Vinicius “Vina” Tinoco was born in Sᾶo Paulo, Brazil in 1981. He began skateboarding at 12 years old and by 23 was volunteering as a mentor to troubled youth in a juvenile detention center teaching life lessons through skateboarding. These same lessons combined with near life-long support from his community helped Vina formulate a vision for his own life’s mission. In 2006 he traveled to California intent upon infiltrating the “ground zero” of skateboarding, and the concept for Next Up Foundation was born. It is Vina’s dream to instill in the world the kinds of qualities that skateboarding taught him…resilience, dedication, balance, passion, humility, camaraderie, the list goes on. Next Up empowers underprivileged youth by connecting them to education through skateboarding and creating opportunity for success never before imagined. Today the organization has served over 15,000 participants and is growing. We are excited to include Vina’s unique perspective on the sport of skateboarding in today’s panel.
Dr. Tiffany Berry received her PhD in Developmental Psychology & Evaluation, specializing in the development of intrinsic motivation among youth who participate in afterschool programs. This research led to her working as an Internal Evaluation Consultant for one of the nation’s largest after-school programs, Los Angeles’s Better Educated Students for Tomorrow (LA’s BEST) where she initiated an evaluation infrastructure to facilitate continuous quality improvement. Since 2004, Dr. Berry has been dually appointed as a Research Associate Professor in the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and Associate Director of the Claremont Evaluation Center. She regularly teaches graduate courses in program evaluation and positive developmental science, trains graduate students in evaluation science, and evaluates youth development programs trying to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Berry has directed more than 75 program evaluations across a range of content areas (e.g., college readiness, youth sports, social-emotional learning, afterschool programs) and diverse agencies such as Beyond the Bell at the Los Angeles Unified School District, After School All-Stars, Los Angeles, Montebello Unified School District, Project GRAD Los Angeles, Youth Empowerment Seminar, Los Angeles County Office of Education, First Five Los Angeles, National Endowment for Financial Education, The Gabriella Foundation, and Pearson Education. These evaluations have been designed to drive organizational improvement, identify critical conditions for success, and track optimal youth outcomes over time. More recently, she has partnered with LAUSD and the LA84 Foundation to evaluate the middle school sports program in LAUSD to understand the impact of high-quality school-based youth sports programs as well as how and why youth outcomes emerge during sports participation.
Since 2004, Dr. Berry and her colleagues have disseminated their evaluations broadly. She has published over 75 technical evaluation reports, published peer-reviewed articles in leading evaluation journals (American Journal of Evaluation and New Directions for Evaluation) and youth development journals (Journal of Early Adolescence), and presented her findings annually at scientific and practitioner conferences. In 2014, Dr. Berry was appointed to the Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee (ERAC) with the Afterschool Division of the California Department of Education. In this capacity, Dr. Berry worked to ensure that evaluations across the state were useful, feasible, and promote continuous quality improvement. More recently, Dr. Berry was appointed to the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) workgroup at the California Afterschool Network.
Sarah Robinson, a Los Angeles native, is a rising junior at Washington Preparatory High School. At Washington Prep, Sarah participates in the Brotherhood Crusade Lady Generals Leadership Program, Washington Prep Wellness Committee as a Youth Wellness Ambassador, a Youth Community Organizer, and participant on the Varsity Track Team. Sarah’s favorite subjects in school are health and history. In her spare time Sarah likes to play basketball, attend sporting events, hang out with her friends, shop for the latest sneakers, and volunteer in her community. Sarah has a knack for putting the needs of others in front of her own desires, which guides her in wanting to have a career in Public Service. Her favorite US Olympian and roll model is 1984 Gold Medalist, Florence Griffith. Sarah’s favorite quote is, “For every breakdown in life, there is an opportunity for a breakthrough”.
Sarah Tuakli Cooper is the Executive Director for the non-profit charity YALLA, San Diego which is on a mission to remove the social and economic barriers that confront refugee and immigrant youth. YALLA combines the promise of education and the passion of soccer to inspire refugee and immigrant youth to achieve a college education.
Originally from London, Sarah is an experienced and proven leader in the nonprofit sector, specializing in working for Community Arts Programs in urban areas. She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology, philanthropy and higher education, most recently setting up and running her own brand marketing business. She is also an active voice in the nonprofit sector in San Diego as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and CASA trainer with Voices for Children.
Sam Polk is the co-founder and CEO of Everytable, a social enterprise that sells fresh, healthy grab-and-go meals affordable for all, and founder of Groceryships, a Los Angeles non-profit working at the intersection of poverty and obesity. Prior to becoming a social entrepreneur, Sam was a hedge fund trader on Wall Street. Sam’s memoir, For The Love of Money, was published in July 2016 by Scribner. He has penned two OpEds in The New York Times, and his writing has also been published in The Los Angeles Times, CNBC.com, and The Huffington Post. He is a graduate of Columbia University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Selema “Sal” Masekela is a beloved commentator, journalist, musician, and producer best known for his work presenting NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series; ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games, which he hosted for 13 years; his cultural reporting in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup; and hosting E!’s Daily 10.
Selema is currently executive producing and appearing as host in VICELAND’s highly-anticipated docu-series, VICE World of Sports, which premiered April 27th, 2016. The series takes viewers all over the world to explore each location’s people, politics, and culture through the lens of the one thing that connects them all: sports. The series premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22nd, and according to Deadline.com “Always much harder to make than they look, sports documentaries and sports investigations score when they take the viewer beyond the stats and even the athletes and into the context that creates the competitor and the game – and that’s what VWOS has nicely done.”
Selema’s creativity and mastery of storytelling extends behind the camera to his production company, UX Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, UXE specializes in film, commercials, music videos, and animation work. The award-winning work of UXE puts it in elite company amongst the boutique production firms in entertainment and sports. Their latest project, Let It Play: Hard Lovin’ Woman, a heavy-hitting documentary featuring the never been told story of Oscar-nominated actress Juliette Lewis, will premiere at Tribeca in the Short Film program on April 15th. Launching globally on Red Bull TV on April 23rd, the short film, developed in association with Red Bull and directed by actor and director Michael Rapaport, explores the sacrifices Lewis makes to pursue her first love, music—from putting her acting career on hold and self-financing a music career to assembling her very own rock band, The Licks.
