Kelci A. Stringer- Founder and Spokesperson
Kelci Stringer is a firm believer that your life’s purpose will be revealed to you – even if it’s in the midst of tragic circumstances. Her journey towards advocacy, education and prevention of sudden death in sports began on August 1, 2001 when her husband, NFL All-Pro lineman, Korey Stringer, died from the complications of an exertional heat stroke while practicing with the Minnesota Vikings at the age of 27.
Kelci met Korey when she was a freshman at Ohio State University, where she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The two were married for four years, and during that time, Kelci gave birth to their son Kodie Drew. As a young widow and mother, Kelci struggled to decide on the best way to honor Korey’s memory, and ultimately established the Korey Stringer Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization. Through her foundation she was instrumental in developing a partnership among the National Football League, Gatorade and the University of Connecticut forming the Korey Stringer Institute. UConn was chosen because of its reputation as a leader in the study of heat and hydration issues related to athletes and the physically active.
An Atlanta, Georgia native, Mrs. Stringer’s love of community is evident in her other nationwide philanthropic contributions. She regularly assists families and children through donations, mentoring and reading at elementary schools. In 2005, she helped resettle evacuees from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to Atlanta, booking two hotels and providing food and shelter for several months, as well as grief counseling, job placement assistance, and buses for the evacuees to revisit New Orleans.
According to Mrs. Stringer, she has used the tragedies she’s faced to learn, grow and confidently walk in her purpose. As Mrs. Stringer so eloquently states: “It hasn’t been easy by any means, but I thank God for keeping me, strengthening me and giving me the courage to complete this awesome mission that He has for my life.”
James M. Gould- Chairman
Chairman, Management One
Korey’s NFL Agent
Mr. Gould has more than 25 years of experience in private equity and over 30 years of experience in development, marketing and negotiation related to investments in companies, real estate, sports and entertainment. He is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of theCard, LLC, which has created the Circa Black Prepaid MasterCard, the world’s first metal Prepaid debit card. He was a founder and Managing General Partner of The Walnut Group, a private equity fund, and he is Chairman of Gould Management Group. Mr. Gould serves on several Boards of Directors notably Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW), Wild Things Gear, a designer of high-end outdoor apparel, The O’Gara Group, a global products and services company, and Adspace Networks, Inc., a mall digital media network.
Mr. Gould is Managing Partner of Management One, a sports management firm he founded, that has represented over 100 professional athletes in the NFL and NBA, including Frostee Rucker, DeVante Parker, Travaris Cadet, Demetrius McCray, Terry Glenn, Peter Warrick, Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson, John Browning, Andre Smith, Sue Bird and the late Korey Stringer, and as a partner in Avondale Management Group, represented Evander Holyfield, four time Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Mr. Gould is a Founder and Managing Partner of Avondale Pictures and Avondale Entertainment Group. In addition, Mr. Gould has produced, distributed, and packaged numerous motion pictures, television and entertainment events and was a Founder and Partner in Triton Pictures. He has been a frequent investor, through his partnership with Frederic H. Mayerson, in numerous acclaimed Broadway musicals including Smokey Joe’s Café, Topdog/Underdog, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, and Spiderman. Mr. Gould was a founding member of the United States Football League, and became President of the New Jersey Generals upon his selling the team to Donald Trump. During his years in the USFL, Mr. Gould negotiated several major contracts on behalf of ownership, with such players as Lawrence Taylor, Cris Collinsworth, Herschel Walker, Craig James, and others.
Mr. Gould was the host of A Current Life, on VoiceAmerica, the world’s largest internet talk radio. His guests included Maxine Clark, Nicholas Sparks, Leslie Stahl, General Hugh Shelton, Bob Costas, Sela Ward, Marlo Thomas and Tyrese Gibson, just to name a few.
