Angeles Chargers
Q: What is one of the most important lessons you have learned to date in your career?
A: I believe that if you make gender an issue, it will be an issue. Whether you are male or female, nothing replaces good old-fashioned hard work and preparation. Have confidence in yourself and everything will work out just fine.
Maria Salinas, LA Area Chamber of Commerce
Q: Which female leaders do you admire and why?
A: I've been surrounded by strong, smart and supportive women throughout my career, women who have been giving of their time to share words of wisdom and guidance. Latinas, in particular, have been a significant influence in my life. One of the most influential Latinas that I admire is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. I admire her life story and the person of impact she has become.
Nicole King, Los Angeles Chargers
Q: What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? Are there any strategies you can share to help women overcome obstacles to advancement?
A: Gain exposure and get your name out there. When you are active among people working in sports and entertainment and you have cultivated a strong reputation, people notice and will start to seek you out for more interesting roles. Cultivate your reputation by being prepared, using your voice, touting your successes, connecting others, and demonstrating integrity.
Lucy Dunn, Orange County Business Council
Q: What are the top three tips you can offer to set yourself up for success?
A: Develop the skill of "deep listening" and seek to understand the other point of view; be a life-long learner, open to new ideas, new ways of thinking—important in a fast-changing world; don't be afraid to "walk through an open door" and explore new career paths.
Ashley Brewer, KABC
Q: What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?
A: Make sure to figure out exactly what you want to be and be it. If you want to be on-air, go for it and don't settle for anything less. Put time into your craft, research, study and enjoy improving each day. Never allow a rejection or obstacle stop your mission of becoming what you want to become. If I can do it, so can you!
The Chargers Business Alliance hosted Leading the Charge: Prominent Leadership in the Local Business Community celebrating women in leadership. Guests in attendance enjoyed networking opportunities followed by a panel discussion featuring Jeanne Bonk – Los Angeles Chargers, Nicole King – Los Angeles Chargers, Maria Salinas – LA Area Chamber of Commerce, Lucy Dunn – Orange County Business Council, and moderated by Ashley Brewer - KABC.