Jeremy Aisenberg is widely regarded as one of the most creative and entrepreneurial sports marketers in the industry. His marketing ingenuity and business development acumen have led to benchmark business initiatives for Octagon and its key clients. In his role as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Aisenberg works across Octagon’s global talent representation and consulting businesses. He directly represents a number of sports personalities, drives strategic brand building efforts for marquee personalities and also directs consulting efforts for several corporate clients in a variety of industries. Aisenberg’s representation of golf instructor, Hank Haney, has been highly recognized as a successful case study in sports personality branding.
Aisenberg began his career in sports working on global business development efforts for world renowned golf personality David Leadbetter. He received his Master’s degree in Human Molecular Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia at VCU where he conducted research in the fields of hemoglobinopathies and cancer genetics. He lives in Richmond Virginia with his wife and their four children.
H.E. Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al Thani had a distinguished career in the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A graduate in Political Science from the American University in Washington, DC, he served as President of Al Arabi Sports Club between 2006 and 2008 and is a former Board Member of the Qatar Football Association. His Excellency currently serves as the Executive Director of The Doha GOALS Forum Foundation.
Abdulla Al-Abdulla joined ROTA as Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist in 2011, where he was responsible for developing and leading the integration of new result-based approaches across the organization. Now serving as the Director of ROTA’s Quality, Impact & Strategy Department, he has been responsible for continuing to ensure quality standards across the organization’s international and domestic portfolio of social and civic development programs. In this capacity, Al-Abdulla oversees the development of innovative corporate partnerships that seek to maximize impact, sustainability, scope and branding of social development initiatives sponsored by the private sector. As Sports for Education has emerged as one of ROTA’s core focus areas, Al-Abdulla’s recent work has supported the development of several high-impact sports-based social responsibility initiatives impacting the lives of beneficiaries and stakeholders across Asia.
Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud has a distinguished background in Venues & Event Management, Sports, Facility Management, construction and IT. In addition to his current role as a Deputy President for Sports Projects at the Aspire Zone Foundation, Al-Mahmoud has several positions within the sports industry including the CEO of Al Sadd Sports Club, the 2011 AFC Asian Champions League winners and in third place finishers at the FIFA Club World Cup.
Al-Mahmoud is also the inaugural chairman of Mosanada, the largest facility management joint venture company established in partnership between Aspire Katara Investment, Qatar Olympic Committee and DTZ Limited.
With a Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the prestigious George Washington University – Washington, DC, Al-Mahmoud worked as the Director General of Aspire Logistics. He was also the President of the annual Aspire4Sport Congress and Exhibition, Chairman of AZF General Tender Committee. Prior to joining Aspire Zone Foundation, Al-Mahmoud was ranked Captain at the Ministry of Interior. He has also contributed to several projects including the Cultural Village Project “katara” and Salwa Road redevelopment project.
Dr. Mohammed Alsayrafi is currently the General Manager at the Anti-Doping Laboratory in Qatar (ADLQ). He obtained his MSc (Clinical Chemistry) from West Chester University (USA) and his PhD from King’s College London (UK). As Project Executive Director for ADLQ (2008-2011), he planned and delivered the first anti-doping laboratory in the region to a standard worthy of WADA accreditation. This included decisions on the design, planning and execution of the building as well as equipping the relevant laboratories. In 2009, he was commended for having the foresight to also undertake the planning for staffing so that the completion of the building would coincide with the significant availability of relevantly trained local scientists and technicians. ADLQ is on course to attain full WADA accreditation in 2015.
Dr. Alsayrafi serves on various academic advisory committees of Qatar University, is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London and a member of the American Association of Clinical Chemists, Association of Clinical Biochemists and American Endocrine Society. Under his leadership, toxicology and multipurpose labs with globally competitive analytical capabilities and a life sciences research division to facilitate academic research were developed as a part of the ADLQ.
Dr. Alsayrafi has represented Qatar at World Conferences on Sport and the Environment, Global Civil Society Forums, National Committee for Sports & Environment and is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer at the Friends of the Environment Centre. He has obtained grant funding in excess of $5 million, published several conference proceedings, peer-reviewed original articles and contributed to book chapters.
Liz Anderson is the Director of Engagement at the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University, where she leads the Center’s marketing, communications, stakeholder engagement and partnerships strategy. Before joining the Beeck Center, Anderson oversaw digital new business in the Mid-Atlantic region for Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR agency.
Prior to her time at Edelman, Anderson was the Program Manager for the Center for Park Management, the innovation and management consulting practice within the National Parks Conservation Association. In this role, she designed and implemented change management and communications projects for the National Park Service.
Anderson began her career in behavior change and social impact communications with S. Groner Associates (SGA) – one of the top 10 independent PR agencies in Los Angeles. While at SGA, she served a variety of government clients including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the City of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment. During her time at SGA, Liz earned several national distinctions for her work, including the Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award in Public Service – the PR industry’s highest level of distinction.
Anderson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Policy & Management as well as a B.A. in Hispanic Studies. She also holds an M.S. from the University of Oxford in Nature, Society & Environmental Policy.
Christine Armitage is the Executive Manager of SIDOC Foundation, one of the most dynamic and innovative private sector foundations in Cali, Colombia. SIDOC undertakes various social inclusion and economic development programs in Siloe, one of the city’s most violent slums. The foundation has implemented a development model that involves four lines of action. The first is the recovery of urban spaces, with efforts built on the notion that beautiful and improved urban spaces provide people with a sense of dignity and generate community trust. The second line of action includes work with children and youth. Through the creation of the “Orquesta Infantil y Juvenil de Siloe” orchestra in 2007, the “Tambores de Siloe” percussion band in 2009, and 11 satellites of “Football for Hope” training camps in 2011, music and sports are being used as tools for enhancing life skills. The foundation’s third line of action helps poverty-stricken families identify income-generating opportunities to achieve economic self-sufficiency. It focuses on improving the managerial skills of small business owners, fostering entrepreneurship, and building both new business units and human capital by promoting market-oriented technical training to secure employment opportunities. Last but not least, their fourth line of action strives for community empowerment by helping develop individual pride and community spirit, and enabling communities to independently run regeneration programs.
Richard Attias is a global influencer and the catalyst for bringing together thought leaders from around the world – private sector and government – to create communities that facilitate the global exchange of ideas in pursuit of real change.
This talent for anticipating the most pressing issues of our time, creating global communities and inspiring innovation is based on his unique experience developing some of the most influential gatherings of global leaders in the last 20 years. These include the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Arab League Summit in Jordan, the China Economic Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, the New York Forum and New York Forum AFRICA, the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, the Egypt Economic Development Conference, the Nobel Laureates Conference and the 11th African Games.
After nearly a decade at Publicis Groupe, ending as Chairman of PublicisLive, he founded Richard Attias & Associates, a strategic communications firm that provides private consultancy, creates idea initiatives, and serves as an advisory firm for governments and global executives. Attias is also the founder and chairman of The New York Forum Institute, a “Call to Action” for global CEOs, economists and business leaders to share ideas and provide recommendations and solutions for new business models in a post-crisis world.
Attias was born in Fez, Morocco. He holds a degree in civil engineering and a Masters in mathematics and physics. He is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
Dr. John Bartholomew holds a Fellowship in the Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Kinesiology and Health Education. He received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Harvard University, where he was a three-year letter winner in football. He received a Ph.D. in Exercise Science from Arizona State University. Bartholomew is a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Kinesiology and serves on the editorial board of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology and the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. He is the lead investigator of the Texas I-CAN! program, which is funded by the NIH to examine the impact of in-class physical activity on academic performance. He is also interested in the mental health benefits of exercise.
Sarah Bergstrom is currently the Assistant Director of Social Media for USC Athletics as well as a Talent Coordinating Producer for the NFL Network. At USC, she helps run all social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and the athletics blog. She also coordinates the crossover between corporate sponsorships and social content as well as creating programming and handling PR for the USC Community Outreach program. At the NFL Network, she works directly with all platform producers to secure guests (athletes, coaches, celebrities) and build creative show segments. A native of Portland, OR, Bergstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations – with a focus on sports media – from the University of Southern California.
Dr. StéphaneBermon has been a Sports Physician (MD) and Exercise Physiologist (PhD) at the Monaco Institute of Sports Medicine and Surgery since 2006. He also holds a Specialised Master (Ecole Centrale de Paris) in Health Engineering. He is a medical advisor for several international (IAAF, UIM, FIBT) and national federations.
Bermon is the author and co-author of more than 40 books or peer-reviewed scientific papers. He co-founded KB Health Partners, a medical services facilitator and health engineering company based in Monaco. He is 49 years old and was a professional snowboarder.
Marlene Bjornsrud has over 35 years of leadership experience in women’s sports with a proven track record of establishing and growing organizations. With a wide range of experience across multiple sports and levels including coaching, athletic administration, general management, and nonprofit executive leadership, she is an active advocate committed to using sports as a platform to make a positive difference in the world.
Her career highlights include leading her team to the NAIA National Tennis Championship, serving as an athletic administrator at two institutions with broad responsibilities for more than a dozen sports, serving as General Manager of the Bay Area franchise of the first fully professional women’s soccer league in the United States, and founding the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) with US Soccer champions Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain. She is presently the Executive Director of the Alliance of Women Coaches, the only organization of its kind supporting women coaches from all sports and all levels across the nation and beyond.
Through the years, Bjornsrud has been recognized for her work in sports with several awards, including the Woman of Achievement, SJ Mercury News and Women’s Fund of Silicon Valley, the Arizona Pathfinder Award, National Association of Girls and Women in Sport, the Wilson National Tennis Coach of the Year, the Women's Tennis National Community Service Award, and the NAIA National Women's Tennis Coach of the Year.
Bjornsrud’s lifetime work of helping girls and women fully participate in sports was recognized by the International Olympic Committee with its prestigious 2013 Women and Sport Award for the Americas. She joins a select group as a recipient from the United States for the Americas award, with only Donna Lopiano and Jackie Joyner-Kersee as previous winners from the United States.
Ato Boldon was a Two-time World Junior Sprint Champion by the time he was 18, a feat which had never before been accomplished. At UCLA, he set still-standing school records and won collegiate sprint titles, while breaking the NCAA 100 meter dash record. As a professional track athlete, Boldon was one of the world’s top three fastest men for seven consecutive years from 1995 to 2001, recording lifetime bests of 9.86 seconds for 100 meters, and 19.77 seconds for 200 meters. Along the way, he became a Four-time Olympic Medalist, a Four-time World Championships Medalist, and the World 200-meter Champion.
After the conclusion of the Athens Olympics in 2004, Boldon retired from track and became a Senator in Trinidad, his native country. In 2005, he embarked on his broadcast career as the Sprint Analyst for CBS Sports. By 2008, he had risen to the top of his field. He is the first and only track and field broadcaster in U.S. history to be nominated for an Emmy award.
When he is not broadcasting, public-speaking or handling duties as an IAAF Global Ambassador for track and field’s world governing body, Boldon is training some of the fastest young people in the world. He has also been a private pilot since 2005.
Member of the European Parliament for 10 years until July 2014, Emine Bozkurt has been primarily concerned with civil rights, social inclusion and the fight against organized crime. Being a leading MEP on sport, she worked as a spokesperson on several European reports on football. Right before the World Cup in 2006, she managed to get an influential resolution against racism in football voted by the European Parliament.
As Chair of Friends of Football, she worked closely with UEFA. Together with FC Barcelona, UNESCO, local authorities and young people, Bozkurt organized a project about youth and the fight against racism. A passionate advocate of human rights, she was appointed Chairwoman of the cross party Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup of the European Parliament. Recently, she was appointed by His Majesty the King of the Netherlands Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Monique Brandon is a native of Los Angeles with strong ties to the community. She was recently named Executive Director for Kids in Sports, a non-profit public charity, whose mission is to provide high quality, affordable sports opportunities for underserved youth while encouraging community and family involvement through the formation and management of neighborhood sports clubs in Los Angeles County.
For nearly three decades, she has established herself as a diverse professional with the ability to work effectively using her professional and educational training in law, entertainment and not-for-profit fields. She has most recently served as Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. During her ten-year tenure as an executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers, she developed many positive community and game day programs that remain in place today. Her vision that the organization should have its own in-house platform for its charity and extensive community efforts led to the establishment of the thriving Dodger Dream Foundation, which has enabled the Dodger organization to create business partnerships and effectuate impactful changes within under-served communities in the greater Los Angeles area.
She also served as a technical advisor on a CBS legal drama series where her responsibilities included advising directors, writers and producers in an effort to balance the legal authenticity with the creative qualities of the show.
Brandon has logged numerous volunteer hours and served on multiple non-profit boards primarily focusing on at-risk youth and education. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA, a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing from American Film Institute and a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law.
Since 2004, Della Britton Baeza has been President and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (www.jackierobinson.org), a national, non-profit organization founded in 1973 by Rachel Robinson, the wife of American sports and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson, to perpetuate his memory through the support of higher education and the promotion of the values he embodied. The Foundation's celebrated program model combines generous multi-year financial assistance with extensive leadership and practical life skills training.
Britton's tenure brought tremendous growth to JRF. She has been responsible for more than doubling the number of young people served; the addition of graduate school fellowships and a work/study abroad component; upgraded technological capabilities; opening a west coast office; and relocating the New York headquarters. Over its 42-year history, the Foundation has dispensed over $65 million in scholarships and direct program support. Under her leadership, the Foundation has undertaken the additional task of building the Jackie Robinson Museum, a state-of-the-art facility to be located in New York City.
A corporate lawyer and entertainment sector executive for most of her career, Britton served as Assistant General Attorney for the American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., President of Hillside Publishing, and President of AJM Records, L.L.C, a Grammy Award-winning, independent record label that launched the career of pop sensation Ashanti. She began her career as an associate with the international law firm of Covington & Burling, after graduating from Princeton University and Columbia Law School.
She has served as a member of The New York Times Institutional Task Force on Race Relations and on the boards of many organizations, including Inwood House (NYC), the Lawyers’Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Washington, D.C.), and the Dwight-Englewood School (Englewood, NJ). She is a member of the board of directors of Legendary Pictures, LLC.