Mr. Gould graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in History and an Education Certificate. He is a founder and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) with the NFL and The University of Connecticut, (KSI). He has also served on other numerous non-profit boards including Prevent Child Abuse America, Blue Legacy International, Camp BrightLight in partnership with the YMCA, and The Cincinnati Ballet. Mr. Gould is active in sports and has coached children in both soccer and football for many years. He is proud of having climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his two sons, Dylan and Lucas and his dog, Buddy Bear.
Teammate and Friend of Korey
NFL Analyst, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Mitch Berger is the most successful and decorated Canadian born NFL player in history. As a punter and a kickoff specialist, his 15 accredited seasons in 16 years gave him the second-longest career of any Canadian-born NFL player.
Mitch attended Tyler Junior College in Texas in 1990 where he was selected as an All-American. Mitch then attended the University of Colorado Boulder on a full scholarship, where he spent his next three years at CU and in 1992 was a 1st team All-American as a punter. He graduated from CU in 1995 with a degree in Marketing.
Mitch was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played for the Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, and again with the Chicago Bears before joining the Minnesota Vikings in 1996. During the 1998 season, he set an NFL record of 40 touchbacks from the 30-yard line in a single season, (a record that still stands today). That same year, he became one of the only kickers ever named to the All-Madden Team, and was also named to the All-Terry-Bradshaw team. In 1999, he received his first Pro-Bowl selection and was First Team All-Pro. Mitch signed a five-year contract with the Vikings in 2000, (which at the time made him the highest-paid punter in NFL history). He went on to play for the St. Louis Rams and the New Orleans Saints where, in 2004, he was selected to play in his 2nd Pro Bowl. In 2007 he played for the Arizona Cardinals.
In 2008 Mitch signed with his Dad’s hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XLlll in Tampa, giving him his first Super Bowl championship. He then played with the Denver Broncos for the last ten games of the 2009 season and in 2010, after sixteen years in the NFL, Mitch retired.
Since retiring, he has returned to Canada and now resides in Vancouver British Columbia. While he is a partner in several successful companies throughout North America his main focus is doing NFL analysis for Canadian national sports broadcaster TSN and Off the Record, TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and CKNW 980 in Vancouver.
His most passionate venture is his new crowfundraising website; Stunt Buxx, where he connects every day people who create viral media for social causes and raise real time chairty dollars.
Heberto (Herbie) Calves
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Product Development, Sports Division, EB Brands
Mr. Calves is the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Product Development for the Sports Division of EB Brands, leading product development and marketing initiatives for their fitness monitor and exercise equipment businesses. From 2006-2012 Mr. Calves was VP of Marketing at TIMEX and played a key role in guiding Timex’s marketing programs. He oversaw the TIMEX IRONMAN and TIMEX EXPEDITION businesses and was a strong advocate for the TIMEX team of athletes, working closely with them to better understand the sport and the athletes’ needs. Mr. Calves played a key role in product development, strategic alliances and enhancing Timex’s digital presence with consumers. Mr. Calves also played a significant role in a number of TIMEX’s high profile partnerships including when TIMEX became the Trusted Training Partner of the New York Giants in 2009 (this deal includes naming rights to the Giants new training facility; the Timex Performance Center). Mr. Calves also led TIMEX to become the official timekeeper of the New York City Marathon in 2008 and played a vital role in renewing the brand’s partnership with the World Triathlon Corporation in 2007 for an additional 20 years.
Prior to arriving at EB Brands and TIMEX, Mr. Calves spent over 15 years building and managing brands such as Advil, Coca-Cola, BellSouth, Woolite, Lysol, and Kiss My Face. His experience has given him marketing and consumer insights across a diverse number of cultures and product categories.
A native of the Bronx and a first generation Cuban-American, Mr. Calves has always believed that purpose, preparation, and the right tools, can accomplish great things. A strong believer in the mission of the KSI, he has finished three full marathons (best time of 3:44) and finished three Ironman 70.3 races as well as Ironman Lake Placid in July 2011.
Mr. Calves received his undergraduate degree in business from Notre Dame where he was a member of the Dean’s List. He received his MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in 1998. Mr. Calves resides in NY with his wife and three children.
