Guest Professional Dinner: Don Purdy '89
September 28, 2017 | 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
The story of 1989 graduate Don Purdy is a testament to the power of an internship. As a business administration major in college, Don understood the importance of real-world experience, and secured an internship with the Buffalo Bills football team in the fall of his senior year – setting him on the path for a 27-year career with the team.
An avid sports fan, Don intended to join the basketball team at Houghton, but a hip injury – obtained during a tackle football game – prevented that. Yet football continued to shape his life, particularly when that Buffalo Bills internship grew into an administrative job with the NFL team. Don was promoted from a position in the Ticket Office to an accounts payable role with Front Office. There he prepared annual budgets and recaps, managed relocation for football personnel, and served as team liaison with the Transportation Security Administration and airlines.
In 2005 the team president named Don the director of football administration, making him the go-to man for financial and administration matters related to coaching, scouting, training, and players. He managed payrolls and team travel, became the main contract and benefits negotiator, processed player medical claims, and established strong working relationships between the Bills and major companies such as Enterprise, Continental Airlines, Fleet Bank, and Xerox.
As he moves forward into a new chapter in his career, this former Shenawana Hall resident continues to give back to the college. Don has served on the President’s Advisory Board since 2010 and, of course, participates in Guest Professional Dinners, sharing his wisdom and insights with students and faculty. He lives in West Seneca with his wife Amy – also a member of the class of 1989 – and his two daughters.
The Guest Professional Dinner Series is an opportunity to introduce students to marketplace professionals from a variety of fields and areas of expertise. Guest Professional Dinners are sponsored by the VOCA Center and the Office of Alumni Engagement.
Dinners are open to all students, alumni, and community members.
Formal presentation: 5:30-6:15pm
Informal questions and networking: 6:15-6:30pm