The B.I.G. Summit discussion panel at All-Star Weekend 2020 in Chicago was brimming with athletes, investors, disruptors, entrepreneurs and your Master Connector (M.C.), Baron Davis. Baron’s Legends Lounge featured 1:1 conversations with the Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, and legendary sports icon, Isiah Thomas.
Baron had fireside chats with Chris Paul, Javale McGee, Metta World Peace and Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the NBPA. Cyn Marshall, the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks spoke on how Diversity & Inclusion is more than a buzzword.
Panel discussions included ‘How Cannabis Can Impact Social Enterprise’ with the founder of Viola and previous NBA athlete, Al Harrington and ‘The Philosophy of Investing’ with Marisol Hernandez, Head of Asset Owners of PRI. Hebru Brantley discussed How Art Innovates the World of Branding with Diallo Marvel of Beats by Dre and Jordan Wolosky of AG Artists.
Other conversations included the Business of Disruption, how The Justice System can be Turned Inside Out with Technology and how Storytelling is Changing Through Media and Tech Evolutions. Relevant and timely topics are always discussed, challenged and solution-oriented outcomes are pronounced. The B.I.G. Summit is at All-Star Weekend and other annual sporting events around the country.
Khadine Bennett is the Director of Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs with the ACLU of Illinois. A recognized advocate inside the State Capitol, Khadine is responsible for advancing a wide range of issues under the ambit of the state and federal constitution, from privacy and technology issues, to policing, criminal and juvenile justice, first amendment, LGBT, and reproductive justice. Khadine has drafted numerous bills that have been successfully moved to the Governor and signed into law. She regularly testifies before Committees in both the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate. And, she works with individual members of both bodies, both as sponsors and in seeking support for the ACLU’s initiatives and priorities.
Khadine has led ACLU efforts to win passage of the freedom to marry for all Illinoisans, a measure to place modest regulations on so-called Stingrays (cell site simulators), drones and other location tracking devices and a modernization of comprehensive sexual health education in the State of Illinois. Khadine has been recognized for her efforts by legislators and other organizations.
Khadine has serves on the boards of Restore Justice Illinois and the Juvenile Justice Initiative, and previously served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, WILD for Human Rights, Exhale, and the Chicago Abortion Fund.
Dr. Zachary K. Blumkin is a licensed psychologist and the clinical director of the Columbia Day Program and the Accelerated Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) in midtown Manhattan. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUIMC. Dr. Blumkin has advanced training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and is a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™.
Dr. Blumkin specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults. In addition to individual and group therapy, Dr. Blumkin works with families, parents, and couples. Dr. Blumkin is trained in numerous evidence-based treatment approaches and has a wide range of experience spanning both externalizing and internalizing disorders as well as working with those affected by chronic illness and/or medical issues. He has significant experience navigating all levels of the education system, addressing family issues, and teaching parenting skills. He has also presented at numerous conferences on a range of topics.
Dr. Blumkin received his B.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado with a major in psychology. He received his doctorate from the William James College with specializations in Health Psychology and Latino Mental Health. Dr. Blumkin completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CHONY/CUIMC). After completing his training and prior to his current role, Dr. Blumkin was on staff at CHONY/CUIMC where he coordinated group programs, the ADHD clinic, the adolescent DBT program, and the evidence-based treatments course for the psychology trainees and psychiatry fellows in the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at CUIMC. While on staff at CHONY/CUIMC, he supervised both medical/psychiatry students and doctoral level psychology students.
In addition to his clinical and administrative roles, Dr. Blumkin also works with medical students and lawyers in the Columbia P&S Asylum Clinic and Columbia P&S Human Rights Initiative.
Renee Bobb is an authority in the field of self-publishing and small business development. Her company, R.B.I. Enterprise (www.EmpowerU2Do.com), is an Empowerment Training and Development Firm, specializing in Career Empowerment, Small Business Development, Financial Empowerment and Book Publishing Training (www.BookPublishingLady.com). At the present time, Renee teaches the Nashville Book Publishing Workshop which has helped over 2,500 aspiring authors to write, market and publish their own books.