George T Chiampas, DO
Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
George Chiampas, DO is an Assistant Professor in Emergency and Sports Medicine at the Feinberg school of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. George serves multiple roles in the sports medicine world with a broad scope from team physician, emergency management and response, as well as mass event planning.
George currently serves as team physician for the Northwestern University wildcats, Chicago Blackhawks as well as travels and provides medical coverage for US soccer and the Men’s National team locally and internationally. He has been the Medical director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with 45,000 runners annually and the 40,000 participant Shamrock 8k shuffle. He works closely with city, state and federal agencies in the planning of these events and has incorporated and lead the way with the “Unified Command” approach for mass sporting events and medical coverage.
He currently is president of the American Road Race Medical Society where the direction of “Best Practices” in medical endurance events have been established. He has lectured nationally and internationally and has authored book chapters and journal articles on several topics including mass event management, EMS and communication in a unified command approach. In 2010 Dr Chiampas led and co-authored the medical chapter for the US Bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
Locally in Chicago, Dr Chiampas is involved with several shorter and larger running events and since 2009 has also served as co-medical director of the Hustle up the Hancock climb for lung disease research. He is involved and a member of several national emergency and sports medicine societies where his focus has become emergency management and mass event preparedness.
Founder, Chief Executive Bear, and Chairman, Build-A-Bear Workshop
Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her 30+-year career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and the Middle East. The company extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world at buildabearville.com.
In 2008, Maxine Clark was named one of The 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age; in 2006, she was inducted into the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame and received the 2006 Luminary Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement from the Committee of 200. She was named a Customer-Centered Leader in the 2005 Customer First Awards by Fast Company. Maxine was named one of the Wonder Women of Toys by Playthings magazine and Women in Toys, and was also one of the 2004 National Finalists in Retail for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the 2010 and 2009 FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For® list. Buildabearville.com received a 2009 ‘Best of the Web’ award from WiredSafety, was honored with the socially safe seal, and in 2008 received the Excellent Product iParenting Media Award. In 2005, the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies made Build-A-Bear Workshop Portfolio Company of the Year; it was named one of the International Council of Shopping Centers “Hottest Retailers of 2004” and the Retail Innovator of the Year for 2001 by The National Retail Federation.
Maxine serves on the Board of Trustees of Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the Executive Committee. She is a member of the Teach For America National Board and the local St. Louis regional board, the National Board of Donorschoose.org and the KETC Channel 9 – PBS Board of Directors. She and her husband Bob Fox are founding donors of KIPP Inspire Academy and Maxine is on the charter school advisory Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Committee of 200 and is a former member of the Board of Directors of The J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Maxine is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Louis University. In 2006, she published her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart.”
Cathy L Esperti
Publisher at Jones & Bartlett Learning an Ascend Learning Company
Cathy is an accomplished Publisher with extensive experience of over 28 years delivering quality, innovative educational products in academic markets. Cathy and her strong team of editors work jointly to develop vision and set strategy that will maximize growth and learning opportunities. In 2015, Jones & Bartlett Learning, working in conjunction with the Korey Stringer Institute, developed a first-of-its-kind, engaging scenario-based online course providing 10 evidence-based practice continuing education units. Preventing Sudden Death in Sports and Physical Activity: An Interactive Online Program went on to win the 2015 Best Digital Media product at the New England Book Show as well as Jones & Bartlett Learnings New Product of the Year award.
Prior to joining Jones & Bartlett Learning, Cathy was Vice-President of NetLearning, a healthcare learning management company providing acute care facilities control over planning, delivering, and tracking education and compliance across their whole health system. She also worked for many years at Cengage Learning in roles such as Editorial Director then later Executive Director.
Cathy resides in upstate New York with her significant other Gary and daughter Hannah, along with their menagerie of pets including two labs, three cats and her beloved horse Lu. She’s been a passionate equestrian since childhood.