Michael Bucklin is a Producer for ESPN’s recently established “New & Next” division, a group that focuses on new content initiatives, focused on next generation sports fandom.
Primary responsibilities within “New & Next” include social and digital media extensions for top television brands and broadcasts, from studio programming like SportsCenter, First Take and College GameDay, to event programming like Monday Night Football, the College Football Playoff and the NBA Finals.
Prior to this role, Bucklin worked with ESPN’s Partnerships unit, managing strategic content and revenue partnerships with gaming companies like EA SPORTS and social media companies like Facebook and Twitter.
A native of Marietta, GA, Bucklin earned a bachelor’s degree in Business – with a focus on non-traditional marketing – from the University of Georgia, where he played on the men’s basketball team and took hobby in digital film production.
Greg Buzek is the Founder and President of IHL Group and one of the Founders of the Retail Orphan Initiative (www.retailROI.org), a charitable foundation that seeks to help the 400 million orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. In six years, RetailROI has been involved in 80 projects in 17 countries, helping an estimated 158,000 children through clean water, education, computers, language training and care.
Noted by RIS News as one of the "25 Most Influential People in Retail" and the National Retail Federation in 2015 as one of "The List of People Shaping Retail's Future", he has a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from The Ohio State University, and 25 years of experience in retail market analysis, business planning, product development, and consulting with Fortune 500 companies.
Buzek is frequently quoted in BusinessWeek, RIS News, StorefrontBacktalk, CIO Information Network, Information Week, Supermarket News, Vertical Systems Reseller, Kiosk Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, as well as the Washington Post and has been used as a retail technology analyst on NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and CNBC. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer for the Wharton School of Business and Belmont University.
In 2011, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute honored Buzek with the first ever Paul Singer Award that recognizes business and governmental leaders for going above and beyond their defined roles to advocate for better adoption and foster care policies worldwide. Before founding IHL, Buzek worked with NCR Corporation and Sensormatic Electronics as a marketing and development executive on hardware, software, and electronic security products for the Retail Industry.
Gareth Capon is CEO of Grabyo, the global market leader in real time social video, based in London, UK. Grabyo enables broadcasters and rights holders to create, share and monetize real time video across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital platforms. Capon brings more than 16 years experience in digital, mobile and television. Prior to joining Grabyo, he was a Product Development Director at Sky where he managed Sky’s award-winning mobile app portfolio and led investments in tech startups in Europe and North America. Capon was also responsible for driving social TV initiatives across BSkyB during his tenure. He previously founded a digital media consulting business and co-founded two start-ups covering music, mobile and social networks. He began his career as a strategy consultant in the telecommunication and media sectors at Accenture.
John Carlos was born in Harlem, New York in 1945. After graduating from Machine Trade and Medal High School, he was awarded a full track and field scholarship to East Texas State University (ETSU). He attended ETSU for one year, single-handedly winning the school’s first and only track and field Lone Star Conference Championship. After ETSU, he matriculated to San Jose State University.
During his stay at San Jose State University, he participated in the 1968 Mexico Olympics and won the bronze medal in the 200 meters. During the victory ceremony, John and Tommy Smith raised a black-gloved fist in protest against racism and economic depression for all opposed peoples. This “Silent Protest” was voted as the sixth most memorable event of the century.
Following the Mexico Olympics, Carlos continued his education and athletic feats at San Jose State University where he single-handedly won the NCAA Track & Field National Championship in 1969. During his stay, he broke the world record in the hundred-yard dash. Concluding an illustrious career in track and field, Carlos was drafted by the NFL. After a short career in the NFL, he entered the public sector, working for PUMA, the Olympics, and the City of Los Angeles.
Presently, Carlos is working as the Track & Field Coach, and an In-School Suspension Supervisor for Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, California.
Christophe Charlier is an international financier with broad experience in the media, sports, technology, mining and financial services industries internationally. He is currently the Chairman of Pure Grass Films and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.
In 2009, Charlier led the acquisition by Mikhail Prokhorov of the New Jersey Nets NBA franchise, which resulted in Prokhorov becoming the first non-North American principal owner of a professional sports team in the United States. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Nets during their last two seasons in New Jersey and their first two seasons in Brooklyn (2010-2014).
Between 2008 and 2014, Charlier served as Deputy CEO of Onexim Group, the private investment fund created by Prokhorov. In this capacity, Charlier served on the board of directors of a number of portfolio companies owned by Onexim in the financial services, mining, utilities, media and technology industries.
From 2002 to 2004, Charlier was Director of Strategic Development and M&A at Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer at the time. Prior to that, he was Vice President of LV Finance, a corporate finance and venture capital boutique in Moscow.
Charlier graduated cum laude in 1994 with a BSE with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA in International Relations from the College of Arts & Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania.
William Joseph Cheek is a former American Speed Skater and Inline Speed Skater specialized in the short and middle distances. Present day, he is a media entrepreneur.
Cheek's breakthrough was in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where he won the Bronze Medal in the 1,000 meters.
In 2003, he won the Bronze Medal at the World Single Distance Championships in Berlin in the 1,000- and 1,500- meter events. In 2005, Cheek made the podium for the first time in the World Sprint Championships, again behind Wennemars.
On January 22, 2006, in Heerenveen, Cheek became World Sprint Champion.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Cheek won the men's 500-meter event in dominating style, recording a two-run total time of 1:09.76. That time was 0.65 seconds faster than runner-up Dorofeyev, and Cheek was the only competitor to break the 35-second mark in the competition, doing so in both of his runs (34.82 and 34.94). Cheek's time in the first 500-meter race was an unofficial world record for the fastest 500 meters ever at an ice rink at sea level. He went on to win the Silver Medal in the 1,000-meter race, finishing just behind teammate Shani Davis.
Linda Cohn has long been considered a pioneer for women sportscasters. She has graced television sets for over 22 years as one of the first full-time female sports anchors. In the illustrious history of ESPN, nobody has hosted more SportsCenters than Cohn.
She can relate to the true sports fan because she is a true sports fan. She is a brilliant storyteller who uses her wit, imagination and passion for sports to make the stories she delivers come alive.
In 2008, Cohn authored a memoir entitled “Cohn-Head, a No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking into the Boy’s Club.” Her story allows us to see her both personally and professionally; her dreams, victories, disappointments, obstacles and her gut determination to win.
One of the highlights of Cohn’s many groundbreaking achievements came early as a senior in high school when she made the boy’s high school ice hockey team as the backup goalie. “It sure beat the senior prom,” said Cohn.
Her straightforward style, natural sense of humor and passionate fanaticism for the teams she grew up with and continues to root for, connects with viewers. Cohn is active on social media and enjoys interacting with her fan base. You can follow her on Twitter @LindaCohn and on Instagram at @LindaCohn.
Born in California in 1978, Jason Collins attended Stanford University and spent four productive seasons with the Cardinals. During his senior season, Collins was named to the All-Pac-10 first team and was voted a third-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89).
Collins was selected 18th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets and was traded to the New Jersey Nets on draft day. A key contributor on the team, Collins helped the Nets reach the NBA Finals in both of his first two seasons.
Collins was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2008 NBA Draft and played with the Atlanta Hawks for three seasons before signing with the Boston Celtics in 2012. He was then traded to the Washington Wizards in 2013 before finishing his career with the Brooklyn Nets in 2014.
On April 29, 2013, Collins made history as the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publically come out as gay. Following his announcement, Collins received high praise and support from both his peers and society as a whole for his decision. Collins was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. He is a member of The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, joining several other world renowned athletes in promoting the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. As of 2014, he also became an NBA Cares Ambassador and, through this affiliation, helps further the NBA’s efforts to address social issues such as education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, a 14-year-old Romanian dynamo captured the hearts and minds of the world with her daring and perfection. We came to know her simply as "Nadia." By the time the 1976 Olympics ended, Comaneci had earned seven perfect tens, three gold medals, one bronze, one silver and countless fans.
At the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Comaneci earned two more gold medals and two silver to bring her Olympic total to nine medals. Comaneci was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1996.
In April 1996, Comaneci married American Olympic Champion Bart Conner, and now divides her time between appearances, commercial endorsements for major companies, speaking engagements and charity events. In December of 2003, she wrote a book called Letters to a Young Gymnast, detailing her inspirational story.
In 1999, Comaneci was honored by ABC News and Ladies' Home Journal as one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International and Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Comaneci also serves as a member of the board of the Laureus Sports For Good Foundation, and she often travels to Romania to support dozens of charities in her homeland, including the Nadia Comaneci Children’s Clinic in Bucharest.
Currently, Comaneci and Conner are business partners with their manager, Paul Ziert, in the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, International Gymnast magazine, Perfect 10 Productions, Inc. (a TV production company) and Grips, Etc. (a gymnastics supply company).
Even though Comaneci won a total of nine Olympic medals, five of them gold, she will always be remembered at the first gymnast to score a perfect ten and leave her indelible mark on the history of the Olympics.
Michel Combes became Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel-Lucent in 2013, joining the company with more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications sector.
His appointment to Alcatel-Lucent followed four years at the global mobile communications operator Vodafone, where he was appointed CEO, Europe Region in October 2008, before joining the Vodafone Board in June 2009. As CEO of Vodafone Europe, in charge of a business representing 70% of the group’s revenues, Combes led the group’s recovery in the region, steering it to regain its lead in two key countries, Italy and Germany, currently representing close to 50% of the group’s revenues in Europe.
Combes’ career began in 1985 at France Telecom in the US. After serving as a Technical Advisor to the French Minister of Transportation between 1991 and 1995, Combes became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the France Telecom subsidiary GlobeCast, from 1996 to 1999.
In December 1999, Combes joined the French tour operator Nouvelles Frontières Group as Executive Vice President, before moving to the industrial engineering concern Assystem-Brime as Chief Executive Officer.
Combes returned to the France Telecom Group in 2003 as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the company’s Group Strategic Committee. Alongside Thierry Breton, he played an important part in the group’s recovery. As head of strategy he ran the Next plan, which enabled France Telecom’s transformation into an integrated operator. In 2006, Combes was appointed Chairman and CEO of the French national broadcasting operator, TDF Group.
Combes studied at the prestigious École Polytechnique in Paris and at the Parisian telecommunications institute École Nationale Supérieure des Telecommunications.
In addition to his position as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, Combes is also non-executive board member of MTS, Altice and HDL Development.
Carol Cone is internationally recognized for her work in Purpose and CSR. Her recently launched firm, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, is her return to her life’s passion: to educate, inspire and accelerate purpose programs and impacts for organizations, nonprofits and individuals around the globe.
For the past five years, she created and led the Business + Social Purpose practice for Edelman, building it into a $25 million global group. There she personally serviced a variety of clients: Microsoft, Unilever, the American Lung Association, Girl Scouts of the USA, Southwest Airlines, PNC Financial Services, HP, the Bezos Family Foundation and Quaker, among others.
From 1980 – 2010, she was the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Cone, Inc. – recognized as the nation’s leading Cause Branding consultancy. There she led the development of signature cause branding programs for forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit organizations, including: the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, ConAgra Foods' Feeding Children Better, PNC Grow Up Great, the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Movement, P & G’s Live, Learn and Thrive, ITT Watermark, Western Union's Our World, Our Family and Reebok's Human Rights programs.Overall, Cone’s signature cause programs have raised more than $2 billion for various social causes.
In 2007, PR Week called her "arguably the most powerful and visible figure in the world of Cause Branding." Her first book, Breakthrough NonProfit Branding was published in 2010.
Follow her at @carolcone.
Bart Conner is the only American male gymnast to win gold medals at every level of national and international competition. Conner has been a USA Champion, NCAA Champion, Pan-American Games Champion, World Champion, World Cup Champion, and an Olympic Champion.
Conner was a member of three Olympic Teams in 1976, 1980 and 1984. It was in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where he made a dramatic comeback from his second torn biceps injury to win two gold medals, one as a member of the US team. Conner earned his second gold with a score of perfect 10 on the parallel bars.
After graduating in 1984 from the University of Oklahoma, Conner went into business with his coach, Paul Ziert. Today, they own several gymnastics related business interests, including the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, where more than 1,000 gymnasts train at every level, from beginning motor skill development to elite athletes aiming for college scholarships, and spots on the US National team.
In 1992, Conner and Ziert took over International Gymnast magazine, the premier international gymnastics magazine, and in 1996, they formed Grips, Etc., a gymnastics supply company.
Conner’s production company, Perfect 10 Productions, has produced gymnastics TV shows for ESPN, Fox Sports Net, Oxygen TV, and the World Championship Sports Network, now known as Universal Sports.
In 1996, Conner married Romanian Olympic Champion, Nadia Comaneci. Today, Conner and Comaneci are involved in several charities including the Executive Board of Special Olympics International, and the Board of Directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Conner is the Chairman of the Board of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In 1991, Conner was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame, and in 1997, he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Anne Warner Cribbs’ swimming career started when she was five at the local pool in Menlo Park, California. Anne went on to win gold as a 14 year-old swimmer at the 1959 Pan American Games. A year later, she competed at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Holder of the American records in both the 100 and 200 meter breast-stroke events, she placed fifth in the 200 Meter Breaststroke at the Rome Olympics and was a member of the Gold Medal-winning, 400-meter medley relay team. Cribbs retired from competitive swimming at the age of sixteen. Few high schools and no universities had women’s competitive swimming teams, Title IX did not exist and so there were no more mountains to climb.
Cribbs’ professional career has been dedicated to serving sport and the community. In 1995, Anne co-founded the American Basketball League (ABL), the first women’s professional basketball league in the United States so that after college, female basketball players could play basketball – an American game, on American soil, in the traditional basketball season. During its existence, the ABL set the standard for what women’s professional sports could and should become, creating a permanent legacy and forever changing the paradigm.
Cribbs became President and CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) in 1999, and led the San Francisco 2012 Olympic Bid, the 2016 and 2024 Bid for the San Francisco Bay Area. She served as the Chair of the 40th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Three Day Celebration of Ping Pong Diplomacy (June 2011).
Cribbs continues to serve as the President/CEO of BASOC. Under Cribbs’ leadership, she organized the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships –the 2007 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, the 2011 USA Swimming National and Junior National Championships and the 2009 Summer National Senior Games.
