To paraphrase Ethel Merman, there's no business like SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S business. And no one is more attuned to that than SI's editorial business manager, Judith Turner, who's in charge of keeping the books on the editors, writers, reporters, layout artists, photographers and all the other people who work on the magazine's editorial side. Besides crunching the budget numbers and making sure we all get paid on time, Turner and her staff must also perform such tasks as approving the expense of Kathy Ireland's sunscreen, paying for that odd "They Said It" suggestion from a stringer in Anchorage and negotiating rates with hotel desk clerks whose English doesn't even make the playoffs.
To that last end, we are singularly blessed with a business department that would be the envy of UNESCO. Financial analysts Nina Prado and Julee Luu were born in Lima, Peru, and Hanoi, Vietnam, respectively; Prado, the overseer of our operational and Olympic expenditures, speaks Spanish and French, while Luu, who is in charge of SI's payroll and compensation, is fluent in both Vietnamese and Chinese, her parents' native tongue. Caridad Carnero, who processes expense reports, was born in Puerto Padre, Cuba, and speaks Spanish. Genive Williams, whose main responsibility is processing the bills of the photography department, is from Kingston, Jamaica. Part-time assistant Delia Donovan was born in County Armagh, Ireland. And although the SI business department's administrative assistant was born in Lexington, Ky., her name at least has a certain international flavor: Beth Canada.
Says Turner, "In that company, Old Bethpage, Long Island, just doesn't seem to cut it." A former cheerleader—"I'm so embarrassed," she says—at Plain view-JFK High School, in Plainview, N.Y., Turner joined SI in 1987. She graduated with an accounting degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1984, where she also met her husband, Gregg Hamerschlag. After three years in SI's production department and two years on the publishing side, Judy became the editorial business manager in January 1992. She and Gregg, who is the president of a home-healthcare company, live in Pleasantville, N.Y., with their eight-month-old dividend, Jake.
What little free time Turner has left is devoted to golf and her favorite baseball team, the—"Again, I'm so embarrassed"—New York Mets. With the exception of that loss leader, Turner shows uncommon common sense. It almost goes without saying that SI could not come out every week without the sometimes heroic efforts of Turner and her staff. For every issue of the magazine, there are hundreds of transactions handled by the department: payroll checks, photography tabs, travel expenses, correspondents' fees, production costs, etc. "I like to think we take as much satisfaction in the magazine as the writers and editors, the photography and art departments," says Turner. "After all, somebody has to pay the bills."