On the sports front, in 2015, Selema joined the Emmy-award winning investigative series VICE on HBO as a correspondent and executive producer. That year, he also appeared in the remake of the cult classic Point Break. In February 2014, he made his Olympic broadcasting debut from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, reporting features for NBC’s nationally syndicated Olympic Zone. In 2012, Selema helped launch the one-of-a-kind action sports programming block Red Bull Signature Series (RBSS) for NBC Sports and its action sports brand Alli. As the face of RBSS he navigates viewers through extreme competitions in motorsports, bike, surf, and snow. In addition to RBSS, Selema also produces and develops original content for the multi-platform media company Red Bull Media House.
When he was a teenager, Selema’s unique upbringing brought him to Southern California, where he was first exposed to surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. His love for sports, extraordinary athletes, and the culture surrounding them gave Selema the unparalleled perspective he used to become today’s media authority on action sports. His ability to relate to athletes and tell their stories in a humanizing, personal way that resonates with viewers has made him a favorite not only within the action sports community, but with everyone on the receiving end of his remarkable insights.
A native of New York, Selema’s flair for entertainment emerged at an early age as he toured the world with his father, South African jazz icon Hugh Masekela. Selema’s own band, Alekesam, shares the name of his first film which chronicles his relationship with his father and their connection through music, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. Alekesam’s music has been featured on Entourage and House of Lies, with their newest single, All Is Forgiven, featured on the season four premiere of the Showtime hit.
His creative aesthetics also extend into fashion through his clothing company, Art of Craft, which donates a percentage of every sale to charity. Selema is often called upon to apply his encompassing and captivating style of hosting to live events, including YouTube’s Brandcast in New York and Paris, YouTube Live on Stage from the Kennedy Center, and Google’s Zeitgeist.
In addition to his hosting, producing, acting, writing, fashion and voiceover work, Selema offers his name and time to the charity he co-founded, Stoked Mentoring, a nonprofit action sports organization for at-risk youth whose mission is “developing successful teens with opportunity, knowledge, experience, and determination through the use of action sports, mentoring, and coaching.” He also serves on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Ryan Eckel, Vice President, Brand at Dick’s Sporting Goods and co-Executive Director of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, is responsible for brand strategy and identity, content and campaign development, consumer insights, media strategy, integrated marketing, digital marketing, PR and private brand development. He is also an Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentary “We Could Be King”, the Emmy-nominated film “Keepers of the Game”, and has developed campaigns that have received Grand CLIO, Cannes Gold Lion and Gold Halo awards. As co-Executive Director of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, Eckel also oversees the Foundation’s flagship Sports Matter initiative, which raises awareness and funding to enable youth sports participation nationwide.
Prior to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Eckel spent nearly 10 years at PUMA SE, most recently as Head of Marketing for Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, where he was responsible for leading all aspects of PUMA’s brand growth and localization in those markets. Previously at PUMA, as Global Head of Marketing Strategy and Operations, Eckel led the development of PUMA’s brand strategy and positioning, global category marketing and consumer research. He started at PUMA as a Global Strategic Planner, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Eckel holds a B.S. from Yale University and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and three children.
Pablo Garcia is the Director of Planning & Special Projects for the United States Soccer Federation; he brings extensive experience in finance & business operations, including stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and Dodgers, as well as boutique sports marketing firm, Premier Partnerships. Outside of sports, Pablo most recently led business change for Anthem where he implemented a Voice of the Customer platform for their 40 million members. Pablo has a degree in Engineering from Stanford and received his MBA from The Marshall School at the University of Southern California, with a focus on finance and strategy. He is a Southern California native and recently moved to Chicago for his role with the Federation.
Neftalie Williams lectures and conducts research at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and as a PhD Candidate at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Williams is the first skateboarding and educational envoy for the US State Department. He is the 2017 LA84 Foundation Research Fellow and researcher for USC AISMS. His work involves the analysis and documentation of the effects of globalization on issues of diversity, identity and youth empowerment, using the lens of skateboarding and emerging sport culture. Neftalie Williams’ also teaches USC Annenberg’s ASCJ 420: Skateboarding and Action Sports in Business, Media and Culture. Neftalie is the Co-Chairman of the College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF), former Chairman of Cuba Skate and the recipient of the 2016 USC Black Alumnus Award. His work in skateboarding culture and skateboarding diplomacy has been featured on NBC, The AM show in New Zealand, PBS News Hour, The Atlantic, Epóca Magazine and the Washington Post, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington
Natalie Vie is a Team USA athlete competing on the FIE World Fencing Circuit since 2011. Vie only began fencing at the age of 18 after reading the Catcher in the Rye for her High School English class. With a background in dance, she walked on to her University’s club fencing team at Arizona State University where she went on to win the US National Collegiate Championship title four consecutive times. Vie fenced on the US Developmental Circuit throughout college and then joined the FIE World Circuit competing for Team USA. She currently holds 3 US National Championship titles.
Vie was the fourth alternate to the United States Olympic Fencing Team at both the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where the US Women’s Epee Team captured the Bronze medal. Vie has written about her athletic experiences for CNN, Huffington Post, People en Español, and in her blog SuperSonicNava.com. Vie worked with the US Olympic Committee Community Development Program, 2012-2017, where she coached and mentored youth throughout New York City. Vie has been involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation since 2011. Natalie also studies yoga, herbalism, and traditional Chinese medicine as a complement to her physical training and is currently completing a sustainability residency at the CalEarth Institute where she is studying adobe architecture and permaculture. Natalie is working towards becoming sustainable and zero waste by 2028 and hopes to influence others to do the same.”
A former collegiate athlete, NCAA Division I assistant basketball coach and athletic administrator, Megan Kahn brings a vast perspective to the Alliance of Women Coaches. She assumed the role of Executive Director on August 1, 2016. In her first year, she has already spearheaded the first-ever annual giving campaign, secured several sponsors and strategic partnerships, including adidas, ARMS Software, LA84, Positive Coaching Alliance, and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Prior to assuming the executive director position, she served in several capacities for the Alliance, focusing on coordinating event and educational program operations and building connections and engagement through social media and communication strategies.
In 2013, Megan founded her own collegiate consulting company, KAHNSULTING, in which she collaborated with administrators and coaches across the country in various championship and event management roles. She served as the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four tournament manager, overseeing game operations in Tampa.
Kahn spent four years at the Atlantic 10 Conference office, most recently as associate commissioner from 2010-12, where she served in many capacities, including men’s and women’s basketball oversight, strategic planning, and social media efforts. She was the director of the 2010 and 2011 A-10 Men’s Basketball Championship before overseeing all facets of the Conference’s women’s basketball operations during the 2011-12 season. Prior to the Atlantic 10, Megan worked at the Atlantic Coast Conference office, where she was as an administrative assistant for women’s basketball.