Meryl Davis was paired with Charlie White, her ice-dancing partner, in 1997, which makes them the longest-running ice-dancing partnership in the history of United States figure skating.
At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the duo again made history, with their short dance and “Scheherazade”-themed free dance garnering a record score of 195.52 points. With their win, the groundbreaking team became the first-ever American ice dancing team to win Olympic gold.
Just one month after winning Olympic gold, Davis continued dancing her way into the hearts of millions on ABC’s Dancing with Stars. She became season 18’s champion with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
When not on the ice, Davis enjoys reading, traveling, and learning about other cultures. She is also currently a student at the University of Michigan, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Italian.
In addition to skating and schoolwork, Davis also supports the Classroom Champions program, which connects students in high-need schools with top performing athletes to help them to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big.
Sandra de Castro Buffington is a global leader in entertainment for social change. As the Founding Director of the Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI) at UCLA, Sandra unleashes the storytelling power of television, film, music and new media to improve health, social justice and wellbeing of people worldwide.
Sandra actively engages entertainment leaders to create compelling storylines that accurately address socially provocative issues, including health, immigration, racial justice, prison reform, gender/LGBT equality, and sustainability. She collaborates with global media so that exceptional storytelling, socially conscious songwriting and interactive content on new media can move us from evidence to impact.
Sandra's work with Hollywood and other creative capitals of the world results in storylines in television and movies, and her research measures their profound impact on knowledge and behavior. She engages new media to move audiences from inspiration to action. For her work, Sandra was named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in America" by Poder magazine in 2011-2012, "American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of the Year" by the World Film Institute in 2014, and Honorary Maverick by the Female Eye Film Festival in 2015.
Formerly director of HH&S, Sandra created a global network of centers, including India and Nigeria with the hub in Hollywood, to improve the accuracy of health-related storylines in top TV shows and films. This groundbreaking work resulted in 565 storylines that aired in 91 shows across 35 networks from 2009 to 2012.
Sandra is known for her award-winning work in global health and social transformation; 20 years were spent working internationally, and five of those years were spent in residence overseas. Sandra's vasectomy promotion campaign in Brazil earned seven international advertising awards, including a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Film Festival and Gold Medal at the London International Advertising Awards.
Lisa Delpy Neirotti has been a professor of sport, event, and tourism management for 24 years at the George Washington University (GW) and serves as the Director of the Sport Management BBA, MTA, and MBA degree programs. She also teaches in the Masters of Olympic Sports Organizations supported by the International Olympic Committee.
Having attended and researched 17 consecutive Olympic Games, four World Cups, and hundreds of other events in over 65 countries, she is a recognized expert in mega-event management and marketing. Furthermore, Neirotti oversees GW’s Sport Philanthropy Certificate program, the Certified Sport Administrator, and the Green Sports Scorecard. She also founded two conferences – Travel, Events, and Management in Sports (TEAMS) and the Sports Industry Networking and Career (SINC) conference; co-authored the “Ultimate Guide to Sport Marketing” and serves on the SportsTravel magazine editorial board and Women in Sports and Events (WISE).
Anderson Dias da Fonseca came from a poor background in Belford-Roxo, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, and became blind at the age of three after a medical mistake that was irreversible.
Passionate about football, he would put plastic bags around footballs to be able to hear it and play with his cousins at his grandmother’s house, strengthening his dream of becoming a football player for the Brazilian National team.
Later in life, Dias joined the Institute for the Blind, and learned about five-a-side football, which was a modified version of traditional football and was played with a ball with rattles inside. He soon joined the Institute’s team and was selected for the national team, wearing the Brazilian shirt for ten years, winning two world titles and the 2004 Paralympics Gold medal in Athens.
Being a part of the national team provided Dias the opportunity to obtain a scholarship and become a Physiotherapist, specializing in manual techniques and sports injuries. It also led him to become one of the founding members of Urece – Sport and Culture for the Blind, a nongovernmental organization based in Rio.
Urece was the realization of Dias’ dream of using sports to empower people with disabilities. Since its conception, Urece has proven to be very successful with good sports teams, multiple players selected for national teams. Most importantly, it is helping the athletes to become more included and accepted members of society.
An enthusiast of social innovation and values-based leadership, Pedro Diaz Ridao has been a member of Real Madrid Graduate School since its inception in 2006 as the Director of Real Madrid MBA in Sports Management as well as training and mentoring Real Madrid staff and professional athletes. He is a visiting lecturer at several other business schools such as George Washington University and San Diego State University.
With a wide experience in the higher education and corporate sector, he soon focused on international and multicultural projects. He has lived in four countries and has conducted workshops for people from 50 different countries and four continents.
He has published two books on emotional intelligence in the workplace (Emociones Laborales and Instintos Laborales) and is the co-founder of challenge359.es, a platform that helps professional athletes in their transition into a new career after sports.
Ridao is a frequent public speaker who encourages young leaders, entrepreneurs and companies to use innovation and creativity in order to reach their full potential. His passion to make this world a better place led him to co-found the non-profit organization inspirasports.org in 2009. He was also the winner of the 2010 Spain’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Award.
David Duke is Founder and Chief Executive of Street Soccer (Scotland), a non-profit social enterprise that uses football to help create positive change in the lives of socially disadvantaged adults and young people.
Duke has first-hand experience with the problems that the people his organization works with and helps on a daily basis endure. That alone makes him one of the best-placed people to inspire, deliver and advise on social inclusion programs that use sports as its catalyst.
In 2003, Duke was living on the streets of Glasgow and had reached a low point in his life. Six years later, in 2009, he founded Street Soccer (Scotland) to address issues including health, social exclusion and education. Now, in 2015, Street Soccer (Scotland) delivers a wide range of programs across the length and breadth of Scotland to thousands of participants.
Duke works closely with local and national government, sports governing bodies, mental health charities, housing associations and professional football clubs and is also Global Ambassador for the Homeless World Cup. He sits on UNICEF’s advisory board in Scotland, and is also a TEDx speaker, having spoken to major corporations, including Standard Chartered and the Royal Bank of Scotland. He was named as The Sunday Times “Change Maker” of the Year in 2012 and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh for his work.
A professional, parent, friend, player and captain, Cafu is ultimately a man with an immense heart and a genuine role model for all generations. He was born as Marcos Evangelista de Morais on 7th June 1970 in Jardim Irene, Sao Paulo.
With 21 World Cup appearances over 4 consecutive World Cups, Cafu is the highest capped player in Brazil’s history with 150 caps to his name. Cafu is also a winner of two World Cups, one of which he captained the Brazilian National team. Named as one of the World Cup's top 100 footballers of all time by The Guardian, which led by Lothar Matthäus and Zico, and an international panel of 40 experts, compiled a countdown of the finest players to grace the globe's greatest sporting event.
In 2001, Cafu funded the building of the Cafu Foundation in Jardim Irene. By offering complimentary activities to school children and adolescents, the Foundation acts as a source of inspiration and feeds the dreams - “Alimentando Sonhos” - of the community he is so proud of.
When his parents passed away in 2008, Cafu decided to retire from AC Milan and dedicate himself to his Cafu Foundation. Today, the Foundation serves over 950 young people between 3 and 17 years old and over 350 adults, providing after school activities, healthcare, development opportunities, and training courses. With over [20,000] young people in Jardim Irene, there is still a significant need for more work to be done.
Cafu has mobilized local leaders and friends, to operate the Foundation. By generating access to education, culture and sport, it is helping to transform the future of Jardim Irene and the lives of its people.
Mike Fox is a graduate in Recreation Facilities Management with an extensive background in sport business.
A ten year veteran of the sport tourism industry, he previously worked with Tourism Vancouver leading their sport tourism initiatives. In 2008, Vancouver was recognised by Sport Business International as the Ultimate Sports City in the Americas.
Fox has brought many national and international sport events and conferences to the region including the ITU Triathlon World Cup, World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and the CP Sports Boccia World Cup.
During the 2010 Winter Games, he managed the Olympians Reunion Centre on behalf of the World Olympians Association. In 2011 , Fox oversaw the planning and delivery of all the sports events for the North American Outgames.
Currently the Sport Tourism Manager with Sport Surrey, Fox has built an organization that works closely with various sport clubs and communities in the City of Surrey, BC, and has helped position the city as a venue of choice for many sport events.
A passionate soccer coach, Fox is actively involved in the delivery of grassroots development programs with Langley United Youth Soccer Association
Adonal Foyle grew up in the tiny nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, where he first picked up a basketball at the age of 15. His quest for a college education, which ultimately led him to the USA and into the NBA, is an amazing and inspirational story of ambition, hard work and a little bit of luck. Growing up in impoverished circumstances in the Caribbean dramatically influenced Foyle’s worldview, and off the court, he is an activist with a deep commitment to the community, especially young people.
Foyle is a retired NBA player, who was the eighth overall NBA draft pick in 1997. He played a total of 13 NBA seasons, the first ten with the Golden State Warriors and last three with the Orlando Magic. Upon his retirement as a professional basketball, Foyle served for two NBA seasons with the Orlando Magic as their Director of Player Programs. He currently operates two consulting practices – Foyle Consulting and Foyle Sports Performance.
Foyle makes numerous community service appearances and founded two non-profit organizations: Democracy Matters (www.democracymatters.org), a non-partisan campus-based project working to get big money out of politics and people in; and Kerosene Lamp Foundation (www.KLFkids.org) which uses basketball to engage and empower at-risk youth to grow into healthy and well-educated leaders in the Caribbean and USA.
Foyle graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University and has a Masters in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.
Michael Freitag is currently the Director of Coaching for the Colorado Soccer Association. As D.O.C. for Colorado, he is focused on player development and coaching education throughout the state. He has spent 24 years as a player, assistant coach, and head coach with the Indiana University Men’s Soccer Program. As a player, he was an All-America defender and played professionally in the NASL and MISL. At IU, he was part of five NCAA Division I National Championship Teams as a coach. In 2004, he led the Hoosiers to the title in his first year as Head Coach. Freitag served as the Assistant Coach with the US Soccer U17 National Team when they participated in the 1991 World Championships and has also served on the US Soccer Coaching Committee.
Janet Froetscher is the Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, leading the organization and all of its functions to fulfill its mission as well as the achievement of the goals of the strategic plan. Based at the Special Olympics global headquarters in Washington, D.C., she leads an international team of more than 200 professionals throughout the world who are implementing sports, health, education and community building programming in more than 170 countries.
Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities to be productive citizens in their communities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Froetscher leads the growth of the movement, which is currently serving more than 4.4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities, holds more than 81,000 competitions annually, and welcomes more than 1 million coaches and volunteers who help make grassroots operations possible.
Previously, Froetscher was President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Safety Council (NSC). Under her leadership, the Council drove initiatives to save 10,000 lives and prevent 1 million injuries by focusing on issues such as workplace safety and distracted as well as teen driving.
Prior to that, Froetscher was Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, where she led the merger of 54 United Ways into a single entity. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Aspen Institute and her corporate experience includes leadership roles within the Commercial Club of Chicago and Bankers Trust Company.
Froetscher holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University. She is a Board Member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Chicago Network and Commercial Club of Chicago, as well as a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
Séan Garnier, pronounced “cee-ann”, began playing football at age 6. In 1998, he joined his first training center in a professional capacity at Auxerre. After that, he joined Troyes and played for the California Football Alliance (CFA). In 2004, following a succession of injuries, he was forced to abandon his dreams of becoming a professional football player, but this major life shift would lead him down another successful path.
In 2005, Garnier discovered Freestyle Football, a unique dance form incorporating football and basketball. He decided to focus on this urban art form full time, and in 2008 became recognized as the best freestyle footballer in the world.
Since 2009, Garnier has appeared in many events such as the Champion's League, the French National Team (2010 World Cup qualification), the Monaco Grand Prix, the UEFA Super Cup and Futsal Championship, RTL Futsal as well as for TV shows and instructional DVD's for freestyle football.
Since winning his title in 2008, Garnier became a Red Bull athlete and has had the chance to become the Ambassador of Freestyle Football around the world, meeting football players and legends such as Neymar, Zidane, and many others.
Séan Garnier is the Co-Founder of the team Street Style Society (S3), a group of 15 dancers who share their knowledge about football and basketball freestyle.
Recently named as Los Angeles-based AEG’s first Chief Revenue Officer, Goldstein oversees the management, growth and financial oversight of key divisions of AEG including Global Partnerships, Premium Seating, Creative Services, Corporate Marketing and Public Relations, Merchandising and L.A. Events in addition to sales of The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE and the ownership agreement of the 1001-room / 54-story JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel at L.A. LIVE.
Prior to his current role, Goldstein served as President of AEG’s Global Partnerships business group, guiding the organization’s continued expansion in the area of sponsorship and naming rights sales, premium sales with existing AEG facilities, live events, sports franchises, music properties and international business development. Under his direction, AEG Global Partnerships achieved over $400 million of gross sponsorship revenue and premium sales.
Since joining AEG in 2001, Goldstein has initiated many of the company’s most comprehensive sponsorship and naming rights agreements on behalf of a variety of venues, sports franchises, developments and live entertainment properties. While creating and maintaining relationships with many Fortune 500 companies, he has been instrumental in overseeing the development of specific sales strategies for new venues and entertainment endeavors including premium seating at various venues. In February of 2011 the Global Partnerships group confirmed that Farmers Insurance had agreed to become the Naming Rights partner in AEG’s planned vision to bring NFL back to Los Angeles. The 30-year deal provides naming rights for a 1.7 million square foot stadium designed to host football games, international soccer matches and other championship competitions along with concerts and entertainment events. The stadium will be called Farmers Field and is the largest long-term commitment in naming rights history.
In just the last several years, Goldstein has secured the naming rights to two core AEG Live music assets – First Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado, and Best Buy Theater, a 2,100-seat venue that rests in the heart of Times Square. AEG created a partnership with Nokia as the platform partner for AEG’s L.A. LIVE development which includes Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live entertainment venue, and Club Nokia, a 2,200 seat venue showcasing the world’s best musical performers. The L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment district also features corporate partnerships with Wells Fargo, Toyota, Target, Panasonic, Coke, ABInBev, Fox Sports and American Express.
