‘Powerful women in sports’ conference led by UB’s Center for Advancement of Sport

Release Date: January 24, 2022

Nellie Drew head shot.
“I am so proud of our students who take the initiative to seek out industry leaders ... ”
Helen “Nellie” Drew, director
University at Buffalo Center for the Advancement of Sport

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo’s Center for the Advancement of Sport is celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day with “Powerful Women in Sports,” a remote sports law roundtable featuring women sports professionals.

The hour-long forum, “Powerful Women in Sports: Achieving Success in a Male-Dominated Industry” starts at noon, Feb. 1, and is open to the public via Zoom. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

Featured speakers/presenters are:

  • Lisa Friel, senior vice president for investigations at the National Football League
  • Tara VanDerveer, longtime coach of the Stanford University women's basketball team
  • Caren Cook, a UB alum and deputy general counsel for legal and business affairs for basketball’s Atlanta Hawks
  • Jennifer Bullano Ridgley, vice president of communications with the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team
  • Cheryl Meyers Buth, attorney and agent for National Basketball Association players.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the UB Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Gender Institute, the UB Law Alumni Association, and Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Law Society.

These roundtables are organized by the Center for the Advancement of Sport's capstone class, says Helen “Nellie” Drew, professor of practice in sports law and director of the center. The class is made up of students who have taken several sports law courses, according to Drew, and typically are obtaining a concentration in sports law. Students spend a semester or two in their third year developing expertise in a particular area of sports law. 

“The students work together in groups of two or three to develop and host the roundtables, which we are happy to invite the community to join,” says Drew.

Past roundtables include one on First Amendment rights of professional athletes, featuring then-Buffalo Bill Lorenzo Alexander, prominent Buffalo attorney Paul J. Cambria, Jr., UB sports law alum and National Football League Player’s Association certified agent Shane Costa, and UB First Amendment expert and law professor Lucinda Finley.   

In the summer of 2021, the class’s roundtable featured multiple Major League Baseball executives and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on the challenges of bringing the Toronto Blue Jays to Buffalo during the pandemic. 

“Last year, we partnered with Project Play WNY to bring in Harvard Basketball Coach Tommy Amaker,” says Drew. “Each semester we offer at least four events.  

“I am so proud of our students who take the initiative to seek out industry leaders, especially in this case, with two stellar women law students, Marissa Egloff and Darby Daly, both Class of 2022, leading the charge to bring us this amazing panel of women who have overcome tremendous obstacles and are opening doors for those who follow them.”

Media Contact Information

Charles Anzalone
News Content Manager
Educational Opportunity Center, Law,
Nursing, Honors College, Student Activities

Tel: 716-645-4600