Kahn got her start in the collegiate ranks as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the NCAA Division I level before deciding to pursue administration. After leaving the coaching profession, she was an intern for the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) in 2005 (now known as Women Leaders in College Sports).
Megan is dedicated to personal and professional development, having graduated from the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (2004), NACWAA/HERS (2006), and the Sports Management Institute (2011-12). She holds a master’s degree in sports management and is also a certified Health Coach and aromatherapist. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, long walks on the beach, hiking in the mountains, and spending time with family and friends.
Martha Saucedo, Executive Vice President of External Affairs for AEG, is a highly-experienced public affairs and government relations professional with experience in both the public and private sectors developing and implementing political, communications and community engagement strategies.
Having joined AEG in 2001, Ms. Saucedo is responsible for leading AEG’s external affairs team which is the primary contact for all issues that relate to public and community affairs, charitable involvement, corporate communications and issues that involve public interest in the organization’s outreach and development programs. She is responsible for developing the organization’s priorities with respect to local communities and public affairs. In addition, she oversees AEG’s philanthropic initiatives as well as the charitable foundations established to provide funding to non-profit organizations that work to improve educational and recreational opportunities for children.
Martha is responsible for implementing the landmark L.A. LIVE “Community Benefits Agreement”, including over $6M in funding for affordable housing and $1M in funding for parks and recreation developments. In addition, she has been responsible for development and implementation of community engagement strategies around large private-public developments such as the StubHub Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills. She manages company-wide philanthropic initiatives such as AEG’s Season of Giving and also serves as co-chair of AEG’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Prior to joining AEG, Ms. Saucedo worked on behalf of Mattel, Inc managing relationships with local, state and federal elected officials. She was responsible for advising senior management on pending legislation with potential impact to the company as well as maintaining key relationships with both business and community-based organizations.
Ms. Saucedo also has significant experience working in the public sector, having worked for former U.S. House of Representative Member, Xavier Becerra. In this position, Martha was responsible for monitoring and analyzing policy changes affecting local transportation, housing and healthcare issues in the district office.
Martha currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Central City Association and serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Expo Center, the California Hospital Medical Center Community Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees for the California Science Center. She is a former elected representative on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and was honored as a “Mover and Shaker” by the Central City Association of Los Angeles, a non-profit business advocacy organization dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles. Coro Southern California awarded her with the “Community Builder” award at the 2012 Crystal Eagle Awards. She was also selected by the Sports Business Journal as a “40 Under 40” award recipient, presented to the most promising young executives in the sports industry. Most recently, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored her with the Deborah Award, presented to women whose professional leadership and civic contributions exemplify the ideals of the ADL. A native of Southern California, Martha received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Maricela Rosales is a Los Angeles native. She found her passion of climbing and the outdoors while attending UC Riverside where she graduated with a BA degree in Sociology/Law & Society. Through her exposure to the outdoors, Maricela pushed through disability barriers and found her calling. She began working for Mad Rock Climbing as a product rep and brand ambassador which paved the way to further educating and immersing herself in the outdoor industry and the community. Maricela splits her time between coordinating outdoor programs for Latino Outdoors and coalition-building through the Access Fund. At Latino Outdoors, she organizes monthly hikes, climbing events, and expanding accessibility to different types of outings. At the Access Fund, Maricela works to build a relationship with the Los Angeles climbing community, local climbing organizations, public land managers, and the San Gabriel National Monument partners and rangers. Fostering excitement, advocacy, and stewardship. She hopes that her influence will inspire other communities to explore the outdoors and join the climbing community.
Liz Wolfson, the fourth child in a family of competitive athletes, was reared on a backyard basketball court where she learned how to use both hands for lay-ups and to never let her brothers knock her down. Always the quiet rebel, Liz hated being told what to do by anybody and decided not to settle on the career path in organizational management set before her. At age 40 with a newborn in her arms, she thought it the perfect time to start up her dream project that would model for her children what it would mean to vision, create, struggle, and succeed. Feeling that the educational opportunities for girls in America were insufficient to match the reality of growing up in today’s world, Liz became the Chief Visionary Officer of the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools Inc., a game-changing educational model focused on positive gender identity and integrated movement.
Lawrence Cann, is the Founder and CEO of Street Soccer USA, a leading organization in the use of sport for social change.
Award and Recognition: In 2017 New York University awarded Lawrence the Lauren Beam Philanthropy in Sports Award. In 2012, Lawrence was selected as one of 15 AMEX Ashoka Emerging Leaders in Social Entrepreneurship. He has also been honored by People Magazine, being named a Hero Among Us in 2009 and as the 2010 winner of the Kuykendall Award for Community Service, his alma mater, Davidson College where he was a scholarship soccer player, 4-year starter, and named the team’s most valuable player. Lawrence is a recent MBA graduate of Columbia University where he has planned the growth and development of the SSUSA social enterprise.
Background: Lawrence is the oldest of five boys in a large family from Richmond, Virginia. The family house burned down when Lawrence was only in only in elementary school. Though difficult, the experience taught him what it means to have a community of support, which he experience through his family and through his soccer teammates. Lawrence went on to play Division I college soccer, but it was after school, volunteering at the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, NC that he began creating an network of support for youth and adults through community based soccer teams, which has grown from that one team into a national community of 15,000 players across 14 cities dedicated to supporting one another in achieving their goals in life.
LaVal has spent over 25 years in nonprofit management, and is an experience executive, with a love for organizational development, fundraising and volunteerism.
Currently, LaVal is the Executive Director for Playworks leading the Southern California region. Playworks is a national nonprofit working with elementary schools to create safe and healthy play for thousands of children throughout the region. LaVal leads a team of 56 team members who are passionate about children’s well-being and physical activity
Kimberley Layton joined the Chargers in June of 2000. Initially recruited to create and direct the new Chargers Corporate and Community Relations Department, over the years her responsibilities have grown to include expanding the Chargers business, governmental, educational and charitable relationships as well as directing activities of the Chargers Community Foundation.
The Foundation’s premiere and highly acclaimed granting program, Chargers Champions, has been providing grants to schools for physical fitness, nutrition and athletic improvements since 2001. In that time, more than $5.5 million dollars have been awarded to assist schools, teachers and students.
Kimberley’s efforts in supporting and promoting youth sports, especially youth football and cheer – helped the Chargers be selected as the NFL Team of the Year by National Pop Warner in 2007 and again in 2015, the only NFL team to receive this prestigious honor twice. Kimberley was also recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Amateur Football by the National Football Foundation in 2011.