As a teenager, Victor Gutiérrez became passionate about social inclusion while working with at-risk children. This experience led him to co-found The Fútbol Más Foundation with his colleagues Rodrigo Abarzúa and Guillermo Rolando. Fútbol Más created a new sports-based methodology for transferring life skills to children and developing the communities in vulnerable neighborhoods. The methodology is based upon the concept of human resilience and focuses on putting the strengths and resources of children and their communities to work. It is called the Green Card Method.
Gutiérrez served six years as Fútbol Más’ Director of Social Intervention. During that period, the number of Fútbol Más’ community interventions grew by more than 10 times. Today, Fútbol Más is working in 70 separate neighborhoods spread throughout four Latin American countries. In 2013, Gutiérrez received an award from the Interamerican Development Bank for being among the top 25 Young Social Innovators from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In 2014, he became a fellow of the Global Good Fund in recognition of the positive impact his community leadership has had on vulnerable LAC communities. Later, that same year, he was chosen to become a part of The Global Shapers Hub in Santiago.
Today, Gutiérrez is the foundation’s International Director. He plans to use that position to bring the Green Card Method to all South American countries. He studied psychology at the Pontifical Universidad Católica de Chile.
The most recognized male figure skating star in the world, Scott Hamilton has won 70 titles, awards and honors including an Emmy Award nomination, induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In 1984, he captured the attention of the world with his Olympic Gold Medal performances in Saravejo, and has since shared his love and enthusiasm for the sport as a commentator, performer, producer and best-selling author (Landing It, 1999; The Great Eight, 2009). He further inspires others as a speaker, philanthropist and cancer and pituitary brain tumor survivor.
Hamilton is actively involved in his Scott Hamilton C.A.R.E.S. Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship), Chemocare.com, RadCare.org and patient mentoring program – the 4th Angel Network (in conjunction with CARES). He serves on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Provision Center for Proton Therapy. He is also the founder of the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, TN, where he can frequently be found coaching "Learn to Skate" students and sharing his love of skating.
In what little free time remains, Hamilton can be found on the golf course and enjoys spending time with his wife, Tracie, and four children at their home outside Nashville, Tennessee.
Rick Hansen is CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation and a passionate advocate for people with disabilities in Canada, as well as around the world. He is a celebrated Paralympic athlete and is best known as the “Man In Motion” for his epic two-year Wheelchair Around the World to prove the potential of people with disabilities.
Since the Man In Motion World Tour, Hansen has dedicated his life to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all by removing barriers for people with disabilities. Hansen and his team at the Foundation are working hard to change attitudes, create accessible spaces and liberate the amazing potential of people with disabilities.
Hansen and his wife of 27 years, Amanda, live in Steveston, B.C. and have three daughters, Rebecca, Alana and Emma. Amanda is a physiotherapist who worked with Hansen when he was a competitive athlete and she accompanied Rick on the Man In Motion World Tour. She is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Rick Hansen Foundation.
Since her career in Paralympic track & field began in 2002, April Holmes has continued to succeed, improving each and every step of the way. She has broken IPC World Records 14 times and American Records 18 times in the 100, 200, 400 meters and the long jump. Over her astonishing career, Holmes has put together several undefeated seasons, and her first Paralympic gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Games. Holmes put on the USA uniform again at the 2012 Paralympics in London and after a photo finish was awarded bronze in the 100 meters in front of a sold-out arena.
Off the track, Holmes runs the April Holmes Foundation, a non-profit organization assisting people with physical and learning disabilities with scholarships and medical equipment. Having completed her MBA in marketing, Holmes uses her education to improve the awareness of people with disabilities. She was recently named by the International Paralympic Committee’s “Top 10 Women in Paralympic Sport, NCAA 2015 Inspirational Athlete of the Year, has assisted First Lady Michelle Obama on the “Let’s Move” campaign, recently spoke at the United Nations Sport & Social Impact Summit and named to the Boston 2024 Board of Directors.
Holmes is a sought-after speaker and enjoys opportunities to share her life and gold medal with others. She has electrified audiences with messages of motivation, diversity, leadership, and marketing. Some of her clients include Deloitte, Disney, The Jordan Brand, Hartford Insurance, and BMW.
Holmes has been featured on multiple media outlets including NBC Today Show, CBS Early Morning, Fox, ESPN, BBC, Forbes, and Oprah’s “O” Magazine.
Holmes recently co-authored her first book entitled, “The Winning Way”, which hit Amazon’s Best Sellers List. Her second book, “Stop Limping Thru Life, Start Running” will be on bookshelves soon.
Chris Holmes is one of Britain’s most successful Paralympians, amassing nine gold, five silver and two bronze medals across four Games, including a haul of six golds at Barcelona 1992.
In 2013, Lord Holmes entered the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer. He is also a Non-Executive Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Lord Holmes was Director of Paralympic Integration at the London 2012 Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG); a vital role in ensuring consistent delivery across the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012.
Prior to working for LOCOG, he worked as a practicing lawyer and has also worked as a freelance journalist and broadcaster at sporting events across the world.
As a Parliamentarian, his main areas of interest are: sport, media, digital, education, employment, economy and diversity and inclusion and he contributes regularly to debates on these issues.
Lord Holmes was a member of the House of Lords Digital Skills Select Committee which published a final report “Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future” in February this year and has now been appointed to the Select Committee on Social Mobility which will report on findings early next year.
He also undertakes regular speaking engagements and consultancy work for corporate, sporting and community based organizations and is Deputy Chancellor of BPP University.
Lesley Irvine is the Director of Pomona-Pitzer Athletics as well as the Chair of the Department of Physical Education at Pomona College.
Irvine comes to Pomona and Pitzer after spending the past five years at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where she served as Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Administrator. Irvine has also been instrumental in championship hosting at Bowling Green. She served as the tournament director for the immensely successful NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament first and second rounds hosted at the Stroh Center in 2012, as well as oversaw the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Regional co-hosted by the Huntington Center.
A current member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) and the Alliance of Women’s Coaches (AWC), Irvine represents Bowling Green on the Midwest Athletic Conference Senior Administrator committee. She has presented on hiring practices at recent NACWAA conferences and the NCAA Inclusion Forum. Irvine currently serves on the AWC Board of Directors.
Tucker Kain was named CFO of the LA Dodgers and Managing Director of Guggenheim Baseball Management in 2012. Kain led the diligence effort in acquiring the Los Angeles Dodgers, the largest team sports transaction in history. Since the purchase, Kain has been a key member of the team to drive the revitalization of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, including leading Major League Baseball in attendance in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He was also instrumental in navigating the execution of the Dodgers’ 25-year agreement with Time Warner Cable to monetize the club’s local television rights, which included the creation and operation of a newly formed Regional Sports Network, SportsNetLA.
In 2015, under the direction of Kain, the Dodger ownership group launched a venture capital initiative to utilize the Dodger platform to create and participate in value and growth in the Sports and Entertainment industry. With a focus on technology, the Dodgers have initiated a business accelerator that is attracting interest from across the country and the globe and is scheduled to commence in August 2015 with a 10-company class of early stage businesses.
Previously, Kain was a Vice President at Guggenheim Partners in New York City, working in the corporate credit group overseeing an investment portfolio in excess of $2.0 billion. He grew up in Cleveland Ohio and received his B.A. degree in Economics from Williams College.
President and Founder of Global Aktivne, Indira Kaljo, originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia immigrated to the United States with her family to escape the war in Bosnia in 1992. She landed in Los Angeles and grew up there playing various sports from a young age. She played collegiate basketball at Tulane University and went on to play professionally overseas.
Due to the ban on headscarves during competition under Federation International Basketball Association (FIBA), Kaljo started the “FIBA allow hijab campaign,” #fibaALLOWhijab, and a petition online at change.org, which received 70,000 signatures. After a few months in 2014, FIBA approved a two-year provisional period allowing players to wear hijab, turban and yarmulke.
Through her personal experiences and work with girls and women, Kaljo saw that there is an opportunity for change through engagement and activity, and thus Global Aktivne came to life. This organization empowers girls and women through various peaceful activities globally.
Kaljo holds a Master of Science in Physical Education.
Margarita "Rita" Kalmikova is a retired Latvian swimmer, who specialized in breaststroke events. She is a two-time Olympian (1996 and 2000), and a former Latvian record holder in the 200m breaststroke (2:35.37). While studying in the United States, she achieved a school record in the 200-yard breaststroke, and was named five-time All-American as a captain and rookie of Lewis University's swimming and diving team. Since her sporting career ended in 2005, Kalmikova has extensively traveled across the United States to work as an assistant coach.
Alan Kasujja is widely regarded as one of Africa’s most prominent journalists. At the moment, he presents Newsday - the BBC World Service’s award-winning flagship news programme. It is considered the biggest programme of its kind in the world with tens of millions of listeners across the globe.
Alan has also reported for the UK’s most influential breakfast programme, Radio 4’s Today and for BBC TV. He’s recently presented a highly acclaimed three-part documentary series - My Africa - exploring the social and economic transformation of the continent.
Before joining the BBC, Alan was the host of Uganda’s leading morning radio programme on Capital FM. He also worked in Nairobi and presented the East African version of the TV series Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Yuna Kim is a South Korean former figure skater. She is one of the most highly recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea.
She is the first female figure skater to win all of the big four major games (Olympics, World Championship, Four Continents Championship and Grand Prix Final) under the current ISU judging system, broke the world record 11 times, eight of which being records she herself set. She is also the first female skater to surpass the 140-point and 150-point free skating mark and the 200-point total mark under the ISU Judging System. Throughout her entire career, Kim had never finished a competition lower than third place.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Yuna Kim broke her own world record once again by earning a total of 228.56 points and winning the gold medal. Her score of 228.56 is still the highest score in ladies figure skating, and many leading figure skating experts consider it unbreakable.
Yuna Kim contributes to society through many charitable activities. In January 2010, she donated 100 million won to help relief efforts in Haiti. Later she was named an international UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and participated in many activities such as the UN’s annual International Day of Peace Celebration.
Yuna Kim’s influence played an important role in Pyeongchang’s victory at the IOC bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. She was named a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics and an Honorary Ambassador for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in South Korea.
Chris Klein is President of the LA Galaxy and serves as the club’s top business executive overseeing all aspects of business operations, strategic planning and overall management.
Prior to being named President, Klein served as a Vice President for the Galaxy. Klein retired from professional soccer in 2010 following a distinguished 13-year career in Major League Soccer. As a player, the Indiana University graduate won the MLS Cup in 2000 and set MLS records for most consecutive games started and consecutive games played. Directly after his retirement as a player with the Galaxy, Klein served as the senior director of the LA Galaxy Academy from 2010 until February 2012, before being named vice president in 2012. In January of 2014, Klein was named to Sports Business Journal’s prestigious Forty Under 40 award.
A four-time All-Star in MLS, Klein ranks fifth in league history with 333 career games played as a member of the Kansas City Wizards, Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy, who he joined in June 2007. In his time with the Galaxy, Klein appeared in more than 100 games in all competitions, scoring five times and adding 15 assists.
In addition to his play in MLS, Klein earned 22 caps with the U.S. National Team, scoring five goals and adding three assists. He made his international debut in a 2-0 win over Mexico on 10/25/2000 at the Rose Bowl and scored his first goal for the U.S. in his eighth appearance, a 4-0 win over Canada in January 2003. He had two goals and two assists in six games for the U.S. in 2006, making his final appearance for his country in March of that year.
Klein lives in Newport Beach with his wife Angela and three children Carson, Cami and Brielle.
Over a period of several years, sportswriter Molly Knight gained unprecedented access to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization—the players and their families, the coaching staff, the ownership and the front office. In THE BEST TEAM MONEY CAN BUY: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse, she chronicles the tumultuous years when the Dodgers were completely overhauled—from the ownership to management to players on the field—to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the triumphs and chaos of a team under the microscope as it attempts to rebuild. In doing so, she delivers a revelatory look at the inner workings of a major league baseball team, and what it takes to make a team competitive today.
Knight wrote about baseball for ESPN The Magazine for eight seasons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Baseball Prospectus, and Variety. A native of Los Angeles and lifelong Dodgers fan, she lives in L.A. Visit www.MollyKnight.com. Follow @Molly_Knight.
Lance Knobel is Director of Programs at Richard Attias & Associates, a role he has held since the first New York Forum in 2010. Throughout his career, Lance has worked at the intersection of business, technology and geopolitics.
In 2001-02, he was Adviser, Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, London, Tony Blair's Downing Street think tank that examined medium- and long-range strategic issues. Lance was involved in work on science and technology policy, energy security and speculative work examining truly long-range challenges for the UK.
From 1992-2000 he was Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director, World Link, the magazine of the World Economic Forum. In addition to his responsibilities for World Link, in 1999-2000 he was Director of the Programme of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Lance has degrees from Princeton University and Oxford University.
Fabian Andres Koss is a Senior Specialist in the Cultural Solidarity and Creative Affairs Division of the Office of External Relations of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He was named the Youth Liaison immediately following the 1995 IDB-Israel Youth Forum, which was the first time that a multilateral bank brought together young leaders from around the world to discuss youth development issues.
Koss is one of the founders of the Inter-American Working Group on Youth Development, a consortium of international donor agencies, which seek to increase resource support and promote learning around effective youth development programs in the hemisphere. In 2000, the IDB Youth Program received the United Nations World Youth Award for its achievement in implementing the UN World Program of Action for Youth.
In 1999, Koss founded the Many Hats Institute (MHI). MHI is an international volunteer organization that is dedicated to improving the conditions for children worldwide. It is supported by a network of renowned professionals from diverse backgrounds who raise funds and provide assistance to promote community development and engage young leaders to become resources for their communities. Initiatives have included a Placido Domingo concert to raise funds for the victims of an earthquake in El Salvador. MHI has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, Harvard Business School, and AOL among others to leverage the time, talent and resources of the “Many Hatters” from around the world.
