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.
Senior Director of Research & Development, Vista Outdoor
Derek has been a leader in product innovation in the Outdoor and Sporting Goods industry for 20 years. His passion is for finding product solutions that solve persistent consumer problems in the most sustainable way possible. He is currently the head of product development at CamelBak Products and Jimmy Styks paddleboards. His role encompasses design, engineering, product development, manufacturing, and testing for their global lines of boards, hydration packs and bottles. Previously, he held the role of Director of Global Product Innovation at The North Face where he created a standalone product innovation team that integrated into the corporate innovation structure. Prior to that he was the Sr. Manager of Advanced Concepts at Brooks Sports, where he focused on high performance footwear and apparel innovations for the specialty run market.
He is experienced in creating pathways for cutting-edge University research to influence product design, especially at the intersection of human physiology and performance. Successful partnerships include sports performance (University of Connecticut, MIT), biomechanics (University of Massachusetts, Loughborough University, German Sport University – Cologne) and extreme environment physiology (the Mayo Clinic).
Derek has Masters and Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering (from Colorado State and University of Washington, respectively). At University he specialized in environmental, biochemical, and materials engineering.
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.
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.
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.
Global Head of Gatorade Sports Marketing
Jeff Kearney is the global head of Gatorade Sports Marketing. In this role, he manages a team that oversees the brand’s sports marketing portfolio including all league, team, event, and athlete partnerships and negotiations around the world. Further responsibilities include Gatorade athlete services, as well as GSSI & influencer marketing platforms.
A 14-year veteran of Gatorade, Kearney has worked across many facets of the Gatorade Marketing organization and most recently served as senior director, Athlete Services. From managing partnerships with key sports influencers to overseeing the brand’s youth sports platforms, Kearney has driven many of the brand’s key equity and partnership platforms. After leading Brand efforts for the introduction of G Series in 2009, Kearney returned to the Sports Marketing team in early 2012 as its global director. In his Global role, Kearney worked across many of Gatorade’s key international markets, leading integration across all sports and sports assets for the brand.
Prior to joining Gatorade, Kearney began his career in sports as an intern at the Big Ten Conference. He later became assistant director of communications at Conference USA and previously held various positions at sports and event marketing agencies.
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Eagle Pharmaceuticals
Sherry Korczynski is an accomplished leader with 25 years of progressive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Korczynski is currently the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Woodcliff Lake, NJ. Prior to Eagle, she was Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Mylan Specialty. Prior to Mylan, Sherry spent 15 years at Eli Lilly and Company in multiple leadership roles within the sales organization. Sherry received her M.B.A. from West Virginia University and her B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University.
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.
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.