Tanya Dreesen joins Bears as SVP of strategy and global affairs, chief of staff

Dreesen provided support on critical team initiatives at the Vikings like the International Series games in London, Minneapolis’ successful 2018 Super Bowl LII bid, the new 200-acre practice facility design and construction. Her largest feat while in Minnesota was playing an integral role in the building of U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Once you build a stadium, you understand how a stadium can change the center of gravity of a city,” Dreesen said, “It can elevate a city, it can bring employment, it can create a new platform to tell a city’s story. That is something, if you can do it once in your career, you’re pretty lucky. The fact that I’m going to have a second chance to do this, I just feel so blessed that I’m going to have an opportunity to learn and listen and take what the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois want to do with a world-class stadium. Being able to take that and then put it into the walls and be able to tell the story, which is what I believe a purpose of a stadium should be, is a pretty special opportunity.”

While Dreesen has never resided in Chicago, her connection to the city dates back to when she often made the 6-hour trip down from Toronto with her family or her girlfriends. Dreesen is excited to share her appreciation and passion for Chicago with her husband of 22 years, Brian, daughter, Libby, and son, Roman.

“I think because of Chicago’s location on the Great Lakes like Toronto, it has a lot of similar feels,” Dreesen said. “But what I love about Chicago is just that swagger and that grit. You absolutely want to spend more time in that city. I love the power of sports in Chicago and how Chicago fans rally around their teams and stick with their teams. Not all markets can boast that, but Chicago can.”

Dreesen’s career experience expands beyond the NFL as she previously worked in leadership and management marketing roles for several newspapers including the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

While Dreesen fell in love with the power of a home team when working in the newspaper industry, being with a team enhanced that passion.

When the Bears played the Vikings in Minnesota on Nov. 27, Dreesen and others had the opportunity to meet the Bears leadership team and McCaskey family while giving them a tour of U.S. Bank Stadium. After reading and hearing about the Bears values and mission for the club, along with Warren’s, Dreesen knew Chicago was the place for her to be.

“If you look at the Bears’ values — they value the most important things of integrity, respect and human excellence,” Dreesen said. “And if I think about where my values are, we’re perfectly aligned. As an athlete, I grew up as a rower, and the aspect of team is something that is ingrained in us. In order to honor the team, you have to have that respect and integrity in your personal brand.

“It lines up perfectly together and 30 years into my career now, this is going to be the exclamation point on my career, and for my family and me — that’s something we’re really excited about.”

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