Prior to joining the Chargers, Kimberley served as the City of San Diego’s Director of Intergovernmental Relations, running programs in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and then as Chief of Staff to Mayor Susan Golding, responsible for overseeing and advising on all major policies and proposals affecting the City of San Diego.
Kimberley received her degree from the University of California at Irvine. She is past President of San Diego Bowl Game Association which produces the annual Holiday Bowl – pitting a Pac12 team against a Big10 rival; is a member of Rotary’s Club 33 and serves on numerous boards and organizations throughout the region.
Kimberley was selected in 2012 as one of the Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and has twice been named one of the “50 to Watch” by San Diego Magazine. Kimberley has also received numerous community awards including the annual High School Sports Association’s Community Service Award for her service to the region’s children.
Professor Shropshire is CEO of the Global Sport Institute and the Adidas distinguished Professor of Global Sport at Arizona State University. He recently closed out a thirty-year career as an endowed full professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, Professor of Africana Studies, and Academic Director of Wharton’s sports-focused executive education programs. He now holds the title of Wharton Endowed Professor Emeritus.
His career has been highlighted by leading the launch of several noteworthy ventures in a variety of sectors including: leading the boxing competition during the last profitable Olympic Games, which was also the most televised event of the Games in 1984; founding and leading the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, one of the world’s most respected sports business think tanks in 2004; serving as a founder and board member of the Valley Green Bank, which was sold to Univest Corp. for $76 million in 2014; and guiding the launch of the non-profit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) in 2016 and serving on its board. As a sports-industry leader he is former President of the Sports Lawyers Association, the largest such organization in the world, and also former Program Chair of the ABA Forum Committee, Sports Law Section. His views and insights on the sports industry can be heard weekly on SiriusXM’s Wharton Sports Business Show, which he cohosts.
As an author, his most recent books are Sport Matters: Leadership, Power, and the Quest for Respect in Sports; Negotiate Like the Pros: A Top Sports Negotiator’s Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships and Getting What You Want; and Being Sugar Ray: The Life of America’s Greatest Boxer and First Celebrity Athlete. Additional works include the foundational books In Black and White: Race and Sports in America; The Business of Sports; and The Business of Sports Agents. His twelfth and current book project is The Mis-Education of the Student Athlete: A Manifesto to Fix College Sports, which will be published in September 2017.
Shropshire’s consulting roles have featured a wide variety of projects including work for the NCAA, Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Football League Players Association, the United States Olympic Committee and PGA golfer Rory McIlroy. In addition to RISE, he serves on the board of directors of Moelis & Company, a global independent investment bank, on the non-profit board of USA Volleyball, and as an advisor to the Sixers Innovation Lab.
Shropshire earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University and a law degree from Columbia University, and is a member of the California bar. He joined the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney in Los Angeles prior to working with the 1984 Olympic Games and beginning his lengthy career at Wharton.
Keith Ramirez has been working for Beyond the Bell for almost 7 years. Keith started off as a sports coach and recently got promoted to a site coordinator. With this program, he teaches students how to work for something important and how overcome obstacles that they will come across in high school.
Keith is a native of Los Angeles, California. Keith was born, raised, and educated in South Central Los Angeles. Keith studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and Biola University. During the time Keith was in college, he began to work with young people in his church and with several community based programs. Keith’s ability to relate to young people and identify with their issues has helped him reach many youth that others had given up on. Part of his ability to understand youth, especially those in the foster care system, is his personal background; Keith spent six years in the foster care system.
Keith’s desire to make more of an impact in the lives of youth led him to work with National Family Life and Education Center, “Rites of Passage Program”. In the fall of 2007, we transitioned into Falcons Youth and Family Service (FYFS) a community based organization; FYFS assist young people in the process of becoming positive, productive members of society. Young people are taught the importance of support system, how to network and fully utilize supportive services to become self sufficient. Many young people need to free themselves from the power of past pain and disappointment in life. Keith’s mission is to help young people discover the tools to reshape and redirect anti-social behavior. Young people are taught the importance of support system and how to network and fully utilize supportive services to improve the status of their lives.
Keith’s work has been highlighted by Rachel Ray Show, HBO Real Sports, KNBC News, and KTTV Good Day LA. Keith has been the recipient of numerous awards for his work with youth and families such as the University of Notre Dame O’Leary Award, “Best of the Best” Community Service Award, the Watkins Award for Community Service and Bounty Celebrating Those of Give Award.
Keith has a passion to share his foster care experience and his successful transition into adulthood; his mission is to empower parents, relative caregivers and foster parents with the tools needed to successfully move abused, neglected and wounded children from a point of pain to power. Keith experience, passion, and mission have put him in great demand as a teacher and speaker for youth empowerment workshops for many community colleges and community based organizations.
Keith’s motto “It’s Time to Teach New School Kids, Old School Values.”
BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success), which began as a small idea presented to a few moms in Natick, MA, has since grown to more than 2,500 enrolled schools! Parents, teachers, and communities across the US and beyond have adopted BOKS, affecting the lives of thousands of children on a day-to-day basis.
Kathleen Tullie, Director of Social Responsibility at Reebok International and the Founder and Executive Director of BOKS, began BOKS in 2009. Prior to founding the BOKS program, Kathleen accomplished an 18-year career in real estate finance. After coming across Dr. John Ratey’s book Spark, which talks about the positive difference that physical activity has on all of us, she had her ‘aha’ moment. Dr. Ratey’s book coupled with her determination drove Kathleen to empower parents to provide an opportunity for kids to be physical active before school. BOKS was born.
Kathleen continues to make strides nationwide. Some of her major accomplishments include partnering with the Partnership for Healthier America, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Council on Exercise, the Aspen Institute and Let’s Move Active Schools where she was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative in 2013 and 2014. She was presented the Community Leadership Award in 2013 by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. A member of the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, she serves on the Physical Activity Innovation Collaborative, sits on the steering committee for Let’s Move Active Schools and is Vice Chair of Physical Activity at World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry. She has also partnered with The Reebok Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Toyota, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CVS Health and The Boston Bruins Foundation to fiscally support BOKS’ growth. Kathleen has also been featured in numerous media outlets, including CBS, Huffington Post, NESN and NPR. Most recently Family Circle listed her as one of the 20 Most Influential Moms.
A graduate of Western Michigan University (BA) and The University of Edinburgh, Scotland (MBA), Kathleen has spent her career in Japan, Scotland and the US and currently lives outside of Boston, MA with her husband, two kids and their newest addition, Tuxi, the family’s golden retriever puppy.