Elliot Kotek is the Content Chief and Co-Founder of Not Impossible. By utilizing crowd-sourcing to crowd-solve healthcare issues, Not Impossible aims to provide low-cost and do-it-yourself solutions, and to enable high-tech devices to reach people in need all over the world. Not Impossible is disrupting the status quo of accessibility by creating a sustainable cycle where collaboration inspires innovation and beautiful content compels action.
Not Impossible projects include - Project Daniel - 3D Printing Prosthetic Limbs for Children of War Torn Sudan (one billion+ media impressions); The Brainwriter - a prototype EEG sensor and eye-tracking device that enables those with ALS and other locked-in syndromes to create and communicate using just brainwaves and eye movements; the Robot Walker - pursuing a right to walk for kids with cerebral palsy; and Don's Voice - utilizing software to give audible speech to those without it (100 million media impressions in two weeks).
A former M&A/Biotech Venture Capital attorney in Australia and New York, Kotek holds a Law Degree, a BS in Pharmacology & Toxicology, studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York and completed UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. He’s the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Cinema magazine, the former Editor-in-Chief of both Moving Pictures and Celebs.com, has written for publications as diverse as The Hollywood Reporter, GQ, Flaunt and Inked, delivers a fortnightly report on ABC Radio Australia to an estimated one million listeners and has hosted events for Film Independent, SAG, the Writers Guild of America and film festivals globally. The feature documentary “140", which Kotek co-produced, is the first ever user-generated film made utilizing social-media. ”Little Larry,” which Elliot wrote, received a Directors Guild of Canada nomination, and his current productions include the St. Tropez film festival-winning documentary “Queen Mimi” with Zach Galifianakis.
Dr. Richard Kreider serves as Professor and Head of the Department of Health & Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. He holds the Thomas A. and Joan Read Endowed Chair for Disadvantaged Youth, directs the Exercise & Sport Nutrition Laboratory, and is a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Health & Kinesiology and Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
Kreider has published three books, over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, over 400 research abstracts, and 150 health and fitness related articles. According to Google Scholar, his work has been cited over 6,900 times in the literature. Kreider is a Fellow of the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM); an active member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a co-founder, board member and Fellow of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; founding Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; Fellow of the American College of Nutrition; and, a Board Member of the American Kinesiology Association. Kreider has received over 20 million dollars as a PI, Co-PI, co-investigator and/or consultant in external funding to support research related to the role of exercise and nutrition on health, disease, rehabilitation, and performance.
Internationally recognized human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, scholar and author, Richard Lapchick is often described as “the racial conscience of sport.” He brought his commitment to equality and his belief that sport can be an effective instrument of positive social change to University of Central Florida, where he accepted an endowed chair in August 2001 to lead the DeVos Sports Business Management Program.
Lapchick is a columnist for ESPN.com and the Sports Business Journal, has written 16 books and given more than 2,800 public speeches. He has been named the Florida Public Citizen of the Year, and was the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Work in Civil Rights from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/Push Coalition. He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame of the Commonwealth Nations in the category of Humanitarian along with Arthur Ashe and Nelson Mandela, and was honored by the Basketball Hall of Fame, the NY City Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Basketball Retired Players Association. He has received nine honorary degrees, is listed in Who's Who in America, and was named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports.
Lapchick was also one of 200 guests personally invited by Nelson Mandela to his inauguration after leading the American sports boycott of South Africa from 1975 until the end of Apartheid.
Eunice Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1990. Her family emigrated to the United States in 2003 to a city called Diamond Bar, CA and has been living there ever since. She originally got accepted to Occidental College as a biology major, but after realizing her true passion in film/media, she quickly changed her focus to Film/Media Studies and has been studying the entertainment business/industry ever since. After having graduated in May 2013, she has taken on various internships and jobs that range from development, production, to representation. Currently, she is an executive assistant to the Senior Vice President of Talent Division at Don Buchwald & Associates. Her ultimate goal is to be involved in creative development and production to create features that remain memorable in people's lives.
With a 25-year career serving high-profile nonprofits and top corporations, Steve is an established voice on sponsorship and branding, known for his unique ability to capture an organization’s distinct spirit and broadcast that message via large-scale public events.
After graduating from USC, Steve worked in the nonprofit sector until joining the Pasadena Tournament of Roses & Rose Bowl Game with a charter to attract corporate sponsors for the world-famous New Year’s Day events. As the Tournament’s first sponsorship and marketing director, Steve recruited corporate participants and built a sponsorship program that today generates significant income for the 127-year-old organization. In addition, Steve ran the department that oversaw all parade participants -- floats, marching bands, and equestrian units – and in so doing became uniquely familiar with the logistics of large-scale event operations involving thousands of participants.
In 2000, Walt Disney Imagineering tapped Steve for a new role as liaison between Disney corporate sponsors and its Southern California resort properties -- Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Part of the opening team for DCA, Steve worked with Disney’s participants as their sponsorships were activated and in that capacity, Steve finessed the seamless marriage of external corporate branding goals and timeless Disney storytelling.
From Disney, Steve joined Accenture (NYSE: ACN) a management consulting company serving more than 92 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500. As marketing lead for Southern California and Arizona, Steve oversees Accenture branding in the region, directs regional sponsorships, manages local media and client-targeting programs, and produces client-facing special events.
Steve serves on the advisory board of the Center for Nonprofit Management and is an occasional speaker at sponsorship and nonprofit conferences. He participates with various USC committees and is involved with a number of charitable organizations.
Wilfried Lemke, of Germany, was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace in March 2008. The Special Adviser leads and coordinates the efforts of the United Nations system to promote understanding and support for sport as an instrument for development and peace, and encourages dialogue, collaboration and partnerships in this area.
Lemke has over 25 years of professional experience in both sport and politics. From 1999 to 2008, he served as Senator for Interior and Sport as well as Senator for Education and Science of the State of Bremen, Germany. Lemke was General Manager of Werder Bremen for 18 years, one of the top football clubs in Europe. Throughout his career he has been a dedicated advocate for the importance of sport in education and society. He notably engaged in fundraising, the initiation and facilitation of various international relief projects.
Lemke holds a degree in Sport and Educational Sciences from Hamburg University. He was born on 19 August 1946 and is married, with four children.
During his career, Carl Lewis won nine Olympic gold medals and attended four Olympic Games, earning himself international respect and a place in history as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
An activist for family, youth, education, wellness and fitness, Lewis brings his international celebrity to generate global awareness of the challenges and opportunities surrounding these issues around the world.
During his career as an Olympic athlete, Carl Lewis was part of five American Olympic Teams, winning ten medals, nine of them gold. With unsurpassed talent in the long jump and his speed in the sprints, he has gone places where no other track and field athlete has ever gone. His five Olympic appearances are a record for a male athlete, and many of his Olympic performances set records. His impressive track and field performances have earned Lewis world-renowned fame and instant name recognition as one of the greatest athletes of our time.
Since his retirement from active competition in 1997, Lewis has devoted a great deal of his time and energy to charity, founding “The Carl Lewis Foundation,” which serves as an umbrella for the many charities that Lewis supports, including the “Best Buddies” organization and many youth fitness groups. He also established his entertainment business, the Carl Lewis Entertainment Group, which focuses on his acting career, film production, and Carl Lewis Athletics. In 2009 Lewis was honored to become a United Nations Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. At present, he is also a volunteer coach for the University of Houston Track and Field program.
As Head of Repucom’s Global consulting team, Glenn Lovett leads and support our highest priority global clients including FIFA, UEFA, Aspire, Man City/CFG, the AFL, SAP and the major leagues in the US (NFL, NBA and MLB). As a result, Lovett has expansive experience working across all major Global Sports markets.
Lovett joined Repucom from Octagon (owned by Interpublic Group/ IPG) where he was Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and India where he led the business to achieve double-digit year on year growth during his tenure. He also led the relationship and work for key clients such as MasterCard, Saudi Telecom (Sports Content Strategy), Samsung, Mars, Zurich and the Delhi Daredevils IPL team amongst others.
Prior to Octagon, Lovett worked as a Business Director at Red Bee Media (formerly BBC Broadcast, one of the world’s leading Media Management Companies and headquartered in West London, UK at the BBC Broadcast Centre. At Red Bee Media, he led the development of a Sports Business strategy to provide broadcast and digital content management services to leading global sports players. Lovett was also a key member of the BBC iPlayer development team and led key client relationships with BBC Worldwide and the BBC World Service.
Lovett was previously a Management Consultant with Booz & Co where he worked in the Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment Practice, and was a Strategic Planning and Sports Marketing Manager at Nike Australia. Glenn also co-founded Repucom’s leading competitor in Australia, The Gemba Group, and pioneered Australia Management Consulting services for the Sports industry in Australia
Jamal Mashburn is most known for his success on the basketball court. The former college and NBA All Star spent over 20 years with the Kentucky Wildcats, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and New Orleans Hornets, where he dribbled, dunked, and dazzled fans.
With a natural knack for teambuilding, Mashburn successfully assembled a team of professionals specializing in administration, finance, project management, insurance, and advertising. This team quickly developed an ownership model that resulted in an impressive business portfolio. To date, Mashburn has ownership interest in numerous restaurant franchises (38 Outback Steakhouse restaurants, 54 Papa John’s pizza restaurants, and five Dunkin Donuts stores), car dealerships, real estate, and the thoroughbred horse racing industry. Mashburn also served as an ESPN on-air NBA analyst from 2006-2010. Currently, he is a board member of the ROI Acquisition Corporation and recently opened Mashburn & Company, a real estate development and acquisition company.
Extremely civic-minded, Mashburn is committed to helping others and giving back to the community. In 1993, before he ever signed his first professional basketball contract, he donated $500,000 to establish and endow the Mashburn Scholarship Fund at the University of Kentucky. He is also a founding member, officer, and director of The MAP Foundation (focused on youth mentoring) and Mashburn Family Foundation (offering programs and support for latch-key children and children of alcoholics and single mothers), both of which are non-profit organizations. Mashburn also ensures that each of his businesses actively participate in their local communities by way of donations to various charitable organizations.
Mashburn has taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded to him and now encourages and inspires others to embrace his team-first attitude, helping them achieve success in business -- and in life.
Michael McCarthy has won both Best News Story and Best Project Reporting from Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) for the nation’s largest newspapers.
His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, Sporting News, CNBC.com, Newsday, USA TODAY, Adweek and the official publications of the Super Bowl and National Baseball Hall of Fame.
McCarthy is an expert in Sports Business, Media, Marketing, Entertainment, Automotive, Branded Content and Native Advertising.
He frequently appears on TV and radio networks, including ESPN, NBC, FOX, CBS, CNN, CNBC and the BBC, to discuss the latest news.
Patrick McClenahan accepted the role of President and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games after serving as the Chairman of the Los Angeles 2015 Bid Committee. The largest sports event since the 1984 Olympics, the World Games will feature 7,000 athletes from 177 countries. Supported by 3,000 coaches and 30,000 volunteers, they will compete in 25 sports over 9 days.
During the past 25 years, McClenahan has established a reputation as a strategic, results-oriented leader serving in senior level media executive positions at Prime Ticket, Fox Sports, KCAL, and CBS.
McClenahan has been honored with six Emmy’s for his work in sports television. He is also active in providing leadership in the community. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Southern California for 11 years. McClenahan also serves in leadership roles on the boards of the Los Angeles Sports Council, LA 84 Foundation, and the Ukleja (you-clay-a) Center for Ethical Leadership.
A native of Los Angeles, McClenahan is a University of Southern California alumnus. He and his wife, Karren, are the proud parents of Eric and Kelly. Kelly has Cerebral Palsy and is a key inspiration in Patrick’s desire to serve Special Olympics.
Jason McDevitt is the Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has worked with the Lakers for the last seven years. He oversees the team’s outreach initiatives and coordinates community efforts amongst the Lakers, their current and former players, corporate sponsors and the NBA.
Prior to joining the Lakers, McDevitt worked with the Capital Group Companies in Los Angeles. He holds a JD from Loyola Law School and a BA from Pomona College.
Jared Melzer is a student of sponsorships and enjoys learning about how brands drive value from their partnership investments. He’ll almost always choose the challenger brand over the market leader. The fun is not only in winning, but figuring out how to win as a team when the odds are not in your favor. As the Senior Sponsorship Manager at Farmers Insurance, Melzer works primarily on leveraging the company’s partnership with NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports team and driver, Kasey Kahne. A graduate of Penn State University and the University of Texas-Austin, Melzer has lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Madrid and currently calls California home. You can follow him on Twitter @jaredmelzer.
Elana Meyer’s defining moment was when she won a silver medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 – the first for South Africa in 30 years.
The abiding memory of the event was when the winner, Derartu Tulu from Ethiopia, and Meyer, the silver medal winner, embraced, draped their respective flags around their shoulders and ran an historic victory lap together.
Since retirement, Meyer invests her energy and experience into projects that can inspire, empower and encourage others. Elana believes strongly in the power of sports and the country she loves so dearly.
From 2007 to 2012, Meyer was the CEO of the JAG Foundation, an organization that uses sports as a catalyst to teach children to engage in physical activity and appreciate its values and benefits with the goal of holistically improving individuals’ health.
In 2013 Meyer returned to the high performance side of sports and founded ENDUROCAD, a non-profit organization which provides the opportunity for South African endurance athletes to improve their times, make a living from their talent and to build a brand and business for life after sport.
In 2014 Meyer joined the Cape Town Marathon team with a vision of building an iconic Marathon event for Africa.
Glyn Milburn is a member of the Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Business Team in the Office of Economic Development where he engages with businesses in sports, tourism, entertainment and fashion/apparel. Milburn’s role in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development is to help convene and build regional partnerships where stakeholders can work across borders for true collaboration and effectual improvements across our industrial ecosystem. He helped lead the City’s effort to secure one of twelve Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designations, where he has engaged relevant stakeholders to better coordinate and align regional resources for the furtherance of job growth. To date, this designation has brought over $58M into the region.
Milburn is also a founding member of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California, whose purpose is to engage at the local, state and federal level and support aerospace and defense industry partners and their supply chains from across the entire industrial ecosystem. Additionally, he has supported the City of Los Angeles’ regional effort to integrate a constellation of initiatives rolling out under the President's Ladders of Opportunity (AB86, Promise Zone grants, etc.) and to augment capacities in our key regional assets such as the Port of Los Angeles and LAX.