Cathy holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies ( MALS) from Stony Brook University as well as a Bachelor of Arts from University at Albany SUNY majoring in English with a dual minor in education and linguistics.
Vice President of Research and Development, CamelBak Products LLC
Jeremy Galten has been a technical innovator in a wide variety of consumer product design industries for over 20 years.
In his current role as leader of product development at CamelBak Products, he is responsible for the conception, design and commercialization of category leading hydration products for both the consumer and military/tactical markets. After beginning his career working in the medical industry, Mr. Galten worked for a global design consultancy where he assisted many Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems as well as multiple startup ventures across the globe with their product development efforts. His work has been recognized with multiple design and engineering accolades as well as the application for or issue of over 24 US and international patents.
Jeremy graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science with degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering.
Chairman, Arbitron, inc.
Phil Guarascio is director of the media and marketing research firm Arbitron since March 2001; Chairman of the Board since May 2009. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PG Ventures LLC, a marketing consulting firm, since May 2000. Vice President, General Manager of General Motors Corporation’s North America Advertising and Corporate Marketing, from July 1994 to May 2000. A director of Papa John’s International Inc., a NASDAQ-listed company and the third-largest pizza company in America; director of Aerva, a private digital to text company; director of AdSpace Networks, Inc., a private Internet company that provides advertising space for a variety of advertising venues. Formerly a director of AVP, Inc., a lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing, and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. A senior advisor with the National Football League from 2000-2006. Since retiring from General Motors in 2000, Phil has also served as a consultant for Interpublic Group, Tribeca Film Festival and American Media. Phil joined the KSI board in April of 2013.
Executive Vice President for Health and Safety Policy, National Football League
Jeff Miller serves as Senior Vice President for Health and Safety Policy for the National Football League. Jeff oversees the NFL’s player health and safety programs, scientific research and youth football programs. Jeff previously served as head of the NFL’s Washington office. As Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, he was responsible for all state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives and oversaw the league’s charitable foundation.
Before he opened the NFL’s Washington office in 2008, Jeff worked as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the Antitrust and Business Competition Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Herb Kohl from 2003-2008. He previously served as counsel on the same subcommittee. As staff director, Jeff was responsible for legislation on all issues before the Committee as well as investigations and hearings concerning a range of antitrust issues including mergers and anti-competitive business practices. He led investigations into mergers in the telecommunications, media, airline, and pharmaceutical industries, among others.
Jeff is a graduate of The Law School at the University of Chicago and received a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rachael R. Oats, CAE
Associate Executive Director, National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Rachael R. Oats, CAE, has been a champion for athletic trainers and their patient populations since she began her tenure with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 1999. During her years of service to NATA and its members, Rachael has worked in several capacities, including special projects and volunteer engagement manager, continuing education associate, special projects coordinator, special projects manager, and NATA Foundation Director. She is currently the association’s associate executive director, a position she’s held since 2013.
Rachael is the staff lead on several youth sports safety programs with the NFL and KSI, including the national and NFL club AT programs, which provide access to athletic trainers for youth in underserved areas; Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport, a three-year initiative sponsored by NATA and AMSSM to address and improve state athletic associations’ policies to make participation safer for high school student athletes; and meetings of national youth sports governing bodies designed to educate and develop consensus on best practices for our country’s youngest athletes. She has also worked with NATA inter-association task forces which were convened to tackle issues such as pre-season heat acclimatization, exertional heat illness, commotio cordis, sickle cell trait, emergency preparedness, sudden cardiac arrest in high school and collegiate, to name a few. Rachael led efforts to develop an educational video entitled Head’s Up, which addressed the dangers head-first tackling in contact football, as well as concussion education videos for football and hockey.
In her 17 years with the association, she has served the Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee, College/University Athletic Trainers’ Committee, Honors and Awards Committees and a number of inter-association task forces that have successfully improved practices and led to new policies that make physical activity safer for athletes of all ages.
In 2008, Rachael earned the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, the highest professional designation for association professionals, held by fewer than 5 percent of her peers in association management.
