Not for Men Only: The Women of the NFL

Ebony, January 2006 | Go to article overview

Not for Men Only: The Women of the NFL


Although they don't punt, pass or kick, several talented women in the National Football League are making major contributions in the day-to-day operation of one of the country's most popular pastimes. They are professionals who exhibit extraordinary skills and smarts to keep the NFL on top of its game.

The positions that are held by women in the NFL range from marketing executive to manager of events business development to vice-president of finance. The following is a compilation of some of the League's dynamic, off-the-field players who are making their own touchdowns.

Adina Ellis

Corporate Communications Manager, NFL

Adina Ellis brings more than seven years of experience in public relations and event planning to the NFL. As the League's corporate communications manager, Ellis works with editors and producers at the national, regional and local media outlets to ensure that NFL fans and others are aware of the philanthropic and community efforts of the League, its teams, owners and players. The former publicist for the New York-based Nancy Hirsch Group also creates media outreach strategies for league-wide community programs. She is a graduate of Spelman College.

Natara Holloway

Internal Audit Director, NFL

At 29, Natara Holloway, a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner, is the the youngest director in the League office. She is responsible for national and international department audits and consulting engagements for the League office in New York, NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and NEL Europe, headquartered in London. Holloway, who joined the NFL in 2004 as a manager in the internal audit department, graduated magna cure laude from the University of Houston.

Valerie Cross

Director of Player Benefits, NFL

Valerie Cross oversees all collective bargaining agreements between football players and the League, including cost management, language interpretation, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition to monitoring consultants, vendors and compliance laws, Cross, the first person to hold this title, represents the day-to-day interests of the NFL Clubs. The position was created as the salaries and benefits package grew, and player benefits now total in excess of $400 million league-wide.

Kimberly Fields

Manager, Events Business Development, NFL

Kimberly Fields is responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating programs that enhance the opportunity for local women and minority-owned businesses to participate in the production of the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. She also oversees the sanctioned event planning process for the Super Bowl and assists with the management of the Super Bowl bid process and the special events' strategic plan. Fields is a former track and field athlete at the University of Virginia, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in systems engineering. …

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Not for Men Only: The Women of the NFL
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