Julie had a sensational soccer career while playing on the USA National Team for 17 years. She is the former Captain of the US Women’s National Team. She was a captain on the National Team for 13 of her 17 years with the team. Julie participated in 4 Women’s World Cups and 3 Olympics for the USA Team. She is a two-time World Cup Champion and she is also a 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, 2000 Olympic Silver medalist and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist.
Julie finished her National Team career with 45 goals, 59 assists and 273 international appearances (caps) for the USA. Her 272 caps rank fourth in the world all-time, male or female. Julie played all 3 years as Captain with the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit. She was a 4 time All-American at Stanford University and was inducted into the Stanford Hall of Fame. While at Mission Viejo High School, Julie won three CIF Championships and three CIF Player of the Year awards. Julie was voted Los Angeles Times’ High School Player of the Decade for the 80’s.
Most important to Julie, she has made a difference off the field as well. She was accepted into Stanford University’s Medical School but decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Julie was the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 2000-2002. She served on the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Directors for 7 years and was a WSF advocacy consultant for two years, with a focus on Title IX, childhood obesity, and athletes’ rights issues. Julie also served on the Board of Directors for the WUSA (the professional women’s soccer league) as the Player Representative. Julie currently sits on the board of Athletes for Hope (AFH), a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization created by successful athletes who have a deep commitment to charitable and community causes. Julie is an espnW advisory Board Member, a Positive Coaching Alliance advisory Board Member, a Steel Sports Inc advisory Board Member, and served as a global spokeswoman for Global Girl Media, a non-profit helping young women around the world find their voice through journalism. Julie also has been instrumental in a number of women’s rights and child labor issues around the world. The world governing body of soccer, FIFA, awarded her the FIFA Fair Play Award, the first woman and American to receive the award, for her work against child labor in the stitching of soccer balls.
Julie served as a member for the Commission on Title IX, appointed by President Bush and Secretary Paige. She has been honored numerous times for her work on behalf of Title IX. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Smith College in 2005 and was honored by the National Women’s Law Center.
Julie was named as one of the “100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes.” The NCAA defines the 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes as those who have made a significant impact or major contributions to society.
Julie was inducted in the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007, alongside longtime teammate and friend, Mia Hamm. Julie and Mia were only the 6th and 7th women ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and the first and only ALL FEMALE induction class.
Julie founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy (JFSLA) in 2006, along with her husband Ian Sawyers. The JFSLA is a unique residential camp experience that uses sports as a vehicle to teach leadership skills for life. In 2006, Julie also founded the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation (JFLF), a non-profit, 510(c)3 public charity. The mission of the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation is: Building on a foundation of sports and fitness, we empower young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds to become leaders who positively impact their communities.
In 2013, Julie produced and narrated a documentary for ESPN Films called ‘The 99ers’. Using footage shot by Foudy during the US team’s journey to win the Women’s World Cup in 1999, ‘The 99ers’ is a behind the scenes glimpse at that historical event. Most recently, Julie wrote a book for teenage girls and young women on leadership, titled Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously YOU. The book is being published by Disney and espnW and was released in May of 2017.
Julie is currently a reporter and analyst for ABC/ESPN, contributor and writer for espnW, director of her Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academies, motivational speaker, proud mother of two children, Isabel and Declan, and the best chocolate-chip pancake maker in the entire universe (source: Izzy and Dec).
A member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization since 2001, Jon Joaquin has held the position as Director, Youth Baseball Development since February 2015. Prior to his current position, he was Manager of the Fan Development program and helped execute the Phillies’ youth baseball initiatives which included youth baseball/softball, educational programs and kids’ fan clubs. In his current role, Jon continues to oversee youth baseball related programs and administers the Phillies RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, organizes the Phillies sponsored college and high school baseball tournaments, as well as oversees the field operations and programing of the new Phillies Urban Youth Academy.
Jon serves on the executive board of the Carpenter Cup Classic which showcases the top high school baseball players in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. He also directs the evaluation day for Major League Baseball RBI World Series.
Born in Bloomfield, NJ, Jon earned a BS in Business Administration for Marketing in 2000 from Villanova University. Jon currently resides in Robbinsville, NJ with his wife Jackie and their three kids, Jasmine, Jayden and Jenalyn.
John J. Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 11 books published in 15 languages, including the groundbreaking ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Ned Hallowell, MD. With the publication of “Spark-The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. His latest book, “Go Wild”, explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots, and how we can “re-wild” our lives.
John grew up in the steel working town of Beaver, Pennsylvania, overcoming the odds to become a ranked tennis player in High School, competing in the US National Juniors before being offered a tennis scholarship to college. He attended Colgate University, where he received his BA in philosophy before moving to Boston. Finding work at Harvard’s Massachusetts Mental Center as an attendant, John was often assigned with caring for some of the most difficult patients, inspiring him to learn more about how to help those with mental health challenges. Seeing a career in Psychiatry as the path, he completed his science requirements at Harvard before returning to his home state to attend the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Circling back to Harvard for his Psychiatric training, upon graduation John was appointed Harvard’s Assistant Director of Residency and Medical Student Training, a position he held for 9 years. It was during these early years at Harvard Medical School that he began his groundbreaking research on aggression, autism and ADD, leading to a career of speaking and teaching around the world.
Dr. Ratey’s work in Attention Deficit Disorder came after he and his former student, Ned Hallowell, recognized and diagnosed their own ADD, prompting them to write a book to raise awareness and an understanding of the diagnosis to a lay audience. Published in 1994, “Driven to Distraction” became a bestseller, with over 2 million copies in print, and is still considered one of the Bibles of ADD today. Dr. Ratey and Dr. Hallowell went on to write “Delivered to Distraction” and “Answers to Distraction”, and have become recognized around the world as authorities on the subject. They continue to collaborate and are currently working on a new book.
As an author, Dr. Ratey’s other groundbreaking work includes, “A Users’ Guide to the Brain” and “Shadow Syndromes” with Catherine Johnson PhD. With the publication of “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”, Dr. Ratey has embarked on a world-wide mission to re-engineer schools, corporations, and individual lifestyle practices by incorporating exercise to achieve peak performance and optimum mental health. A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Ratey has lectured extensively on the subject throughout the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe. His work is frequently profiled in the media, where he’s been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and NPR, as well as in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, US News and World Report, Men’s Health, and other national publications.
Dr. Ratey has spread his message as an Adjunct Professor of Sport Science at the National Taiwan Sport University, and as a consultant to the President of Taiwan and the Minister of Education in South Korea. He has served at co-head of the Advisory Board of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, a consultant to ANTA Kids in China, and on Reebok’s non-profit before school fitness program, BOKS, where he was named Ambassador for Active Kids. In addition, he has a non-profit, Sparking Life, with a mission to transform America’s sedentary lifestyle for the benefit of all.
