Yesterday, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) hosted a joint reception with the National Bar Association (NBA) Entertainment Sports and Arts Section. The annual event was held at the NBA's 92nd Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada at the Fairmont York Hotel.
The joint reception has become a premier event where top legal talent in the entertainment, sports and affiliated industries network and honor their own. This year the BESLA Board of Directors honored Jeffrey Orridge, the 13th Commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Beacon of Industry Award. The award is given to individuals who have blazed trails in their respective fields, exhibited a track record of significant contributions to the legal profession over the course of their careers, and created a talent pipeline from which new legal professionals have arisen.
Orridge is a senior executive, a community leader and a passionate Canadian and American with global experience. He brought all of these strengths to his work as commissioner of the CFL. Recently recognized with the 'African Canadian Achievement Award' for Excellence in Sports and the Historica Canada "Trailblazer Award", Jeffrey was the first black Commissioner of any major professional sports league in North America. Prior to joining the CFL, Orridge was a senior executive with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), where he served as the Executive Director of CBC Sports and General Manager, Olympics. Orridge also formerly served as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Global Business Development for "Right to Play International."
Additionally, Orridge, had impressive executive leadership roles with global consumer brands such as Mattel, Warner Brothers, Momentum Worldwide, Reebok Intl., and USA Basketball. Orridge is also a former member of the BESLA Board of Directors.