Milburn came to the Mayor’s Office after serving time as a Special Assistant for City Councilman Dennis P. Zine and City Council President Herb Wesson where he served in a variety of legislative and community support functions. In addition to his public service, he brings more than 18 years of experience as a business owner and manager in real estate, energy, and technology related ventures. Milburn successfully launched an Arena League Football franchise in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of Texas AF2 Holdings. Previous to his business career, Milburn was an All-American student-athlete at Stanford University, a post-graduate scholarship recipient from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, and two-time All-Pro Player in the National Football League.
A graduate of the program's inaugural class in 2006, Scott Minto has served as director of the San Diego State Sports MBA program since 2007. During this time, he has overhauled the curriculum to focus heavily on business analytics and sports industry integration of coursework. He created the sports industry's first Sports Business MBA case competition, which attracts some of the top sports-focused MBA students worldwide to the SDSU campus. He has authored ten MBA case studies for the event focused on sports organizations such as the USOC, IRONMAN, and IMG. Each year, in partnership with Major League Baseball, Minto takes SDSU’s Sports MBA students on a service-learning excursion to the Dominican Republic to study baseball’s cultural and economic impact on the developing country. On this trip, students work with baseball teams and NGOs to implement sustainable programs in the areas of education and health that serve the community.
Minto, a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, holds an MBA from the Sports MBA program at SDSU and lives in San Diego, CA.
Jeff Moorad was born and raised in Modesto, California. Moorad earned an Associate in Arts degree from Modesto Junior College in 1976, where he served as Student Body President. He then earned a degree in Political Science (B.A.) in 1978 from UCLA, and received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law (J.D.) in 1981.
As a co-principal of sports representation powerhouse Steinberg & Moorad, Moorad demanded that his clients understand the responsibility of serving as role models in their community, encouraging them to contribute millions of dollars to community programs, including their own non-profit foundations and alma maters. Leading by example, Moorad endowed a baseball scholarship in 1994 to his alma mater UCLA and recently finalized a $5.0 million gift for the “Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for Sports Law” at his law school, Villanova University School of Law.
After serving nearly five years as the head of Assante’s Sports Management Division, Moorad was presented an opportunity of a lifetime and was named a member of the executive team of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004. While with Arizona, Moorad was a General Partner, Chief Executive Officer, the spokesman for the Diamondbacks ownership group, and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the franchise.
In March, 2009, Moorad and a mostly California-based group finalized an agreement to purchase 50% of the San Diego Padres. In conjunction with the transaction, Moorad was named Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the club, roles which he filled until March 2012. After the negotiation of a $1.5B regional sports network agreement with FOX Sports, the club was sold for $800M, the 3rd-highest ever price for an MLB franchise.
Moorad is currently the Chairman/CEO of Moorad Sports Partners, LLC, an investment management company he co-founded with Peter Ueberroth in 2013. Moorad also serves as an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he teaches a “Business of Sports” class each year.
Born in the capital city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dikembe Mutombo is the seventh of ten children born to Samuel and the late Biamba Marie Mutombo. He arrived in the United States in 1987 on an academic scholarship to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
He has gained notable highlights throughout his NBA career such as four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time NBA All-Star, and two-time J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner. Mutombo has been named ABC’s Person of the Week, Essence Magazine’s 2001 Achiever, and Sporting News’ No. 1 Good Guy. He has been featured in Europe’s TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Houston Chronicle.
Mutombo has served on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, and was a board member for George Washington University’s Africa Center for Health and Security. He presently serves on the boards for the National Constitution Center, Opportunity International, and UNICEF. Mutombo has impacted lives both on and off the court.
Delise S. O’Meally was named Executive Director of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) in August 2014. The Consortium, founded by Richard Lapchick in 1985, uses the power of sports to affect positive societal change. NCAS educates and empowers individuals and organizations through inspiring values-based thinking leading to actions that promote social responsibility and equality.
O’Meally, a former collegiate tennis player from Montego Bay, Jamaica, has been involved in athletics administration for more than 21 years with almost 17 years of service at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). While at the NCAA, O’Meally worked closely with the NCAA Executive Committee, oversaw the work of Association-wide committees, and guided the implementation of several NCAA social justice policies. In 2010, she created and implemented the international affairs program at the NCAA.
A prominent voice in international university sports, O’Meally serves as the Vice President of the United States International University Sports Federation (USIUSF), First Vice President of the Organización Deportiva Universitaria Panamericana (ODUPA) – the Pan American University Sports Federation, she sits on the International University Sport Federation (FISU) Executive Committee as well as the FISU Commission on the Global Development of University Sports, and is the Pan American regional representative on the FISU Gender Equality Commission. One of her most rewarding experiences was serving as Deputy Head of Delegation for Team USA during the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia, an event in which she competed for Jamaica in 1993.
A vocal advocate for opportunities for women and people of color, and a passionate believer in the unique power of sports to break down barriers and contribute to a peaceful and just society, O’Meally has earned an MBA and a Juris Doctorate and admittance to the Indiana Bar.
As a professional skateboarder, Dallas Oberholzer has skated in parks in over 40 countries and has become a world leader in utilizing skateboarding for social change by founding Indigo Skate Camp, and more recently, the Indigo Youth Movement, an NGO creating sustainable skateboarding environments.
Indigo is a registered non-profit organization currently running after school skate workshops every day of the week in both the Zulu community and in the greater Cape Town ghettos. Skateboards for these programs are supplied by Element Skateboards, while Laureus funds the various operational costs.
Indigo provides a platform for youth from diverse backgrounds to meet on equal footing and utilizes skateboarding as a vehicle to educate them about sexual abuse and drug and gang prevention. Indigo also makes it it's mission to recognize and develop the skills of their participants, opening up the possibility for them to gain lifelong employment.
Soeren Palumbo is a co-founder of Spread the Word to End the Word, a global public engagement campaign to end the hurtful use of the words "retard(ed)." Since its founding in 2009, Spread the Word has engaged millions of young people in schools and communities around the world to create environments welcoming of people with intellectual disabilities, beginning with more inclusive language. You can find out more about Spread the Word to End the Word online at www.r-word.org.
Palumbo is also a co-founder of Special Olympics College, a network of 150+ student organizations that engage college and university students in the mission of Special Olympics and Unified Sports. He is a director on the boards of Family Member, an organization aimed at ending negative stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities, and PALS Programs, which provides summer camps and other opportunities for young adults with Down syndrome.
One of his three sisters, Olivia, has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, as have many of his friends and peers.
Palumbo works for the Boston Consulting Group and holds JD and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Jenna.
Travis Pastrana is one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of Action Sports. He has won championships in both two-wheel and four-wheel competitions with a career encompassing Freestyle Motocross, Supercross, Motocross, Rally Car Racing, NASCAR, and Off-Road. Travis’ fan base spans the spectrum of sports from Action Sports enthusiasts to mainstream sports fans fueled by a lifestyle apparel brand and live tour. Travis has the ability to engage with one of the most diverse demographics in all of sports.
Beyond his athletic prowess, Pastrana is the creator and superstar of the Nitro Circus franchise, which includes sold out World Tours, a successful TV series, and a 3D feature film.
Pastrana spends his time traveling the world with his wife, professional skateboarder Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, and their two young daughters. Pastrana, whose success and considerable adoration that accompanies him, has maintained a reputation for being just like the guy next door – maybe nicer.
Tom Penn is President and Co-Owner of LAFC, an expansion Major League Soccer club that will begin play in 2018. Penn is overseeing all aspects of the creation and construction of a new stadium, team, practice facility, academy, and related operations. LAFC is building a state of the art soccer stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
Penn is Co-Founder of the Sports Leadership Institute, an organization that produces private meetings and programs for sports team owners, sports executives, college athletic directors and retired athletes.
Penn is also an NBA analyst on ESPN, where he regularly appears on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs. Prior to joining ESPN, Penn spent four seasons as VP of basketball operations and assistant GM of the Portland Trail Blazers, and seven seasons as assistant GM/legal counsel of the Memphis Grizzlies. He is widely known as a top expert on the NBA salary cap and collective bargaining agreement. Prior to joining the Grizzlies, he helped broker the purchase of the Grizzlies franchise.
From 1993—1999, Penn worked as a criminal defense attorney and basketball player agent. Penn’s charitable passion targets pediatric cancer and catastrophic diseases affecting children. He is a longtime board member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Children’s Cancer Association in Portland. Penn graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois College of Law.
Michael Phelps is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished athletes of all time with 22 Olympic medals, and more gold medals, world championships and world records than any other swimmer in history. Phelps’s international titles and record breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. His unprecedented success has garnered global recognition including Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year”, GQ’s Men of the Year, GQ Russia’s “International Man of the Year”, and inaugural recipient of Laureus World Sports’ “Exceptional Achievement Award.”
Phelps used his $1 million performance bonus from winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lifestyles, especially for children. A Global Ambassador for Special Olympics International and National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Phelps has been recognized for his work with the Michael Phelps Foundation to help address water safety that has included the AAFA’s “Humanitarian of the Year” award and Boys & Girls Clubs of America “Champion of Youth” award. Phelps, who has published two autobiographies (No Limits: The Will to Succeed; Beneath the Surface) and one children’s book (How to Train with a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals) is a highly regarded inspirational speaker as he shares his message – Dream, Plan, Reach – with corporations, trade associations, and community organizations.
Marc Pollick is Founder and President of The Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic consulting, management and administrative services to professional athletes, celebrities, high net worth individuals, existing nonprofit organizations and others who desire to give back. An internationally recognized speaker, writer and consultant on philanthropy and charitable giving, Pollick has guided the philanthropic efforts of sports legends Yao Ming, Doug Flutie, Magic Johnson, Ben Roethlisberger and Arian Foster, and entertainment stars Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Maria Bello. He has been featured and interviewed by a vast array of news, sports, entertainment and philanthropy media such as ESPN, Forbes, USA TODAY and Sports Business Journal, and will soon be hosting an athlete philanthropy interview segment on MSNBC's "Sports Matters".
Pollick believes that everyone has an inherent desire to give back and leave some mark on society beyond fortune and fame. He is passionate about helping successful individuals identify and express that desire through consulting, mentoring and management of philanthropic assets.
Prior to entering the philanthropic world, Pollick had an extensive career in academic Holocaust Studies, working with 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Elie Wiesel. He was Founding Executive Director of the Zachor Institute for Holocaust Studies and founded The Elie Wiesel Institute for Humanitarian Studies. Marc was recently recognized for his achievements as a recipient of the prestigious University of Chicago Alumni Award for Public Service.
Katie Ramage currently serves as Director of Sports Marketing at The North Face, where she is responsible the strategic development and growth of all global athletes, events, expeditions and partnerships that authenticate the core of the brand.
Ramage has been with The North Face since 2004, having previously served as the company’s Athletes and Expeditions Manger/Senior Manager. In this role, she was responsible for managing budget, global expeditions, appearances and endeavors for 40+ professional snowboarders, skiers, climbers and endurance athletes.
During her time at The North Face, Ramage’s marketing and management focus have helped redefine policies and techniques that have increased the efficiency of The North Face brand’s exploration investment, which have helped ensure the brand’s leadership in the outdoor and exploration industry.
Ramage’s outdoor focus extends well beyond joining The North Face in 2004. Between 1993 and 2002, she worked with Backroads International, where her marketing and advertising career of the seven years prior evolved into her guiding more than 60 biking, hiking and multi-sport tours in eight countries.
Ramage holds a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts. In addition to helping The North Face establish relationships with elite athletes in the outdoor space, she also lives the brand through her personal passion for running, mountain and road biking, yoga and climbing.
Jamie Rocha is a Senior Associate with GlideSlope, a collective of professionals with a passion to help clients create more enduring relationships with their audience by better leveraging the full power of sport. GlideSlope works with some of the world’s biggest brands, offering unique insights, crafting platforms and developing frameworks that authentically tap into the social and emotional undercurrents of global sport.
Rocha was GlideSlope's first employee and has helped significantly grow the company by supporting and leading efforts for GlideSlope clients looking to leverage global sport to solve business challenges. Rocha has lead a number of blue-chip client initiatives including AB InBev, Bridgestone, Dow Chemical, The North Face, PepsiCo, Cole Haan, Johnson & Johnson, and McDonalds. Of note, Jamie leads GlideSlope’s Sport & Social Good client and partnership work and developed the GlideSlope for Good initiative.
Prior to GlideSlope, Rocha worked in financial marketing for Northwestern Mutual and International Securities Exchange. She began her career in non-profit marketing for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Rocha received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Marketing from Fordham University, and a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell. Philanthropy is an integral part of Rocha's life and she is currently the Executive Chair of the Friends of St. Jude board in Manhattan and volunteers often in her community. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Whether as a community organizer or an economist, researcher or social entrepreneur, Nadia Roumani has worked tirelessly to uncover hidden talents within individuals and organizations, and to build collaborative, creative, learning communities committed to social change.
She first learned to take a people-centered approach from economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. After graduating from Stanford, Roumani worked with Stiglitz to launch the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, where she earned a master’s degree in international affairs.
In the next ten years, Roumani launched several initiatives and organizations addressing a wide range of global social and economic issues: from the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum with Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson, to the Global Policy Innovations Program at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, to the International Network of Foundations with the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
In Roumani’s desire to understand and bring about systemic change, she not only worked with global institutions, but also prioritized change at the grassroots level. In 2008, she co-launched the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California.
Roumani is currently the Walter and Esther Hewlett Design Fellow with Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS), where she is leading efforts to apply design thinking to foundations and nonprofit organizations to increase their ability to collaborate and innovate. Her work and experiments with dozens of foundations can be found at designthinkingphilanthropy.org.
Roumani was an inaugural d.school Fellow in 2012-13, where she applied design thinking to her portfolio while a program officer at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and to launch the Muslim Giving Project.