While he enjoys writing and lecturing, first and foremost, John is a Psychiatrist who cares deeply about his patients. Recognized by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America since 1997, he was recently named “Outstanding Psychiatrist of 2016” by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society. Married, with two children and two grandchildren, Dr. Ratey maintains a private practice in both Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California.
Joanne Pasternack is in her tenth season leading philanthropic efforts for professional sports franchises in the NBA and NFL.
Currently serving as the Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation, Joanne oversees all philanthropic programming, fundraising events and corporate social responsibility integration for the Golden State Warriors as a member of the Senior Executive Management Team in support of key club objectives.
Previously, Joanne was the Vice President and Executive Director of Community Relations and 49ers Foundation for the San Francisco 49ers. In this role, she created and managed high visibility philanthropic investments, leveraging the power of the Club’s community involvement to create paths for all children to reach their full potential. To further this objective, Joanne worked with team ownership to facilitate signature fundraising events and the donation of funds to non-profits that support the Foundation’s mission of keeping kids “Safe, on Track and in School.” In 2016, the Foundation donated $4 million to Bay Area charities, including a significant grant to support the expansion of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute to Santa Clara High School, and has donated $40 million since its inception in 1991.
In recognition of their tremendous commitment to philanthropy, the San Francisco 49ers were named ESPN’s Humanitarian Team of the Year in 2017, Beyond Sport’s 2015 Sport Team of the Year for Outstanding Philanthropic Sports Organization and were the 2013 winners of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Steve Patterson Award for Sports Philanthropy. They also supported former 49ers Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin in his successful 2015 campaign for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. In October 2016, Joanne represented the 49ers at the “Sport in the Service of Humanity” convening at The Vatican.
Prior to joining the 49ers in 2008, Joanne served as a senior analyst for the City of Mountain View. Before working for Mountain View, she was the manager of international corporate relations for Special Olympics, Inc., at their headquarters in Washington, DC.
Joanne holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a law degree from Santa Clara University and completed the Executives in Non-Profit Leadership program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Sports Management programs at the University of San Francisco and George Washington University and has guest lectured at Stanford University.
Joanne currently resides in Sunnyvale, CA, with her husband, Robert Bardin, who works for the San Jose Earthquakes, and their children, daughter, Kira, and son, Reid. A strong advocate for inclusion and access, Joanne is on the boards of directors for Special Olympics Northern California/Nevada, the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI), and Beyond Sport International.
As President of KCRW, Jennifer Ferro has worked to transform the institution from Southern California’s flagship public radio station to a worldwide digital content distributor that seeks to build community though the discovery of music, news and culture both in person, online and on the air.
Under her leadership, in addition to creating 100 hours of original programming a week, KCRW will finish a $48 million capital campaign and move into its first ever, stand alone, state of-the art facility in 2017. This new home will allow KCRW to become a true community institution.
KCRW’s presence includes podcasts, original content features, live event streams, a vibrant social networking community and successful mobile apps including the latest a virtual reality app that gives a 360° look at KCRW’s legendary music programming. KCRW’s live events programming has grown to over80 produced events throughout Los Angeles and Santa Barbara reaching over 250,000 people each year.
Ms. Ferro joined KCRW in 1994. She has held varied roles during her tenure including Executive Producer of Good Food and Consulting Producer of DnA: Design and Architecture.
Ms. Ferro serves on the boards of NPR Berlin, Zocalo Public Square, an ideas exchange that creates live events and original humanities journalism, and is Vice Chair of the AIR Board, an organization dedicated to supporting and nd promoting independent producers in public media. In 2011, she was chosen as one of Los Angeles’ Game Changing Women Leaders Who Make an Impact in LA by Los Angeles Magazine.
Ms. Ferro earned her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA. She is a former youth soccer coach and co-founder of the Women’s Coach Initiative to get more women youth soccer coaches on the field.
Jai Nanda is the Founder and Executive Director of the Urban Dove, a non-profit organization that provides positive, educational programs to New York City’s at-risk youth. Jai founded Urban Dove in 1998 as a way to reach out to children in need and provide them with the skills they need to become positive, successful citizens. Urban Dove serves hundreds of children each year. Using a unique combination of recreation and education, Urban Dove has Energized, Educated and Empowered thousands of young people, giving them the support and help they need to succeed in school and in life.
Jai is also the founder of Urban Dove Team Charter School, located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Urban Dove Team is an incredibly unique and innovative school for Overage/Under-credited students who are at high-risk of dropping out. UD Team uses a unique Sports-Based Youth Development framework as the foundation for all aspects of the school model, placing each student on a competitive sports team with a positive coach who supports their students on and off the field.
Jai has worked with young people his entire life, and has dedicated his career to improving and enriching the lives of young people, especially those in need. He was a founding Board member of Up2Us Sports, a national coalition of Sports Based Youth Development agencies and previously served on PASE’s Youth Sport Alliance Council. Jai also has served as Chairman of the Youth Committee for Community Board 4 and was honored as a Local Hero by Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.
Jai was born and raised in New York City. After completing a public school education, he graduated from the University of Michigan. Before founding Urban Dove, Jai worked as a teacher in the New York City school system both at the high school level and at the City University of New York. He was also a basketball coach for more than 15 years.
Diane Terrell is a highly-regarded leader with 20+ years of experience across diverse geographies, sectors and roles. A passionate idea person, she has an accomplished record of success developing innovative global and local strategies that deepen culture, strengthen reputation, and deliver business and social outcomes for stakeholders.
Diane is currently VP, Community Engagement for the Memphis Grizzlies and Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation, where she leverages the power of sport to create pathways to success for children in poverty. She leverages her global expertise and experience to solve local problems, advancing public-private partnerships to meet specific community needs: health and wellness, public education reform, youth empowerment through mentoring.
As VP, Strategic Communications for FedEx, she led several enterprise initiatives to align marketing, brand, workplace and community in support of business goals. During her tenure, she developed a multi-year strategy to transition CSR investments to outcome-based programs in designated priority areas. Her team produced the first Citizenship Report for the company, and collaborated with Brand to create the EarthSmart global sustainability platform, which embedded sustainability as a corporate value. FedEx received the prestigious Boston College CSR Top Ten Ranking for its contributions in 2009 and earned a place on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Prior to joining FedEx, Diane was an executive and journalist with NBC and ABC News. Because of her ability to easily navigate difference, she spent many years on the foreign beat, travelling the world to cover the most important stories of our generation. She continues to rely on storytelling as a powerful tool to create culture and catalyze change.
