THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit was established by Intersport to create awareness of opportunities within the sports industry for high school and college students of color. On June 29th and 30th, students from across the country will be able to hear from and engage with sports and business executives, athletes and influencers using a state-of-the-art virtual platform. Invited speakers will share their experiences and advice about how to pursue and secure a career within the multi-faceted sports industry. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from “How to Land Your First Sports Internship” and “The Business of Sneakers” to “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Within Sports” and “The World of Global Sponsorship”. Students can apply for paid internships and scholarships from partners, organizations and foundations within and beyond the sports industry.

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit is FREE to attend!

Who Should Attend

  • High School Students
  • Community College Students
  • Undergraduate & Graduate Students
  • Recent College Graduates
  • Athletes
  • Career Advisors


2021 Sports Business Summit Schedule

Summit Schedule is from 11:00 am-5:00 pm EST (8:00am - 2pm PST) both days.

Note: Our speaker list is constantly being updated. Attendees will have access to a current list of speakers will be inside the Sports Business Summit.

11:00am - 11:20am


11:25am - 12:25pm

SESSION 1A: So You Want to Work in Sports? Part I

Sponsored by: The Children's Foundation

SESSION 1B: How to Become an Athletic Director x Sports Commissioner

12:30pm - 01:15pm

SESSION 2A: Beyond the Green: Careers in the Golf Industry

Sponsored by: PGA Works

SESSION 2B: Improving Our Communities Through Sports

Sponsored by: AAA
01:20pm - 01:40pm


01:45pm - 02:45pm

SESSION 3A: The Power of Sports Marketing & Social Media

Sponsored by: Optum

SESSION 3B: Sports Journalism x Sports Broadcasting

02:50pm - 03:35pm

SESSION 4A: Esports x Gaming

Sponsored by: CDW

SESSION 4B: The Business of Sneakers

03:45pm - 05:00pm

Career Resource Center-Professional Development

Sponsored by: Bedrock

Building Your Brand 101
How to Write A Stellar Resume
Virtual Interviewing 101

Note: Our speaker list is constantly being updated. Attendees will have access to a current list of speakers will be inside the Sports Business Summit.

11:00am - 11:20am


11:25am - 12:25pm

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Impact within Sports

Sponsored by: Rocket Mortgage
12:30pm - 01:15pm

SESSION 1A: So You Want to Work in Sports? Part II
SESSION 1B: Catering & Hospitality: The Heart of Customer Service

01:20pm - 02:20pm

SESSION 2A: Entrepreneurship in Sports

Sponsored by Trion

SESSION 2B: The Unsung Careers: Sports Diplomacy, International Olympics Committee & Youth Sports Programming

02:25pm - 03:25pm

SESSION 3A: The World of Global Sponsorship

Sponsored by: Dow

SESSION 3B: How to Land Your First Sports Internship

Sponsored by: Optum
03:30pm - 03:45pm


03:45pm - 05:00pm

Career Resource Center-Professional Development & Expo Area

Sponsored by: Intersport

Financial Literacy: How to Manage Your Salary, Budget, Investments + More!
Network = Your Net Worth: Effective Relationship Management

11:00am - 11:20am


Lisa Borders (Founder & CEO Golden Glow Media; Former President, WNBA)

11:25am - 12:25pm

SESSION 1A - So You Want to Work in Sports? Part I

The sports field offers many opportunities to match a career with your particular skills and interests. During this introductory session, learn about some of the best careers in sports including Events, Finance, Ticket Sales, Communications, and Facility Operations. The panelists will discuss the skills needed, along with the responsibilities (and perks) of each job.

  • Matthew Smith (Business Manager, MEAC)

  • Tahira Bellot (former Director, Ticket Sales & Operations, Dover Motorsports/Nashville Superspeedway)

  • Chris Sharkoski (Director, Event Operations, Philadelphia Eagles)

  • Alexandria Price (Director, Operations & Community Affairs, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation)

  • Akilah Laster (former Media Relations Director, College Athletics)

SESSION 1B - How to Become an Athletic Director x Sports Commissioner

Here’s your chance to hear firsthand from current and former senior-level collegiate sports leaders and learn about their different roles including managing staff, overseeing member schools, fundraising, creating budgets, making tough decisions…and winning championships.

  • Robert Vowels (Athletic Director, University of Detroit Mercy)

  • Portia Hoeg (Executive Director, Centennial Conference)

  • Martin Jarmond (Athletic Director, UCLA)

  • Andrea Williams (COO, College Football Playoff)

  • Regina Williams (Athletic Director, Withrow University High School)

  • Mark Hollis (Vice President, Business Development, Rock Ventures)

12:30pm - 01:15pm

SESSION 2A - Beyond the Green: Careers in the Golf Industry

There’s more to golf than what you see in person or on TV while watching a professional tournament. These speakers will talk about the many career choices on the green or behind the scenes.