Claude Ruibal is a senior level leader with extensive knowledge and experience with content distribution, creation and monetization across traditional and new social media platforms. He has broad relationships across sports globally, having worked extensively with all major leagues, teams, broadcasters, agencies, sponsors, event organizers, content creators and athletes worldwide. His background includes a proven ability to start and manage new ventures including early stage conceptualization and strategic planning; seed, venture and private equity fundraising, strategic partnerships, staffing, financial management and legal structural development. He has broad experience developing and executing integrated consumer-marketing and sales programs requiring interaction with product, agencies, events, personalities, broadcasters, new media platforms and brands. Ruibal most recently was responsible for growing the sports content offerings across the YouTube and Google platforms. While at Google his team successfully closed content deals with virtually every major sport and league worldwide. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of Universal Sports, a cable and online network distributing Olympic sports content in partnership with Comcast-NBCUniversal. Before that Ruibal held a variety of management roles at Ask Jeeves; The Coca-Cola Company; ISL Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.
Tracey Russell joined LA MARATHON LLC as Chief Executive Officer in 2013. In her first few months in that role, she spearheaded the successful city-wide effort to secure Los Angeles as the host of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for the Men’s and Women’s Marathon. Additionally, Russell and her team have delivered highly-successfully and ‘sold out’ ASICS LA Marathons in both 2014 and 2015, providing a world class experience to over 26,000 runners at each event and further solidifying the marathon as a must run global race.
Russell previously served as the executive director of the Atlanta Track Club and race director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race – the world’s largest 10K running event with 60,000 participants. Before that, she served as director of events for the Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers. In 2010, Russell was awarded the Women’s Running magazine Trailblazer Award, a national award presented each year at the Running USA conference recognizing a woman in the running industry who has been a leader and a pioneer and has served the sport with distinction.
Russell currently serves on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Sports Council, Students Run LA, Ragnar Relay Series and the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission Advisory Board. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Russell received a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she was a collegiate swimmer. She’s a former high school All-American and was a participant at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials in Swimming.
Kim Samuel has over two decades of leadership experience in business, philanthropy, development of multi-stakeholder partnerships and academic research.
A pioneer in the field of social isolation and connectedness, Samuel combines academic research, writing and lecturing with direct programmatic and partnership building experience supporting communities across the globe facing diverse challenges. Her work focusing on social isolation as a critical experiential and measurable component of multi-dimensional poverty underscores the importance of social connectedness to human dignity and human rights struggles globally.
Samuel is Professor of Practice at the Institute for Studies in International Development, McGill University. Samuel also serves as a Policy Advisor to the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) where she was a Visiting Scholar (2013 and 2014).
As President of The Samuel Family Foundation, she has actively engaged in a number of collaborative partnerships directed toward global poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, youth empowerment, Indigenous and human rights advocacy, preservation of traditional arts and wisdom, disability rights and family support. As a Director of The Samuel Group of Companies, founded in 1855, Samuel has advanced corporate leadership within Canada and internationally and in particular with regard to corporate social responsibility.
Martha Saucedo, a highly-experienced public affairs and government relations specialist with expertise in both the public and private sectors developing and implementing political, communications and community engagement strategies, is responsible for developing and managing AEG’s public and community affairs policies, charitable involvement and oversight of the organization’s outreach and development programs.
Having joined AEG in 2001, Saucedo additionally oversees AEG’s philanthropic initiatives as well as the charitable foundations established by AEG. Under her guidance, L.A. LIVE’s annual “Season of Giving” and AEG’s “2000 Act of Hope” were developed to provide platforms and encourage giving to non-profit organizations where AEG operates.
Saucedo received local and national recognition for the creation of a comprehensive Community Benefits Program associated with the development agreement for L.A. LIVE. The groundbreaking accord focused on delivering comprehensive public benefits programs in the areas of affordable housing, development of parks & recreation space and local hiring. She has also been responsible for the development and implementation of AEG’s community engagement strategies around large private-public developments such as StubHub Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Ms. Saucedo serves as a representative to the Central City Association Executive Committee and is on the Board of Directors for Inner City Arts, the Expo Center in South Los Angeles, the South Park Business Improvement District as well as the California Hospital Medical Center Community Advisory Board. She is a former elected representative on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and was honored as a “Mover and Shaker” by the CCA, as a “Community Builder” at the 2012 Crystal Eagle Awards hosted by CORO Southern California and in 2013 by the Sports Business Journal with their “Forty under 40” award as one of industry’s most influential sports executives under the age of 40. A native of Southern California, Ms. Saucedo attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she received her degree in Political Science.
Tokyo Sexwale is a South African businessman, politician, anti-apartheid activist, and former political prisoner. A charismatic leader, Sexwale was imprisoned on Robben Island for his anti-apartheid activities, alongside figures such as Nelson Mandela. After the 1994 general election—the first universal franchise election in South Africa—Sexwale became the Premier of Gauteng Province. Later, he served in the government of South Africa as Minister of Human Settlements from 2009 to 2013.
He is also known as a philanthropist and is a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Global Philanthropists Circle of the Synergos Institute, the Business Trust and the Robben Island Ex-Prisoners Trust. Furthermore, he is a patron of societies such as Johannesburg Child and Family Welfare Society, Streetwise South Africa (an organization dedicated to assisting street children), Save the Family Fund (catering for families and communities ravaged by apartheid violence) and The Sky is No Limit (which aims to expose disadvantaged youths to hi-tech education in computers and aviation).
Sonal Shah is an economist and entrepreneur who has spent her career focused on actionable innovation in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
She spent seven years at the U.S. Department of Treasury where she was an international economist working on timely development issues, including post-conflict development in Bosnia, Asian financial crisis, and poverty reduction in Africa. She then went to Goldman Sachs and Google while simultaneously co-founding Indicorps, a nonprofit building a new generation of socially conscious global leaders. She is a senior fellow at the Case Foundation and the Center for American Progress. Sonal serves on the boards of Social Finance and the Washington Area Women's Foundation and served as the Chair of the G7/G8 taskforce on Impact Investing.
Ambassador Derek Shearer is the Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College where he directs the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs. A graduate of Yale University, Shearer served as US Ambassador to Finland in the Clinton administration. He has served as a public diplomat for the US State Department in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and as an adviser to the head of the US military's Central and Pacific Commands. He was a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential campaign, and to Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008. He has lectured at leading universities including Harvard, Cambridge, and Melbourne. His articles on politics, economics and diplomacy have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many professional journals. He frequently writes on current events for the Huffington Post.
As Vice President of FOX Collegiate Properties, Dan Shell is responsible for FOX’s strategic business development in the college space. He oversees the entities that manage the multimedia rights on behalf of USC Athletics, L.A. Memorial Coliseum, and Georgetown Athletics, as well as operation of two Las Vegas college basketball tournaments owned by FOX.
Additionally, Shell serves as General Manager of USC Sports Properties where he is responsible for all aspects of the property sales rights, including venue signage, radio, internet and corporate sponsorship at all athletic facilities. His mission is to create long-term strategic partnerships through customized, integrated marketing programs that deliver great value while addressing the needs and objectives of corporate partners, USC and stakeholders.
Shell came to FOX and USC Sports Properties from IMG College, where he most recently served as Director of Regional Sales creating innovative partnerships for blue chip brands across multiple schools around the country. Prior to that, he served as IMG College General Manager of the West Coast Conference Corporate Partnership program. Before joining IMG College in 2008, Shell spent more than a decade in both coaching and administrative roles at several Division I schools. Recognized for his influence in the sports media industry, Shell is a member of Sports Business Journal’s prestigious “Forty Under 40” Class of 2015.
Daina Shilts began her Special Olympics participation when she was 8 years old as a Cross Country skier. However, it was apparent early on that she really only wanted to go down hills, so she switched to Alpine Skiing. After dedicating 4 years to training and racing Alpine, she was so intrigued by Snowboarding that she crossed over and never looked back.
She continued to perfect her technique, earning a spot on Team USA, where she was able to compete at the 2013 World Winter Games in Korea. She earned 2 Silver and a Gold medal. It was here that she had the opportunity to compete in the Unified Snowboard competition, where she first met and competed with Hanna Teter.
In 2015, Daina was chosen to compete at the Winter XGames in Aspen, CO. Her partner was once again her friend and role model, Hanna Teter. Together they won an XGames Silver medal in the Unified Dual Slalom.
Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. She creates socially conscious television, books, films and digital media with the purpose of informing, inspiring and igniting hearts and minds in a discussion that produce positive impact in the world.
Since 2009, Shriver, along with A Woman’s Nation, the non-profit she founded, has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in American culture and society affecting modern women and their families today. The most recent, “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” was released in 2014 in partnership with the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert,” which was executive produced by Shriver and HBO’s Sheila Nevins. In 2015 she and A Woman’s Nation released the first Shriver Report Snapshot: An Insight Into the 21st Century Man, a survey of the state of the American Man.
Shriver also served as an executive producer on the masculinity-examining documentary “The Mask You Live In” and the Oscar award-winning feature film, “Still Alice,” an adaptation of Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel of the same name, which tells the tale of a woman affected by early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation’s premier forum for women, The Women’s Conference. Shriver’s work, and website, MariaShriver.com, is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change — people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution.
Timothy Shriver is Chairman of Special Olympics and in that capacity, he happily serves together with over four million Special Olympics athletes in 170 countries, all working to promote health, education, and a more unified world through the joy of sports.
Before joining Special Olympics in 1996, Shriver was and remains a leading educator focusing on the social and emotional factors in learning. He co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading school reform organization in the field of social and emotional learning. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a non-executive director of WPP.
Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master's degree from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He has produced four films, written for dozens of newspapers and magazines, founded an ice cream company, and been rewarded with degrees and honors which he didn’t deserve but happily accepted on behalf of others.
Shriver lives in Washington, DC with his wife Linda and their five children.
Justine Siegal is the Associate Director of Sports Partnerships at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society. She is the Founder of Baseball for All, an organization that provides meaningful opportunities and instruction in baseball, especially for girls. As the Chair of the Women’s Commission for the International Baseball Federation, Siegal helps oversee the development of girls and women’s baseball around the world. A true pioneer, she is the first woman to coach first base in men’s professional baseball (Brockton Rox, CanAm League) and the first woman to throw batting practice to a MLB team (Cleveland Indians, 2011). Siegal received her PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Springfield College (MA).
David Simon, President of the Los Angeles Sports Council, has played a significant role in virtually every major sporting event that has been brought to the Los Angeles area in the last 25 years. In lists published in the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Business Journal, he has been recognized as one of the area's "top 20" most influential sports executives.
Simon has been active in international sports since 1977 when he became involved in the Los Angeles bid to host the 1984 Olympic Games. As Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, he worked for over five years as one of Peter Ueberroth's right-hand executives in staging those Games.
He is a member of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Board of Directors. His civic involvement also includes serving on the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. For ten years he served as either Chair or Co-Chair of the International Relations Committee for the United States Olympic Committee, as well as on the board of USA Field Hockey. In his capacity as President of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, he helped lead Los Angeles’ 2012 and 2016 Olympic bids.
Simon currently serves as the United States representative to the Badminton World Federation. He also is one of two Vice Presidents of the World Union of Olympic Cities, an organization headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and he has attended 12 Olympic Games (7 summer, 5 winter). A native of Los Angeles, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA and the UCLA School of Law. He is a member of the bar in both California and Washington, D.C.
Man Jit Singh is the President of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE). Singh oversees all aspects of the worldwide home entertainment division, including sales, marketing and operations.
Prior to joining SPHE, Singh was Chief Executive Officer, Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. (MSM), the operating company that manages Sony Pictures Television’s TV networks in India, which includes the channels SET, SAB, PIX, AXN, MIX, SIX, LIV and MAX. He continues as Non-Executive Chairman at MSM.
Singh has a strong background in technology, entertainment, and consumer products, with more than 20 years of experience in global operations, working in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He was the Chief Executive of Talent Tree Staffing, as well as the Founder and Chief Executive of internet start-ups, such as Futurestep.com and Compete Inc. Singh spent much of his early career in general management consulting, and he held senior positions at several firms, including The Cast Group and Cresap in Los Angeles. He began his career at Nestle India.
A resident of Los Angeles, Singh received his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business, with a B.A. in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi University, Delhi, India. He has a post-graduate diploma in Management from The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.
Charles D. Smith, Jr. is currently the Chairman/CEO of the Professional Basketball Alumni (“PBA”), which represents former NBA Players worldwide in the areas of promotions, merchandising and licensing. The PBA’s mission is to create financial, charitable and educational opportunities for its clients and neighbors by using the game of basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange. The PBA will produce the 4th annual Alumni conference in 2015 with athletes from all sports.
Smith’s last position was the Executive Director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Under his leadership, the organization was restructured and met all of its required goals and objectives.
A pioneer in the technology industry, a founder and now principal of New Media Technology Corp., in 1997 Smith developed and still owns several prestigious Customizable Video Based Application Technology patents used in providing content media management services.
Under the umbrella of Fluid Marketing, Smith produced nationally televised events—including Battle of the Basketball Stars and A House Full of Toys Concert, headlined by Stevie Wonder.
Smith was a US Olympian and during his NBA career he filled the position of First Vice President specifically created for him by The NBA Players Association. Additional honors include recognition by Urban Profile Magazine as a winner of the 1992 “30 Under Thirty” Entrepreneur Contest, the 2003 "Top 40 under 40" Entrepreneurs in the state of New Jersey by NJ Biz Magazine. Through Smith’s vast knowledge, he has been invited to participate in discussions hosted by some of the most prestigious companies, such as the Forbes CEO Forum, General Electric and the Milken Institute. Smith is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current MBA student at Seton Hall University.
Charles has been married for 23 years to his beautiful wife Lisa and they have four boys named Christian, Chaz, Chayce and Chandler.
Sanjay Sood is the Professor of Marketing at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research and teaching expertise lies in the area of brand equity and consumer decision-making. At UCLA Anderson, Sood is the Faculty Director for the Center for MEMES and previously served as the Faculty Director for the Behavioral Research Lab. Sood obtained his Ph.D. in Marketing from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Sanjay also received an MBA degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, majoring in marketing and strategy. He completed a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Sood has won several awards for excellence in teaching and student mentoring, including the Niedorf Decade Teaching Award at UCLA. Actively involved with industry, Sanjay has worked with several leading marketing companies, including HSBC, Sony, Starbucks, Levi-Strauss, Disney, Microsoft, Intel, and Kaiser Permanente.