She is known as a strategic and creative C-suite partner whose quality-based initiatives drive desired outcomes. Her reputation as a Thought Leader invites frequent public discourse on issues of civic responsibility and social engagement.
Eric Fitzgerald Reed, Vice President – Entertainment and Tech Policy for Verizon Communications in San Francisco, CA, is responsible for analyzing entertainment industry trends, managing telecommunications developments and emerging high-tech matters as they relate to public policy. Mr. Reed leads Verizon’s outreach to an array of Silicon Valley and Hollywood-based stakeholders in content and entertainment, digital media, information technology, and major sports leagues with vested interests in telecommunications policy, regulatory and legislative matters. In this role, he advances the company’s positions and analyzes emerging technologies, consumer and industry trends and related telecommunications policy issues.
In addition to his entertainment and digital media responsibilities, Eric manages relations with telecommunications equipment manufacturers and suppliers, business and tech associations, consumer device companies, strategic partners, government agencies and community groups important to the policy process. He also oversees Verizon Foundation activities and engagements for the Pacific & North Central markets.
Eric began his career at Verizon in November 2000 and has worked in various government affairs and legal functions since joining the company. He was promoted to his current position in the State Public Affairs, Policy and Communications organization in June 2012.
In the community, Mr. Reed joined the Museum of African Diaspora Board of Directors in November 2016. He is currently a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and Tumml Boards. Eric previously served as Chairman on the Board of Directors of JUST TRYAN IT, a non-profit organization supporting families fighting childhood cancer, from October 2011 – March 2013.
Eric is a member of the Digital Hollywood Board of Advisors to the OTT-ConnectedTV –Hollywood Alliance and also served as a member of the Consumer Technology Association Board of Industry Leaders from 2013 – 2015.
Mr. Reed received his Masters in Business Administration from University of Maryland University College in May 2005. He also received a Masters of Science in Telecommunications Management from University of Maryland University College in 2001 and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from American University in 1996. Mr. Reed has also completed executive management coursework at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of Virginia-Darden Graduate School of Business.
As a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (The Divine 9), Moore has dedicated herself to service for others. Her core values are Finer Womanhood, Sisterly Love, Community Service, Scholarship, and Christ. All that she does stems from her core values.
As the previous Director of Football and an Assistant Coach at Verbum Dei High School, a private all-boys school located in Watts, CA, she implemented a free hot meal program to feed her players at the end of practice. She provided healthy protein snacks after school and after weight training, for free.
Moore is a public speaker. She meets and greets incoming aspirants and their parents, provides on-campus tours, communicates effectively with donors, benefactors as a Goodwill Ambassador, and mentors Student-Athletes to insure the academic and moral component of character are met.
She has generated more than $45 million to send student-athletes to college, covering tuition, meals, boarding and travel expense as a result of establishing positive relationships with over 300 NCAA programs. To date, she is directly responsible for sending over 250 inner-city student-athletes to college on scholarship. Schools include but are not limited to: USC, TCU, UCLA, Texas, Cal Berkeley, Holy Cross, Marist, Boise State, Utah, Washington, Grambling, Southern, SDSU, USD, USC, Colorado, Washington UTEP, St. Johns, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Syracuse and more.
Moore communicates daily with various NCAA coaching staff to make them aware of the weekly progression of her student athletes. During the spring, as a direct result of her recruiting efforts, on average, 50-60 NCAA coaches set up appointments to meet with her to discuss and meet-and-greet her student-athletes for recruitment purposes.
Moore is is currently an Assistant Football Coach at a local community college in Los Angeles where she is faced with meeting the needs, safety concerns, educational deficits, and daily challenges of those that come from underserved communities that desire a college education but don’t always have the means or resources to level the playing field.
Moore is a divorced single mother of three successful children: Mi-Calynn, a California State Licensed Nurse, Caylin, a 2017 Rhodes Scholar, 2014 Fulbright Scholar, Division 1 student-athlete and recent graduate of Texas Christian University, and last but not least, Chase, a McNair Scholar, Children’s Defense Fund recipient, and a current Division 1 student-athlete at the University of Texas at Austin. He is number 37 on the Longhorns 2017 football roster.
She is directly responsible for producing student-athletes that have gone to become recipients of, including but not limited to the following: Rhodes Scholarship, Charles Rangel Foreign Affair Fellowship, Fulbright Scholar, Truman Finalist, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy Fellow, Children’s Defense Fund, Beat the Odds, Nation Alliance of African American Athletes Watkins Award, Gates Millennium, NCSA Grant, National Consortium for Academics and Sports, Big 12 Male Sports Person of the Year Finalist, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and other scholarly endeavors.
Catherine Dávila is a nationally certified USSF “C” license coach with multiple years of experience coaching youth and adult soccer teams all over LA County. She is also a member of the coaching staff for US Soccer’s Inland Empire Girls’ Training Center, focused on identifying and developing elite players ages 11-14 for the national team pool. Catherine has coached at the adult level at Occidental College and as head coach for LA Villa FC’s WPSL squad.
In 2009, she co-founded the women’s soccer club, L.A. Villa F.C. and in 2014 oversaw the club’s entrance into the WPSL. She currently serves as the President of the Board for both Hollywood FC and L.A. Villa F.C.
Prior to her work in soccer, Catherine was an independent film producer.
She holds a BFA from NYU, an MFA from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program and is a 2019 MBA candidate at USC’s Marshall School of Business. She lives in L.A. with her husband, Matt and their mutt, Anouk.
Cari Champion was named SportsCenter anchor in July, 2015, and in February, 2016, she was named co-anchor for the 11 a.m. ET edition with David Lloyd. The “SportsCenter Coast-to-Coast” program is hosted by Lloyd at ESPN HQ in Connecticut and Champion at ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center.
Previously Champion served host of ESPN2’s First Take, where she shared the debate table with featured commentators Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith and moderated their debate topics while offering her perspective and insight.
Prior to joining ESPN, Champion was an anchor and courtside reporter at the Tennis Channel. Additionally, she served as an entertainment/lifestyle reporter doing features for The Insider, Hollywood 411 and Starz Entertainment.
As a broadcast journalist and host, Champion also worked across the country covering network news, entertainment, and sports stories of national interest for ABC, CBS, NBC and other cable networks. A native of Southern California, Champion graduated from UCLA.
Along with his brother Sean, Brendan, founded PeacePlayers International in 2001. PeacePlayers International uses basketball to unite and educate young people in divided communities. Driven by the idea that children who play together can learn to live together, PeacePlayers International has worked with more than 75,000 young people across the globe, with offices in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus and the United States.
