Cindy Alvarez, who was a behind-the-scenes force in the rise of UW-Madison athletics over three decades, will talk about the “then and now” aspects of high-level college sports Sept. 29 at the annual W•O•M•E•N reception in Madison.

The W•O•M•E•N (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Entrepreneurs and Networking) reception has been held in each of the last seven years. Open to attendance by men and women, the reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the J.H. Findorff & Son headquarters, 300 S. Bedford St. The presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Cindy Alvarez is the wife of Barry Alvarez, the retired UW-Madison athletic director and former head football coach who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Over time, Coach Alvarez has credited Cindy for keeping the family from becoming coaching “vagabonds” and for being a sounding board in good times and bad.

Her remarks during the reception will focus on the accelerating pace of change in college athletics as well as the importance of giving back to the city and state. Among her activities over time, Cindy Alvarez co-chaired an effort to bring a Gilda’s Club to Madison, where it continues to focus on helping people with cancer and their families.

Katie Ahrens Smith, the senior associate athletic director at UW-Madison, will attend and talk about Cindy Alvarez’s contributions over time. Past speakers at the are Sue Marks, Eve Hall, Toni Sikes, Demetria Menard, Darcy Luoma, Dr. Susan Turney and a panel of women investors.

The cost is $25 for Tech Council members, $10 for students and returning veterans, and $50 for general admission. Click here to register and read our COVID-19 policy. Sponsors of this year’s W•O•M•E•N reception are Findorff and Promega.

“We’re excited to shine a light on Cindy Alvarez, a familiar figure in Madison and Wisconsin as well as someone whose personality and stories will bring back memories for many people,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, who will moderate the event.