Buffy Filippell has had many firsts in her career. She created TeamWork Online, a first-of-its-kind, web-based talent recruiting system focused on connecting candidates and employers in sports and live events. In 2016, TeamWork Online celebrated the remarkable achievement of 100,000th successful candidate and employers’ matches. She was the first female agent at IMG, and, was one of the first recruiters to focus on sports while at the worldwide search firm Korn/Ferry. These firsts have created a legacy that reaches across nearly every professional sport, multiple collegiate programs and the leading live event producers in the world.
Filippell began her career with Wilson Sporting Goods before joining IMG, representing tennis stars such as Andrea Jaeger and Australian legend Ken Rosewall. In 1985, she joined Korn/Ferry, and although her work included executive searches in multiple industries, her passion for and knowledge of sports allowed her to bring in such clients as the Women’s Tennis Association, the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Women’s International Professional Tennis Council.
Her experience at Korn/Ferry led Filippell to create TeamWork Consulting in 1987, a retained executive search firm specifically geared toward recruiting executives in sports and live events. The firm has been retained to conduct over 400 executive searches for the country’s most notable sports organizations. Filippell was an early adopter in the digital space, recognizing the need to establish a lower-cost web-based model for organizations to identify talent. She established TeamWork Online, which today, boasts a 1,000-plus employer base spanning 85 percent of all major league sport organizations, minor leagues, golf, tennis, motorsports, mixed martial arts, colleges, major events and the majority of National Governing Bodies.
Over the years, Filippell has been honored by several organizations, including the Progressive Woman Award from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; the Cleveland chapter of WISE; and her alma mater, Indiana University, where she was a member of the women’s varsity tennis team and participated in the 1974 USTA Women’s National Collegiate Tennis Championships. A proponent of education, Filippell serves on the Dean’s Associates Board for Indiana University’s School of Public Health.
Buffy was named one of the 2017 WISE Women of the Year and a 2019 SBJ Champion: Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.