  • Jasmin Cunningham (Account Representative, Acushnet Company)

  • Tari Cash (Founder + CEO, CitySwing)

  • Will Lowery (Podcast Host, Beyond The Fairway)

  • Demarkis Cooper (Professional, PGA)

  • Rachel Melendez-Mabee (Program Lead, PGA WORKS, PGA of America)

SESSION 2B - Improving Our Communities Through Sports

Corporations, philanthropic organizations and industry leaders are collaborating to build stronger and more inclusive communities through partnerships. Learn how these partnerships are built and the important impact they have on all of the stakeholders involved.

  • Charlie Batch (Former NFL Quarterback; Founder, Best of the Batch Foundation)

  • Lauren Clayborne (Director, Community Relations, Golden State Warriors)

  • Kenneth Mathies (Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, AAA)

  • H. Keith Mobley (Assistant Vice President, Corporate, Social Responsibility & Social Justice, AAA)

  • Larry Burns (President & CEO, The Children’s Foundation)

01:20pm - 02:20pm


Earl Cooper (Professional, PGA/Entrepreneur, Eastside Golf)

01:45pm - 02:45pm

SESSION 3A - The Power of Sports Marketing & Social Media

National corporations and brands understand the tremendous “star power” that athletes, sports teams and sports leagues have to influence consumer behavior. Learn the steps and the tools companies use to build successful marketing campaigns and how the evolution of social media has become a chief influencer that is here to stay. Or is it?

  • Van Adams (President, VanAdams Sports Group)

  • Alexia Grevious (Director, Marketing & Communications

  • Magic Johnson Enterprises)

  • Amir Zonozi (Co-Founder & President, Zoomph)

  • Nicole Smart (Principal Consultant, Smart EDI Solutions)

SESSION 3B - Sports Journalism x Sports Broadcasting

You’ve got a front row seat when these top industry sports journalists and broadcasters talk about the role of sports in our culture, and how current events impact them and their work.

  • Gus Johnson (Broadcaster, FOX Sports)

  • Monica McNutt (Broadcaster, ESPN/ACC Network)

  • Len Elmore (Senior Lecturer, Columbia University)

02:50pm - 03:35pm

SESSION 4A - Esports x Gaming

Hear how Esports (electronic sports) has transformed the video game industry and how the panelists have combined marketing, branding and gaming into fast-growing careers.

  • Walter Padilla (Director, Esports, Intersport)

  • Zach Wigal (Founder, Gamers Outreach)

SESSION 4B - The Business of Sneakers

Behind the multimillion-dollar business of sneakers are some of the brightest strategists in the game. Learn the phenomenon of “Sneakerheads,” merchandising and the exciting careers involved with this hot trend.

  • Allison Giorgio (Vice President, Marketing, PUMA North America)

  • Gentry Humphrey (Vice President, Jordan Footwear)

  • Chris Kaufman (Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer, StockX)

  • D’Wayne Edwards (Founder, Pensole Design Academy)

  • Kevin Irwin II (Game Arena Host, Detroit Pistons)

11:00am - 11:20am


  • Rashaad Lambert (Founder, (For)bes The Culture)

11:25am - 12:25pm

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Impact within Sports

Sports organizations are committing to DEI efforts within the workplace. What role will you play? Several experts will highlight the responsibility of employers and employees, and the positive impact of those efforts for all.

  • Trina Scott (Chief Diversity Officer, Rocket Companies)

  • Kevin Clayton (Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Community, Cleveland Cavaliers)

  • Marsha Oliver (Vice President, Community & Inclusion, PGA TOUR)

  • Dr. Ashley Baker (Chief Diversity Officer, Michigan State University Athletics)

12:30pm - 01:15pm

SESSION 1A - So You Want to Work in Sports? Part II

The sports field offers many opportunities to match a career with your particular skills and interests. During this introductory session, learn about some of the best careers in sports including IT, Coaching, Sports Psychology, Marketing, Athletic Training, and Sports Agent. The panelists will discuss the skills needed, along with the responsibilities (and perks) of each job.

  • Stu Jackson (Executive Associate Commissioner, Men’s Basketball, The BIG EAST)

  • Dr. Stephany Coakley (Founder & Director, Maximum Mental Training Associates)

  • James Hammond (Director, Information Technology, Carolina Panthers)

  • John Ciecko III (Head Athletic Trainer, Bloomfield Hills Schools)

  • DeAngelo Simmons (CEO, CORE4/BDS Sports)

  • Shavannia Williams (Marketing Manager, Atlanta Falcons)

SESSION 1B - Catering and Hospitality: The Heart of Customer Service

Delivering a great experience to fans and clients begins with great customer service. This session will share how your passion for service, food and sports can lead to careers in catering, sales, event planning, and guest services.