In 2015, Brendan was named One of 50 Most Inspirational People in Sport by Beyond Sport. In 2008, Brendan received the Laureus Sport for Good Award, which recognizes individuals who make transformational contributions to society through sport, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in St. Petersburg, Russia. At the2007ESPYS, two leaders from PeacePlayers’ program in Northern Ireland were awarded the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Brendan is a 1996 graduate of Colgate University where he majored in Philosophy and Religion and played basketball. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Sport Management. Brendan was an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Born on November 18, 1985, Allyson Felix grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Paul, is an ordained minister who was an excellent sprinter as a teen. She inherited her long legs from her school teacher mother, Marlean. Allyson followed her older brother, Wes, into the sport, although she did not try out for the track team until her ninth-grade year at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills.
At her first practice Coach Jonathon Patton asked her to run 40-meters and thought he must have mis-measured the distance when he saw Allyson’s time. He re-measured and asked her to run again, and she did, but with the same results. Just ten weeks after that tryout, Allyson was racing at the California State Finals.
Allyson went on to accomplish impressive feats over her high school career. She broke Marion Jones’ high-school 200-meter record by running 22.51 seconds at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in April of 2003. Just weeks later, Felix turned in an even more impressive performance when she competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium and ran a blazing 22.11 second 200-meter race, which was a new world record in the under-20 category.
Felix emerged as the new American Female sprinter to watch and has never looked back winning three Gold Medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games and followed that up in 2016 with two more Gold Medals and another Silver Medal. Under the tutelage of Coach Bob Kersee, she has won a total of six Olympic Gold Medals and is now the most decorated female track & field Olympian in history.
Steve is the Founder and President of STOKED, an award nonprofit that uses the lifestyle and culture of action sports to empower low-income youth in NYC, LA, and Chicago through leadership and mentorships to pursue the life of their dreams. STOKED gives high school-aged youth the skills, relationships, and experiences to become leaders personally and professionally. Since its inception STOKED has served over 4,000 youth. STOKED is a semi-finalist in the Non Profit Excellence Awards, voted to the NY 100 (100 most innovative businesses in NY), and Steve was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Black MBA Association. Honored as a Hometown Hero, his work has appeared in the New Yorker Magazine, ESPN, Huffington Post, Nylon Magazine, Fuel TV, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and Transworld Business.
Steve speaks worldwide on the subject of youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, community building, and closing the opportunity gap at places such as Do Lectures, Creative Mornings, Nike, The United Nations, and various universities. Prior to Stoked, Steve began his career with an independent marketing firm that he founded working with clients such has Sony Music, Reader’s Digest, and Rock the Vote.
Bobbie coached high school volleyball for over 25 years, taking her teams to playoffs 20 of those years. Currently, along with organizing the LA84 Foundation’s coaching education volleyball clinic, she is on the CIF volleyball advisory committee and runs both youth volleyball instructional classes and summer camps for the City of Santa Clarita. She has two daughters who played NCAA D1 volleyball.
Jared Gibson has officiating volleyball and basketball at the collegiate and high school level for close to a decade. He started when he was in college at UCSD back in 2007 and he fell in love with officiating. Jared has worked multiple CIF Section Finals in San Diego as well as one CIF State Final. He has been officiating college volleyball for four years. One officiating mantra he lives by came from a legendary San Diego basketball official who said: “I just strive to be fair.”
Branden Higa has been the head women’s volleyball coach at California Baptist University since 2012.
Over the past three years with Branden, CBU women’s volleyball has finished in the top half of the PacWest’s standings each season.
Prior to coming to California Baptist University, Branden spent three years as an assistant at NCAA Division I Mississippi State. He has been head volleyball coach at West Los Angeles College (2008), an assistant coach at Loyola Marymount University, and spent the 2005 season as an assistant at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.
Branden also has served as an assistant coach with USA Beach Volleyball in Los Angeles and has spent time coaching throughout the Southern California club system
Originally from Lancaster, California, Branden played three seasons at Pepperdine University in Malibu and won the 1994 California Junior College Most Outstanding Player award at Pierce College.
Eileen Hiss has been a Sunshine Volleyball Club Head Coach for 16 years. Her teams have qualified for Junior Nationals in the 13’s, 14’s, 15’s, 16’s and 18’s. Highlights include winning the 2010 Las Vegas Invitational in the 18’s Open Division, and the SCVA 15’s Regional Championship in 2009.
She was an assistant at Marymount High School from 2000 to 2006, participating in numerous CIF championship tournaments and five state championships.
Eileen was the head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at Santa Monica College in 1998-2000, and the head coach at Santa Monica High School from 1994-1997.
While playing at Cal State Northridge in 1984, Eileen was All-American honorable mention.
Nabil is the head women’s coach at Pierce College where, in 2010-2011, he led his team to back to back CCCAA California State Championships. In 2010, Nabil also was named AVCA National College Coach of the Year.
Nabil was the director of Santa Monica Beach Club men’s program from 2001-to present and the girls’ program from 2001 until 2010 when he began LAVA for the girls. His 18-1’s team won the Festival in Phoenix and under his direction (and their coach Mary Keen) the 16-1s from LAVA North won Junior Nationals in Indiana this year.
Nabil is originally from Lebanon where he competed internationally with the Lebanese National Team and professionally with Club Relevement Social Knat. After coming to the US, he earned all-conference and All-State honors at Santa Monica College. He was also named the 1996 Athlete of the Year.
In 1997 he coached his SMBC boys to a gold medal at the Junior National Championships and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.
In 2000 he became the owner of SMBC boys club, was named Club Director of SMBC girls and was hired as head women’s coach at Pierce College, which had been consistently in last place in their conference until Nabil took over.
Nabil is well-known over the country, not only for being a talented coach, but also for his ethical and honest dealings.
John Landicho is the head men’s volleyball coach at San Diego Miramar College. He was named the 2017 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s volleyball Coach of the Year after leading the Jets to a PCAC championship,
John started the Jets’ men’s volleyball program from scratch, taking just three months to form Miramar’s first MVB team before competing in the 2015 CCCAA season.
Before arriving at Miramar, John won two consecutive CIF California State Championships in 2012 and 2013, and was CIF-San Diego Section Coach of the Year in 2012, at Francis Parker HS. Parker volleyball teams won 5 CIF state championships and 16 CIF-SDS titles in his 10+ years there as a head or assistant coach.
He also is active in USA Volleyball’s High Performance program as a clinician, evaluator, and tryout coordinator.