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Women sports enthusiasts find outlet in Women Who Win

Sisters at work and play

Cristina Walters and Leslie Bonifay

They meet, they cheer, they eat, they laugh, sometimes they participate—and always they network.

The recently established organization, Women Who Win in the Sport of Business, is already a force to be reckoned with for women who love sports.

Co-founded by Leslie Bonifay (Advertising ’01), Cristina Walters and Beth Thompson, Women Who Win is a networking organization that caters to women professionals who enjoy sports.

Co-founded by Leslie Bonifay (Advertising ’01), Cristina Walters and Beth Thompson, Women Who Win is a networking organization that caters to women professionals who enjoy sports.

Bonifay got her start in the advertising business as an intern at Parker Stephens, an advertising agency in Costa Mesa.

“The knowledge I gained from my education at CSUF, along with my informative internship at Parker Stephens, definitely shaped my professional career in many ways, Bonifay said. “I understand the importance of constantly striving for greater goals, all while wearing many hats.

“This valuable insight, combined with my love for college and professional sports, also helped me to co-create Women Who Win in the Sport of Business.”

She stayed on there until September 2001 when “9-11” forced some lay-offs.

However, a month later she was hired by C&M Communique, a marketing firm in Laguna Niguel, where she is director of client services and where she found camaraderie with other women sports enthusiasts, which led to Women Who Win.

About the networking organization, Bonifay said, “We have a common bond. We enjoy sports, and we appreciate the competitive spirit in business. We’re always looking for ways to drum up business, so we settled on a format for networking and building relationships while participating in our watching a favorite sport.”

Walters is the principal of C&M Communique, and Thompson, who “quarterbacked” the media department at C&M, is now the regional marketing manager, consumer division, for Aetna.

The three-some launched their idea in May 2008 at a baseball game at Angel Stadium. This “inaugural” event was a smashing success, and since then the group continues to grow and has met at Strike Lanes at The District in Tustin, Strawberry Farms Golf Club where two female golf pros honed a few swings, and the Honda Center to watch a pre-season match-up between Western Conference champions Los Angeles Lakers and the Charlotte Bobcats.

In December they held a jewelry fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Special Olympics is a C&M client, and Walters is a member of the board of directors of Special Olympics Southern California.

Bonifay explained that there are no membership dues, and every event is open to any woman interested in sports and in meeting other interesting women. Cost of the events ranges from $50 to $75, inclusive. Networking events planned for 2009 can be found at www.meetwomenwhowin. com.


Besides her interests in WWW, Bonifay also is a passionate CSUF Titans fan. “And I’m a proud member of CSUF’s Communications Alumni Chapter and have had the privilege of mentoring three bright CSUF students in their internships at C&M.”

She can be contacted at info@meetwomenwhowin. com.

Bobbles: Special Olympics Southern California reaped the profits from a jewelry fundraiser.

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