  • Monique Boyd (Director, Catering & Special Events, Legends Hospitality at SoFi Stadium)

  • Karl Crudup (Director, Special Events & Sales, Sacramento Kings)

  • Courtney Alexander (Director, Guest Services, Detroit Lions)

  • Darian Bryan (Executive Chef & Owner, The Plating Society)

  • Harriet Carter (Vice President, Customer & Partner Services, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau)

01:20pm - 02:20pm

SESSION 2A - Entrepreneurship in Sports

Your love for sports can lead to you being your own boss. Several entrepreneurs will discuss their paths to creating services based on consumer needs. Learn how they lead, pivot and adjust to stay current with trends.

  • Terrance Turner (Founder, Turner Sports Training)

  • Gina Rizzi (President, Radius Sports Group)

  • Patrick “Fresh” Henry (CEO, Richfresh)

  • Bonner Upshaw III (CEO & Co-Founder, Trion Solutions)

  • April Taylor (CEO, The SVE Firm)

  • DeAngelo Simmons (CEO, CORE4/BDS Sports)

  • Larry Lundy (President, Lundy Marketing Group)

SESSION 2B - Sports Diplomacy, International Olympics Committee & Youth Sports Programming

Hear about various careers with the US Government, National Governing Bodies and organizations focused on youth sports participation. Learn what they do and why their work is important in the United States and throughout the world.

  • Lisa Delpy Neirotti (Professor, George Washington University)

  • Wayne Moss (Executive Director, National Council of Youth Sports)

  • Kalisha Holmes (Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State)

  • Karinda Washington (Principal Consultant, Dash Worthy)

  • Delise O’Meally (CEO, Institute for Sport & Social Justice)

02:25pm - 03:25pm

SESSION 3A - The World of Global Sponsorship

Do you ever wonder how sponsorship deals are made? Learn how and why corporations utilize sponsorships to build and grow their brands throughout the world.

  • Kojo Mensah-Bonsu III (Global Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, CDW)

  • Michael Goldstein (Vice President, Head of Sponsorships, Mastercard)

  • Chris Chandler (Executive Director, Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational & Sports Solutions, Dow)

  • Allen Hermeling (Senior Vice President, Sponsorships & Growth, Optum)

  • Ebony Walls (Manager, Philanthropy & Partnerships, Intersport)

SESSION 3B - How to Land Your First Sports Internship

Successful careers in sports usually start with internships which provide experience needed to apply for jobs. Learn the tips to landing an internship including researching opportunities, building a resume, interviewing, and establishing grit.

  • Bruce Speight (Manager, Social Engagement & Alumni Affairs, Carolina Panthers)

  • Tracy Ellis-Ward (Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer & Senior Associate Commissioner, The BIG EAST)

03:30pm - 03:45pm


  • Ashton Henderson (Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Detroit Pistons)

  • Kevin Irwin II (Game Arena Host, Detroit Pistons)

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Achievement Scholarship

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Achievement Scholarship was created in honor of John Shippen, Jr., the first American-born and the first Black golf professional. Fifteen (15) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to current students of color (high school junior through graduate student status) who have demonstrated leadership and service with a commitment to inclusion and diversity efforts on campus and in the community. This scholarship is sponsored by the McClendon Foundation, whose mission is to empower and cultivate minority students who aspire to be principled leaders in athletics. To learn more or to apply click here


The first Black golf professional AND the first American-born golf professional, John Matthew Shippen, Jr. (1879-1968) was born on December 5, 1879. His father, born into slavery in Virginia, became a free man following the Civil War. He then moved to Washington, D.C. where he attended Howard University and received a degree in theology. When John Jr. was age nine, his family moved to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton on Long Island, NY, where his father was assigned as pastor.