President, Chicago Speedway
Scott Paddock is the President of the Chicago Speedway.
Prior to joining the Chicago Speedway Scott was the managing director for The Podium Group, a global sports and entertainment marketing and consulting company. In this role, Scott managed the company’s international sports marketing and consulting practice while also lead the Podium Group’s recent expansion into the U.S.the Podium.
Mr. Paddock also held the position of director of Sports and Event Marketing for The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo Inc where he was responsible for managing the brand’s sports-marketing sponsorship portfolio, including all league, team and spokesperson relations and negotiations. Mr. Paddock joined Gatorade in 1998 as a sports marketing manager, overseeing the Southeast region of the U.S. In 2001, he was named senior manager of Sports Marketing and added day-to-day oversight of the brand’s NFL and Motor Sports partnerships to his list of responsibilities.
Scott was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Basketball team that earned the silver medal in the 1995 Pan American Games and has maintained his ties to the Olympic movement having served on a number of boards and committees, including: USA Basketball’s Board of Directors, USA Basketball’s Executive Committee, the Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) to the United States Olympic Committee, and as a member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. He was honored as a member of the Sports Business Journal’s prestigious Forty Under Forty class of 2008.
Mr. Paddock earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1990.
Senior Director, Gatorade Global Sports Marketing
John Shea is the Senior Director, Gatorade Global Sports Marketing. In this role he oversees a staff of fifteen and is responsible for managing the brand’s global sports marketing portfolio, including all league, team and athlete partnerships and negotiations.
John has worked at PepsiCo since 2003, holding progressive brand management and sports marketing positions during that time. Most notably, prior to his current role, John managed Gatorade’s new product innovation including the development and successful launch of the G Series and the brand’s evolution from Sports Drink to Sports Performance Nutrition. He is relentlessly focused on establishing Gatorade as the world leader in fueling athletic performance.
Earlier in his career, John worked as a Marketing Consultant at EMI Strategic Marketing, managing marketing strategy consulting projects for Consumer Products, Healthcare, and Financial Services clients. He also worked at Liberty Mutual in Mergers & Acquisitions, building a $2 billion insurance business through multiple acquisitions as a charter member of a five-person acquisition and business development team.
John holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of science in Marketing from Boston College.
Sue Sisley, MD
Dr. Sue Sisley MD is an Arizona-based physician practicing Internal Medicine and Psychiatry.
She works as Medical Director for medical cannabis license holders in 11 different states from Hawaii to Puerto Rico to New York enabling her to collect data on patient’s response to state-level, lab-tested cannabis.
Sue serves as Site Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of whole plant marijuana in combat veterans with treatment-resistant post traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Dr. Sisley is on faculty at Colorado State University, recruited for core planning team to organize the CSU “Cannabis Center of Excellence” in Pueblo, Colorado. Dr. Sisley has been a Member of Nevada ILAC Medical Cannabis Commission for the past two years outlining regulations for laboratory testing including limits on pesticides, residual solvents and other guidelines that are currently being used as a model for other states medical cannabis laws.
Founder and CEO, Nix
Meridith is the Founder and CEO of Nix, a consumer diagnostic spinout of Harvard University. Nix is taking a materials science approach to wearable sensors to detect real chemical biomarkers. The initial product is a sweat sensor that informs athletes, soldiers, and laborers of their hydration status and electrolyte loss levels in real-time.
A serial company starter, Meridith has worked closely with several Boston and New York-based venture capital firms in the creation of seven life science and consumer startups prior to Nix. Meridith sits on the board of several companies and non-profits including Girls on the Run of Greater Boston, Consumer Technology Association’s Health and Fitness Technology Division, and the Cambridge Friends School, of which she is an alumna.
Meridith is a college basketball player-turned-marathoner who has completed 7 marathons, including 5 of the 6 World Majors. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College where she received the Anna Pell Wheeler Prize for Mathematics, and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Meridith is a Kauffman Fellow as well as a Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellow.