New Fire president Ishwara Glassman Chrein will be busy right awayBrian Sandalowon May 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Ishwara Glassman Chrein has been tabbed to lead the Fire’s business side. | Courtesy of the Fire

Glassman Chrein, who is believed to be the fourth woman in league history to serve as a team president, has plenty on her plate when she begins June 1.

The Fire have a new president, and she will have a lot on her plate when she begins.

On Thursday, the team announced Ishwara Glassman Chrein has been named club president to replace predecessor Nelson Rodriguez. Glassman Chrein, who is believed to be the fourth woman in league history to serve as a team president, will start with the Fire on June 1.

Like sporting director Georg Heitz, Glassman Chrein will report directly to owner Joe Mansueto. Heitz will continue to run the soccer side of the Fire, and Glassman Chrein will helm the business operations.

Consulting firm Sportsology, which the Fire used when they hired Heitz, led the search.

In a statement, Mansueto said the Fire believe Glassman Chrein can grow the team’s fan base and be an ambassador for the franchise around the area.

“In Ishwara, we have found a dynamic, experienced sports executive to head up our business operations,” Mansueto said. “She is a passionate and enthusiastic leader that has a proven track record of building businesses and increasing revenue.”

Before joining the Fire, Glassman Chrein was the head of sports partnerships and business development at Yahoo Sports/Verizon Media. Among her duties, she led relationships with the traditional Big 4 and other sports leagues, broadcast network NBC, and also oversaw gaming operations and links with broadcasters.

She won’t be lacking for things to do with the Fire, who are still working to recover after a decade of decay under former owner Andrew Hauptman.

One of the goals for the franchise is finding 20-25 acres of city land to build a state-of-the-art training facility, which has already proven difficult. She’ll also have to navigate a still-uncertain economic landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively push the upcoming new logo, and convince more people to care about the Fire and come to Soldier Field even as the on-field product continues to languish.

“I am so thrilled to be joining the Fire at such an important inflection point in the club’s history,” Glassman Chrein said in a news release. “I’m fortunate to join a team where the owner loves Chicago, cares deeply about the players and staff, and is fully invested in building a successful team on and off the pitch. I’m looking forward to getting started and meeting everyone involved with the club, especially the fans.”

Rodriguez resigned in January after becoming club president in January 2018. He was shifted to a business-only role in December 2019 when Heitz was hired.

Following Rodriguez’s departure, chief operating officer John Urban served as interim president.

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