As a teenager, Shippen worked with crews to help clear the land and build the original Shinnecock Hills golf course, which was near the reservation. Willie Dunn, a Scottish golf professional who designed the final holes at Shinnecock Hills, taught some of the young workers how to caddy and play the game, including John Shippen and his friend, Oscar Bunn, a Shinnecock Indian. Shippen had a natural talent for the game and became one of Dunn’s best students. By the age of 16, Shippen was working full-time as Dunn’s assistant, giving lessons to members, working as a caddy, repairing clubs, scorekeeping and assisting the maintenance crew.
Shinnecock Hills was selected to host the second U.S. Open in 1896. Club members (said to include the Rothchilds, the Mellons and the Carnegies) were so impressed with Shippen’s talent that they paid his and Bunn’s entry fees for the tournament. The week of the Open, other professional entrants (all foreign-born) sent a petition to USGA officials in which they objected to “colored boys meeting them on equal terms.” They held a meeting in protest on Thursday prior to the Open and threatened to withdraw if Shippen and Bunn were allowed to compete. USGA president Theodore Havemeyer is said to have declared, with conviction: “Gentlemen, you can leave or stay as you please. We are going to play this tournament tomorrow, with them – and with or without you.”
All entrants showed up the next morning for play. After the first 18-hole round, Shippen was tied for the lead, having shot a 78 in the first round. In the second round, his tee shot on the par-4 13th hole landed in a sandy road, which led to an 11 on the hole. He finished the second round with an 81 for an overall score of 159 for the 36-hole tournament. The seven strokes he lost on the 13th hole were the difference between his final score and the winning 152 by James Foulis of Scotland.
In Pete McDaniel’s Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story on African-Americans in Golf, Shippen is quoted as describing the 13th Hole as: “a little, easy par-four. I’d played it many times and I knew I had to stay on the right side of the fairway with my drive. Well, I played it too far to the right and the ball landed in a sand trap road. Bad trouble in those days before sand wedges. I kept hitting the ball along the road, unable to lift it out of the sand and wound up with an unbelievable eleven for the hole. You know, I’ve wished a hundred times I could have played that little par-four again.”
Shippen finished the tournament in 5th place and Bunn finished 21st. Shippen was awarded $10.00 in prize money, which officially secured his place in history as the 1st U.S.-born golf professional AND the 1st Black golf professional.
At the time, a leading sporting magazine was said to claim that Shippen should be “given every opportunity to show what he can do.” Although historical records differ, Shippen is known to have played in several U.S. Opens, including: 1896 – T5; 1899 – T25; 1900 – T27; 1902 – T5; 1913 – T41. His best finishes included the 1896 US Open, and in the 1902 US Open where he once again finished tied for 5th place.
No other Black golfer would play in the U.S. Open again until Ted Rhodes in 1948. Shippen’s family returned to D.C. in 1989, but he decided to remain in Shinnecock on his own. He was hired as the golf professional at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, NY. He went on to work as the golf pro at several clubs including Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia, PA, but he is best known for his tenure as the head pro at the Shady Rest Golf Course (now known as Scotch Hills Country Club) in Scotch Plains, NJ – the first Black golf club in the United States – which was established to provide recreation and entertainment for all ages. Activities included golf, tennis, horseback riding, skeet shooting concerts, dining, etc.
Shippen worked at the Shady Rest from 1924 until his retirement in 1960 during an era when Black luminaries, scholars, social reformers and entertainers such as W.E.B. DeBois, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday and Cab Calloway came to perform and enjoy themselves, and where Althea Gibson honed her tennis skills.
The John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation (add hyperlink) was founded in 1995 by Thurman and Ruby Simmons in Scotch Plains, NJ. They began studying his legacy in 1988 and have spent more than 30 years elevating Shippen’s name and elevating his place in American history. They also founded the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation and later the John Shippen Youth Golf Academy (add hyperlink), where young people learn about John Shippen and the sport of golf.
The JS Foundation also raised funds to locate and erect a headstone on Shippen’s grave at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, N.J., worked with Scotch Plains, NJ to establish the “John Shippen Drive” ceremonial street sign at Scotch Hills CC and worked directly with the Club to create a permanent space for the “John Shippen Museum at Shady Rest.”
The John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation is currently petitioning the United States Postal Service to create a U.S. Postal Stamp to celebrate Shippen’s place in history.
In addition to funding paid internship and scholarship opportunities for Black golfers and sports professionals, a portion of the proceeds from THE JOHN SHIPPEN will be donated to The John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation.
In 2009, the PGA of America bestowed John Shippen with his PGA Membership card posthumously, and he is now recognized by the USGA as America’s first golf professional. In 2018, he was inducted into the New Jersey Golf Association Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Class.
History has largely omitted John Shippen’s story, which has left several outlets to begin filling in the blanks that have been left undocumented. Even his ancestry has been confused over the years, with some claiming he was a descendant of the Shinnecock tribe. In John H. Kennedy’s book, A Course of Their Own: A History of African-American Golfers, Shippen’s daughter, Clara Johnson, reiterated that both of her father’s parents were Black, saying: “My father was a Negro. Every time I meet somebody, I have to correct that story.”
John Shippen’s participation and prowess paved the way for all American golfers today who stand on his shoulders. THE JOHN SHIPPEN aims to create opportunities in golf for Black men and women, ensure his story is told and preserve his tremendous legacy, which is one of Black History, but also of American History.