Illustration of UR grads who are business leaders

Like a boss: Spider women offer views on leadership

March 7, 2023


Amber Nichols

Spider named to Sports Illustrated list of 100 Influential Black Women in Sports

Former Richmond basketball player Amber Nichols keeps turning cynics into fans.

Nichols, a 2014 grad who runs the Washington Wizards’ NBA G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, was named to Sports Illustrated’s list of 100 Influential Black Women in Sports.

Known for her speed on the court, she’s moved up through the NBA ranks quickly as well. Nichols is only the second female general manager in the league’s history.

“My career is only beginning,” Nichols said. “I’m blessed and honored to be recognized on SI’s list,” she said.  “The sky's the limit, and I’m only just getting started.”

heidi petz coo of sherwin williams

Alum's colorful career leads to leadership role at Sherwin-Williams

Heidi Petz, a 1997 Jepson School of Leadership Studies grad, became president and chief operating officer of the Sherwin-Williams Co. last spring.

The Jepson School was still fairly new when Petz attended orientation. She recalled a professor who welcomed the new students, describing the program’s unique focus: understanding organization, culture, followership, and movement.

“All of those things appealed to me immediately,” she said. “I thought, someone’s talking just to me. I’m meant to be here.” 

When anyone asks Petz, a mother of three, how she manages it all, she tells them to keep head and heart aligned. “Check in with yourself,” she said. “Be honest about what lights you up.”

stephanie headley

Winning formula

Alum Stephanie Headley did the math, and it led her to the top of skin care company Olay.

The 1999 graduate is now the senior vice president for North American skin care with P&G, leading the Olay brand. She studied math at the University of Richmond, and remembers being one of the only women of color in her major.

“It's a full circle moment because when I was a STEM student, I was one of few,” she said, “and we want to change that. I'm able to use an iconic brand like Olay to help change the industry, to make sure it's more inclusive.”