Mark Spitz is one of the greatest living sports legends and most remembered by his astonishing win of seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Until the 2008 Games, Spitz held the record for the most Olympic Gold medals during one Olympics by a single Olympian.
Between 1965 and 1972, Spitz won a total of 11 Olympic medals: nine gold, one silver and one bronze. During those years, he set 33 World records. He was voted “Athlete of the century” in water sports and one of six “Greatest Olympians” by Sports Illustrated in 2000.
As his focus on swimming slowly began to fade, he became an entrepreneur. He started a successful real estate company in Beverly Hills and continued to capitalize on his success. As the real estate market started slowing down, he shifted his focus to the stock market. He became a stockbroker and now concentrates in private equity. He continues to seek and pursue opportunities that he feels would be a successful investment.
In 2008, Mark released a self-published book “The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion.” The book gives insight from Spitz himself, his coaches and competitors as well as shares his journey from his early years, to his success as a college athlete at Indiana University to his lucrative Olympic career.
Paul Swangard is a recognized thought-leader in sports marketing, having just stepped down after 14 years as Managing Director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. The industry think tank serves students, faculty and staff by facilitating experiential learning programs, research projects and collaborations with sport industry partners worldwide. In addition to his role leading the program, Swangard taught at the undergraduate and graduate level and lectured in Europe, China and Singapore. He also served as the center’s primary industry analyst providing perspective for media outlets covering the business of sport.
In his new role that began July 2015, Swangard focuses on managing global partnerships for the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business to strengthen international opportunities for students and faculty. He will also continue to teach sports business courses and support the international partnerships at the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center he helped to establish during his tenure as Managing Director.
As President of Bowerman Curve Collective Swangard works as a consultant with leading brands including EA Sports, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and Runnerspace.com. He is also a sought after announcer/commentator for track and field and road racing events, having worked events for NBC Sports, USA Track and Field and the IAAF. He was awarded the Scott Davis Excellence in PA Announcing by the Track and Field Writers’ Association in June 2015 and was inducted into the University of Oregon Track and Field Hall of Fame in May 2014.
Judy Sweet served as NCAA Senior Vice President for Championships and Education Services from 2001-2006. Currently, she serves on several boards including the ESPNW Advisory Board and Women’s Sports Foundation Advocacy Committee, as well as providing Title IX consulting work nationally for universities and organizations.
Prior to her work with the NCAA, Sweet served as Director of Athletics at the University of California, San Diego for 24 years. She was the first woman in the nation selected to direct a combined men's and women's intercollegiate athletics program.
Sweet was elected to a two-year term as President of the NCAA in January 1991 and was Secretary-Treasurer of the NCAA from 1989 to 1991, the first woman to serve in each of those positions. Her other NCAA committee service was extensive; having served on more than 20 committees as well as on various local, state, and national boards.
In 1990, the Los Angeles Times selected her as the Top Southern California College Sports Executive of the 1980s. Other honors include four honorary doctorate degrees, several Halls of Fame, and the 1998 Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women's Collegiate Athletics. In 2006, she was listed among the NCAA’s Centennial Anniversary 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes and received the NACDA James J. Corbett Memorial Award. In 2007, she was named by the Institute for International Sport as one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America. In 2012, Sweet was honored by the Sports Business Journal as A Champion, Pioneer and Innovator. In 2014, she was honored by Women in Sports and Events (WISE) as a Woman of Distinction.
Hannah Teter is an American snowboarder and an Olympic champion, who has had six World Cup victories in her career. She has competed and placed in numerous championships, beginning with the Bronze medal at the 2005 FIS World Championships at Whistler, British Columbia, followed by the Gold medal in halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy and the Silver medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver in the women’s halfpipe. In 2010, Teter was also one of four American athletes chosen to model for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in a section devoted to Winter Olympians. In 2014, she came in fourth at the Winter Games in Sochi.
Teter is noted for her charitable work and is the founder of her own non-profit organization called Hannah’s Gold, which raises money for the community of Kirindon in Kenya. She is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics
Etan Thomas played professional basketball for 11 years in the NBA for the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks. However, Thomas is more than an athlete; he’s redefined himself as the “Activist Athlete,” who defies the stereotype of the apolitical athlete and has planted his roots in his formidable literary career, passion for mentoring, and civic engagement.
Born in Harlem, New York and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thomas’ childhood was surrounded by books on the civil rights movement, politics and the 1960’s. He was greatly influenced by his mother, Deborah Thomas, a schoolteacher, who instilled in her two sons to think critically and use their platform to make a difference.
In 2005, Thomas released his first book: a collection of poems called More Than an Athlete that set Thomas apart as “this generation’s athlete with a moral conscious and a voice.” In 2012, Thomas released his second book, Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, as a national conversation about fatherhood ensued and The Fatherhood Movement was borne. Thomas continues this conversation holding Town Hall panels throughout the country at prisons, churches, and schools where he continues to inspire, motivate and support generations. In January 2013, he released Voices of the Future, a collection of poems and essays from young writers from around the country on topics such as Racism, Trayvon Martin, President Obama, Fun Violence, and Aids.
Thomas was honored for social justice advocacy as the recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award, as well as the 2009 Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. Foundation, Inc. Legacy Award.
His writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN, ESPN, Hoopshype.com and slamonline. He can frequently be seen on MSNBC as a special correspondent for “hot topics.” He continues to be invited on syndicated radio and co-hosts a weekly local radio show on WPFW 89.3FM, The Collision, where sports and politics collide.
Lesa Ukman has been a marketer, an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, author and a producer. She created the blueprint for municipal marketing and the analytics to select, value and measure partnerships of all kinds—sports, arts, entertainment, destinations and nonprofits. The commonality behind all of her experiences is the conviction that in a world of over-supply and commoditization, the needs of business and those of the local and global communities in which they operate are entwined.
She founded IEG in 1982, unleashing the idea that businesses that are a force for good—that deepen bonds with customers, prospects, employees and other stakeholders by partnering with the things people love—outperform their competitors by a huge margin. It caught on like wildfire, spawning an industry that today is worth more than $57 billion worldwide and changing marketing for good and forever.
IEG has continued to shape and define sponsorship over three decades. It is the globally recognized source for industry insights, trends, training and events via sponsorship.com, its annual conference, online publications, trend reports, surveys and webinars.
IEG is part of ESP Properties, a WPP company. As a commercial and creative advisor for rightsholders, ESP Properties helps organizations unlock greater value from their audiences and brand partnerships. ESP Properties’ consulting team assesses and advises how to grow the value of rightsholders’ commercial programs through a full range of services across data, digital and content development to better understand audiences and create more relevant ways to engage with them. This provides brand partners with new ways to connect with communities of fans and followers, growing the potential value of commercial partnerships.
Ukman remains an avid champion of the industry, interpreting sponsorship’s broader impact on society, including an expanded notion of ROI to capture not just financial outcomes but social ones as well.
Since 2004, Dr. Xavier Valle has been the team doctor at the FC Barcelona Medical Department as well as an assistant professor at the School of Sports and Exercise Medicine at the University of Barcelona. In 2009, Dr. Valle joined the Clínica Mapfre de Medicina del Tenis (National Spanish Tennis Federation) as a Sports Physician. He is also member of the ECOSEP Vice chair and Scientific Committee.
His main clinical specialties include the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of sports injuries and musculoskeletal pathologies, as well as all soft tissue Injuries including muscle Injuries, DOMS, tendinopathies and the groin. He holds a MD in Sports Medicine from the Sports Medicine School Universitat de Barcelona as well as an MSc in Sports and Exercise Management from Universitat de les Illes Balears and an MSc in Clinical Investigations.
Dr. Alberto Mendez-Villanueva is a senior football strength & conditioning coach at ASPIRE Academy, which he joined in 2007. He is also the strength & conditioning coach and sport scientist of the Qatar Football Association U23 squad where he prepares the future Qatari football starts to compete in the World Cup 2022 to be hosted in Qatar.
Alberto has published more than 70 peer-reviewed research papers in leading sports science and medicine journals and has been an invited speaker to many sport science conferences and training courses.
He holds a PhD in Sports Science and a MSc in Exercise Physiology.
Lesley Visser is the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all time. She is the first and only woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the only female sportscaster to have carried the Olympic torch; the only woman to have presented the Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl; the first woman on the network broadcasts of the NFL Final Four and Super Bowl, as well as the NBA Final Four and Finals.
She was voted “Outstanding Female Sportscaster” of all time by National Sportscasters of America, and was also voted to the Sportswriters Hall of Fame for her work at the Boston Globe, National Magazines, and CBS.com. Visser was the first and only woman to win the Billie Jean King “Outstanding Journalist” Award and was also elected to the Sports Museum of Boston. She has been on the Board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research for more than 20 years, while also serving as mentor to young women for decades. She and her husband, Bob Kanuth, a former captain of the Harvard Men’s Basketball team, live in Bal Harbour, Florida.
Mary Abigail "Abby" Wambach (born June 2, 1980) is an American soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year. Wambach has played for the United States women's national soccer team since 2001. She played college soccer for the Florida Gators women's soccer team while attending the University of Florida, helped the Gators win their first NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship, and was recognized as a three-time All-American.
A six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, Wambach has been a regular on the U.S. women's national soccer team since 2003. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals. Wambach has competed in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments: 2003 in the United States, 2007 in China, 2011 in Germany, and 2015 in Canada, being champion of the last edition; and two Olympic tournaments: 2004 in Athens and 2012 in London winning the gold medal on both.
Wambach is known for scoring goals with diving headers, a technique she began honing as a youth in her hometown of Rochester, New York. One of her most notable header goals occurred in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil. Wambach scored the equalizer in stoppage time helping the Americans to eventually progress to the championship final against Japan after defeating Brazil in penalty kicks.
In 2012, Wambach was awarded the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first American woman to win the award in ten years. In May 2015 she was included in Time Magazine’s Time 100 list as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Casey Wasserman is the Chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group, a leading sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing and management agency that represents brands, properties and talent on a global basis.
Wasserman also serves as President and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation, a private family foundation founded in 1952 by his grandparents Lew and Edie Wasserman. The foundation currently funds in the areas of education, arts & culture, service and global initiatives. Wasserman is also a Trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation, a Trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a member of the Executive Committee for the UCLA Centennial Campaign.
Wasserman holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and resides in Los Angeles.
Chris Watts’s career has focused on the intersection of sports, society, and business. Currently Chris is the Executive Director of the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (NFFSN). The NFFSN was established by an Act of Congress to support the mission of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The NFFSN works with the President’s Council to identify the most effective programs helping Americans live active, healthy lives and brings them to scale by generating private sector investments and partnerships.
Watts is also an Advisor for 4POINT4, a sportswear company that gives back, and Pursu.it, a crowdfunding platform for amateur athletes. Watts recently served as Managing Director of 4POINT4 and was instrumental in developing their innovative business model and executing partnerships with nonprofits across the country. Previously, Watts led strategic partnerships for the President's Council in support of the First Lady’s Let's Move! initiative, managing numerous White House projects and directing cross-sector partnerships with hundreds of national stakeholders.
Watts has been named a Forbes 30 under 30 for sports and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. A Pittsburgh native and Carnegie Mellon University graduate, Chris earned an MBA from George Washington University.
Few professional football players have perfected the transition from the gridiron to the broadcasting studio, but former All-Pro defensive end Marcellus Wiley is one of them. He has found two stable homes in the ESPN Studios located in Los Angeles, California, where he is the co-host of both SportsNation (which airs weekdays at 12PM PST on ESPN2) and Max & Marcellus.
Wiley also makes regular appearances on NFL Live, SportsCenter, First Take, ESPN News, ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning show and is a regular contributor to ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage.
A native of Compton, California, Wiley played college football at Columbia University, earning his first team all-conference honors in 1994, and was named Sports Illustrated National Defensive Player of the Week when he had two sacks, forced and recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown as a running back. Wiley graduated from Columbia University with a degree in sociology and was inducted into the Ivy League Hall of Fame in 2012.
A second round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1997 NFL Draft, Wiley played for four teams throughout his career which included: Buffalo (1997-2000), San Diego Chargers (2001-03), Dallas Cowboys (2004) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2005-06). Wiley was considered one of the NFL’s top defensive players during the prime of his career. He was voted as a starter for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, and also named into Pro Football Weekly’s All-AFC Team.
In addition to his athletic success, Wiley was honored academically as a National Award Winning Typist, a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the National Honor Society. In 2009, Wiley was named the recipient of the Advocate Award by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence for his invaluable activism and dedication to raising awareness about reducing gun violence. Among his varied interests, Wiley is a featured contributor to Athletes Quarterly and an accomplished DJ under the moniker "Dat Dude".
Recognized as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, Mel Young is a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum and a Senior Ashoka Fellow.
Previously, he worked as a journalist; co-founded The Big Issue in Scotland in 1993; co-founded Senscot (Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland); former co-founder, President and Honorary President of INSP (International Network of Street Papers).
He also set up City Lynx magazine and New Consumer Magazine and worked on a community newspaper in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh in 1990s.
He is currently the President of the Homeless World Cup, which he co-founded in 2003. He is building a new social business, called the Homeless World Cup Supporters Club, which launched in 2014 (www.homelessworldcup.org). He is non-executive Vice Chairman of Sportscotland and a non-executive director of Glasgow Life; member of the World Economic Forum Sports Agenda Council.
He has been awarded five honorary degrees, and is the author of Goal: The story of the Homeless World Cup.
Farhan Zaidi is currently the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Prior to his current position, Zaidi spent ten seasons with the Oakland A’s, beginning as a Baseball Operations Analyst in 2005. In 2009, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager and Director of Baseball Operations. His primary responsibilities included providing statistical analysis for evaluating and targeting players in the amateur draft, free agent and trade markets. He also assisted on arbitration cases and minor league contracts as well as worked closely with the coaching staff during the season in analyzing data from advance scouting reports.
Prior to joining the A’s, Zaidi served as business development associate for Small World Media, the fantasy sports division of The Sporting News, and also worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
Zaidi, 38, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 and a Ph.D in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. He is married to Lucy.