Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

Bears Bulletin

Chicago Bears promote Liz Geist to EVP of people and culture, chief human resources officer


Chicago Bears promote Liz Geist to EVP of people & culture, chief human resources officer

After a decade of leading the Bears' HR department, Liz Geist has been promoted to the club's first executive vice president of people and culture & chief human resources officer. Geist will continue her work in building a world-class culture and developing sustained success at the Bears.

Story by Gabby Hajduk

A shelf inside Liz Geist's office holds her father's original Super Bowl Shuffle album that he played decades ago while working as a radio station DJ in Chicago. Next to the iconic album cover is a half-broken Bears bobblehead from the 1960s — also her dad's from when he was a kid.

Geist's father sent both pieces of memorabilia along with a handful of mini footballs to her office on her first day with the Chicago Bears back in 2014.

"It is really special," Geist said. "Sports always brought my family together. Watching the Bears on Sunday was always really important to us, so it is a natural connection for me."

Those two items have remained above Geist's desk since, serving as a reminder of her passionate Bears fandom that her father instilled in her as a young girl growing up in Kankakee, Ill.

What Geist learned on her own was true loyalty to the Bears.

When she was 10 years old, her family moved to Madison, Wis., and was surrounded by Green Bay Packers fans. After a couple years of living in the state of Wisconsin, her father flipped and began rooting for the rival team. While he returned to the Bears side years later, Geist never wavered from her roots.

"I always idolized Chicago and the Bears," Geist said. "Being a suburbanite, the city was everything to me. That is where the Bears play and where Soldier Field is — all of these iconic things for me. It was always in my soul. So, it was easy for me to stay loyal."

Now, Geist is celebrating 10 years with the club she remained fiercely loyal to along with a promotion to executive vice president of people and culture & chief human resources officer. She feels those accomplishments are "pretty surreal" considering her lifelong fandom.

Geist will be a key strategic partner for President & CEO Kevin Warren to support his vision for organizational excellence, building a world-class culture and developing sustained success. She will continue leading the club's human resources strategy to create a supportive and empowering workplace culture where employees can thrive. Geist will also continue overseeing all aspects of HR, ensuring the Bears attract and retain top talent while fostering a culture of excellence and innovation.

"The Bears organization and the McCaskey family have always cared about our people," Geist said. "But I think it is critical to have someone who is "people focused" at the table in conversations happening at the executive level. To have someone whose lens is focused on people and culture and the employees that work for this organization will add substance to all conversations and can change outcomes.

"HR is like a fulcrum — that little triangle that balances a teeter totter. HR balances the needs of the club and the needs of the employees, and that is what makes the best organization. So if I am now able to have a seat at that table where I am hearing, 'here are all the things the organization is focused on,' now I know what our people will need to be successful and remain successful."

When Geist started with the club as manager of human resources, she was the sole member of the HR department. Having worked in various industries such as non-profit, transportation and logistics, Geist was used to rolling up her sleeves and digging in.

Before building out her own team, which is now comprised of four staff members, Geist focused on evolving the organization's function as well as changing the narrative surrounding HR.

"Being that HR was a new function to the Bears, it was important to set the tone that HR is not a scary place." Geist said. "It is a place where you can come if you have questions or need support. We advocate for employees and we advocate for the club. Helping build an exceptional workplace environment, philosophically, what that means, was really great. And building out the policies and the process to what we do here, I took a lot of pride in."

Geist has been at the forefront of countless initiatives for the Bears such as standardizing hiring processes and prioritizing mental health support for staff members. One of the changes Geist takes the most pride in is implementing a paid family leave policy only a year after she joined the Bears.

"Coming here, knowing how much we preach family and knowing that we did not have a paid family leave policy, that was something that I felt we had to correct quickly," Geist said. "I think we were one of the first teams in the NFL to create and activate a paid family leave. Giving staff the peace of mind of being compensated whether that is someone having a baby or whether they have a loved one who is sick allows them to put their family first."

Geist is also proud of her role in establishing a diversity, equity and inclusion team. She remembers bringing in a diversity consultant in 2019, with the support of senior leadership, to evaluate the club's culture. While Geist knows the Bears still have strides to make, she is proud of the changes that have emerged from the evaluation, adding, "that really catapulted our efforts as an organization and highlighted for everyone where we had room for improvement."

A project that Geist calls a "labor of love" was the Halas Hall expansion and renovations in 2018 and 2019. Geist was a part of a team that toured different sports facilities to gather the best components from each place and bring them to the Bears. She hopes both staff and players feel the investment was for them.

Throughout her tenure with the Bears, Geist has also served as a constant through periods of change within the organization. Geist is excited to remain that stable piece, while also pushing the organization forward, as the team continues undergoing changes on and off the field under Warren's leadership.

"Kevin is an incredible leader and presence, and we developed an immediate bond," Geist said. "I am beyond grateful to partner with him and senior leaders to continue to shape an environment that fosters a championship mindset."

"Liz has been an integral part of the Chicago Bears family for a decade, and her dedication to building a world-class human resources function has been invaluable," Warren said. "Her visionary leadership, unwavering commitment to employee well-being, and deep understanding of the Chicago Bears organization make her the perfect person to lead our People and Culture efforts. Liz is incredibly talented, and her promotion is a testament to her hard work and dedication to her craft. We are thrilled to have Liz continue her impactful contributions in this elevated capacity. I am grateful to our chairman George H. McCaskey and the entire McCaskey family for their support in recognizing Liz's talent and the importance of this role to our organization."

Related Content