Forum aims to bolster the pipeline for women in football operations roles across the league

NEW YORK (March 10, 2022) – The NFL will host its sixth annual Women’s Forum virtually on Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15 as part of its ongoing, league-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Forum will connect 45 women, 64% of whom are women of color, with leaders in the professional football space to provide insight and opportunities into open NFL positions as well as coaching, scouting and football operations.

The Women’s Forum aims to connect female participants with leaders in professional football. There have been 23 NFL clubs that have hired past Forum participants and over 200 opportunities have emerged for women in all levels of football since its inception in 2017.

For the second consecutive year, participants will take part in the two-day event virtually. This includes panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking activities with owners, executives, coaches, industry experts and hiring managers representing organizations including the NFL and Women Leaders in College Sports. Most participants attending this forum work in entry-level college football roles and will learn what could be next for them in a career in professional football.  

Past participants of the forum include: Brown University Quarterbacks Coach Heather Marini, the first female positional coach in the history of the sport; Cleveland Browns Chief of Staff/Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Callie Brownson; San Francisco 49ers Pro Personnel Analyst Salli Clavelle, the NFL’s first Black female scout; Washington Commanders Coordinator of Football Programs, Natalia Dorantes, the League’s first Latina to serve in a chief of staff role; Washington Commanders Assistant Running Backs Coach Jennifer King, the League’s first Black female coach; Tampa Bay Buccaneers Assistant Defensive Line Coach Lori Locust, the first female positional coach in the NFL; and Ashton Washington, the Chicago Bears’ first female scout.

Featured speakers for this year’s virtual forum include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jane Skinner Goodell, as well as three club owners, eight head coaches and seven general managers, who are listed below.

NFL Club Owners:

  • Dee Haslam, Cleveland Browns Managing and Principal Partner
  • Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Co-Owner & President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and the Glazer Vision Foundation
  • Kim Pegula, President and CEO of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, and President of the Buffalo Bills

Head Coaches:

  • Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
  • Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
  • Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
  • Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons
  • Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
  • Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

General Managers:

  • Brandon Beane, Buffalo Bills
  • Nick Caserio, Houston Texans
  • Terry Fontenot, Atlanta Falcons
  • Chris Grier, Miami Dolphins
  • Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Joe Schoen, New York Giants
  • Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams

The first day of the Forum (Monday, March 14) will be open for media attendance, with the agenda outlined below. Day Two (Tuesday, March 15) consists of more intimate breakout sessions between club and league coaches, executives and football operations staff with this year’s Forum participants, which will be closed to media and outside viewers.

2022 Women’s Forum Day One Agenda:

Monday, March 14 (Times outlined below are in Eastern time)

11:00 AM       Welcome & Program Introduction

  • Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jane Skinner Goodell

11:15 AM      The NFL’s Forward Progress: Clubs Leading the Way

       Hosted by NFL Network’s MJ Acosta-Ruiz

  • Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jane Skinner Goodell
  • Atlanta Falcons: Terry Fontenot (General Manager), Kjahna O (Scouting Coordinator) and Shelley Harvey (Scouting Coordinator)
  • Buffalo Bills: Brandon Beane (General Manager), Sean McDermott (Head Coach), Andrea Gosper (Player Personnel Coordinator) and Mechelle Geeter (Scouting Assistant)
  • Cleveland Browns: Kevin Stefanski (Head Coach), Joy Tapajcik (Football Operations Assistant/Special Projects) and Callie Brownson (Chief of Staff/Assistant Wide Receivers Coach)
  • Los Angeles Rams: Les Snead (General Manager), Kassandra Garcia (Coordinator, Football Administration) and Alexandria Hill (Football Operations Fellow)
  • New York Giants: Brian Daboll (Head Coach), Joe Schoen (Senior Vice President and General Manager), Angela Baker (Offensive Quality Control Coach) and Laura Young (Director of Coaching Operations)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bruce Arians (Head Coach) and Lori Locust (Assistant Defensive Line Coach)
  • Washington Commanders: Ron Rivera (Head Coach), Jennifer King (Assistant Running Backs Coach) and Natalia Dorantes (Coordinator of Football Programs)

12:25 PM      Introduction to the Women’s Forum Class of 2022

        Hosted by NFL Network’s Kimmi Chex
1:00 PM      The Future of Football: Lessons from the Field

      Hosted by Mori Taheripour

  • Mechelle Geeter (Buffalo Bills – Scouting Assistant)
  • Alexandria Hill (Los Angeles Rams – Football Operations Fellow)
  • Ashley Smith (National Football League – Manager, Player Engagement)
  • Joy Tapajcik (Cleveland Browns – Football Operations Assistant/Special Projects)              
    • *All speakers on this panel are past Women’s Forum participants

2:00 PM        Setting the Tone from the Top: Ownership Roundtables

       Hosted by NFL Network’s Steve Wyche

  • Dee Haslam
  • Darcie Glazer Kassewitz
  • Kim Pegula
    • After a round of questions – the owners will move into breakout sessions with 10-12 of this year’s Forum participants and field questions from them
Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.

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