It was an honour to interview Terri Lamb, Co-Founder of the National Football Cheerleaders Alumni Organization (NFCAO). As the leader of such a powerful and influential group, she has the power to make an impact far larger than the individual members of her organization. From her unique perspective, she can help shape the future of her organization and the alumni community at large.
In this interview, we explore the impactful work of Terri and her organization. We discuss how the organization works to support the alumni community and how it has grown over the years. We also discuss Terri's NFL cheerleading experience, which includes a Taiwan tour, and a Hall of Fame induction!
I hope this interview highlights the importance of an alumni organization and the impact they can have on their members and the broader community. By fostering a sense of connection and support, alumni organizations can help create a lasting legacy of learning and growth.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience with NFL Cheerleading-
I was a Washington Redskins Cheerleader "Redskinette" (WRC) for 5 seasons, 1979-1983. During my tenure as a Redskinette, I served as a captain and co-captain; appeared in the first WRC calendar; was a member of the first WRC Show Troupe, which toured Taiwan; performed in the first WRC Department of Defense video that was aired to troops stationed around the world; and performed at Super Bowls XVII and XVIII.
I was the Founder of the first NFL Cheerleaders Alumni organization in 1984: The Washington Football Cheerleaders Alumni Association (WFCAA), formerly known as the Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni Association. The purpose was to maintain the camaraderie that was formed when we were cheerleaders and to continue to support local and National charities. In 2009 I co-founded the National Football Cheerleaders Alumni Organization (NFCAO) for all former NFL cheerleaders and have served as the Chair and President since inception. The NFCAO's mission is to enable former NFL cheerleaders to connect, contribute to local and national charitable organizations, and support fellow alumni when in need. On July 23, 2022, I was honored to be the first of 6 NFL Cheerleaders inducted into the Pro Football Cheerleaders Hall of Fame during the National Football Cheerleaders Reunion Gala in Jacksonville, Florida. My induction was based on my commitment, dedication and leadership, which has contributed to the rich legacy of NFL cheerleaders on and off the field. My contributions had significant and enduring value, showing character and integrity for the good of the alumni.
2) What made you start the NFCAO? How did you get it up and running?
The idea started soon after I founded the WFCAA. Former NFL cheerleaders started reaching out to ask for guidance on how to form their own organization. Based on all the interest and our desire to unite all former NFL cheerleaders, the WFCAA set a goal to start a National NFL Cheerleaders Alumni Organization. This became a reality 25 years after the WFCAA inception, when the WFCAA hosted a conference call on January 14, 2008, with the 7 existing alumni groups. The purpose of the meeting was to propose annual meetings/reunions to get to know and support each other; partner to support National charities; and continue to grow as a National group. Each annual meeting/reunion would be hosted by a different alumni team. Everyone agreed to what was proposed and in 2009, the National Football Cheerleaders Alumni Organization was formed. The first official Reunion was hosted by the WFCAA in DC.
3) Tell us a bit about the organization and its mission-
The NFCAO currently has 23 official Chapters representing current and former NFL teams. Our mission is to enable former cheerleaders to connect, continue to contribute to local and National charities, and support fellow alumni who are in need of charitable support.
4) What is your favourite part about running an alumni group?
My favorite part about running the NFCAO would be getting to know everyone from around the NFL and discussing our experiences. Also enjoy participating in national events alongside fellow NFL alumni cheerleaders and former and current players.
5) Favourite memory from your Cheerleading days-
I have several favorite memories from my cheerleading days…but the two that really stand out are performing at Super Bowls XVII and XVIII and performing in the first Redskins overseas tour in Taiwan.
6) What are your future plans/goals for the organization?
Our future plans and goals for the NFCAO is the continue to recruit and form Chapters for the remaining 9 NFL teams; expand our partnership with the NFL Alumni Association by participating in more national events; host our own charity golf event; and to convince the Pro Football Hall of Fame organization to add a Pro Football Cheerleader section to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,
7) Anything else you would like to add about yourself, or the NFCAO?
In 2015, representing the Washington Commanders, I was inducted into the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association in Canton, Ohio. The induction was based on my numerous charitable activities, leadership, enthusiasm, and fellowship and sportsmanship towards all fans in the NFL.
In conclusion, I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for the guidance and support Terri provided us when we were creating our organization. Her mentorship has been instrumental in helping us bring our vision to life and make a positive impact north of the border!