Renee is the winner of the 2018 Tennessee Christian Chamber of Commerce “Community Impact Award in the area of Education,” the 2018 Tennessee Black Chamber of Commerce “Rising Star Award,” the 2018 Nashville Entrepreneur Center Member of the Year Award, the 2017 Nashville Bunker Labs “Get It Done” Military Veteran of the Year Award, the 2015 Nashville Business Journal Veteran of the Year Award and the 2012 Tennessee Titans Quarterback Volunteer of the Year Award. In 2005, Renee also won the Small Business Administration, Virginia Women in Business Champion of the Year Award.
In November of 2019, Renee accepted an opportunity to work with Bunker Labs as their West Regional Executive Director. This opportunity provides Renee the platform to empower more military Veterans and their families to start and expand their own businesses.
As a Career Small Business Coach, she provides tools and resources to those who have a desire to change their lives. Renee has published 16 non-fiction books including: Financial Empowerment: A Practical Approach to Getting Your Financial Life in Order and her top seller, The Self-Publishing Process: The Beginner’s Guide to Book Publishing Success.
One of the highlights of Renee’s career is serving in the United States Navy as a Telecommunications Operator. Over the past seven years Renee has worked with Military Veterans within the VA Hospitals teaching them Financial Empowerment and Money Management classes.
Renee has a passion for the game of basketball. As the owner of the Music City Icons Professional Women’s Basketball Team, Renee desires to help women get a second chance at a basketball career (www.MusicCityIcons.com).
One of Renee’s biggest contracts was with Pathway Women’s Business Center which ended in 2017. Renee taught entrepreneurship, financial empowerment and business development training classes. She created a Fresh Start Entrepreneur training program which she facilitated at the Tennessee Prison for Women. Renee also facilitated the Boots-to-Business entrepreneurship class for Military Veterans.
From 2008 to 2013, Renee worked with Operation Stand Down Tennessee as the Assistant Employment Coordinator and Grant Manager. She specialized in matching honorably discharged veterans with jobs in the Metro Nashville area. Renee has created employment training curriculum for homeless Veterans, as well as managed a $500,000 grant funded Mission Green Weatherization training program. She has also managed and coordinated the Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families (SSVF) with an $850,000 grant from the Veterans Administration.
Renee formally served on the Board of Directors at Safe Haven Family Shelter and is a founding Board of Advisor member for Pathway Women’s Business Center located in Nashville, Tennessee. Her volunteer service in the community won her runner up for the Nashville Homeless Commission Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012.
Renee is a graduate of Norfolk State University and holds B.S. Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Business Administration, Marketing and Social Work. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.
Hebru Brantley creates narrative driven work revolving around his conceptualized iconic characters. Brantley utilizes these iconic characters to address complex ideas around nostalgia, the mental psyche, power and hope. The color palettes, pop-art motifs and characters themselves create accessibility around Brantley’s layered and multifaceted ideas. Majorly influenced by the South Side of Chicago’s Afro Cobra movement in the 1960s and 70s, Brantley uses the lineage of mural and graffiti work as a frame to explore his inquiries. Brantley applies a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic, watercolor and spray paint to non-traditional mediums such as coffee and tea. Brantley’s work challenges the traditional view of the hero or protagonist. His work insists on a contemporary and distinct narrative that shapes and impacts the viewer’s gaze.
Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows in Chicago, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York including Art Basel Switzerland, Art Basel Miami, Scope NYC and Frieze London. Brantley has been recognized in publications including the Chicago Tribune, Complex Magazine and NY Post. His work has been collected by Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel,The Pritzker Family and power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce. Brantley has collaborated with brands like Nike, Hublot and Adidas. Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and media illustration.
10+ years of relevant professional experience spanning Arts & Entertainment – advocate with respect to creative arts-driven/community engagement & investment. Technology proponent as bridge and equalizer. Remix Project’s strategic programming platform focuses on equity, access, mentorship, and the importance of entrepreneurship to drive economic growth.
Jon is a lifetime entrepreneur. He’s led founders and brands to numerous acquisitions with the likes of Google, GoDaddy and Viacom to name a few. Companies through his incubator Colab, have raised over $300M across a $950M+ combined valuations. Jon has recently taken a small step back from Colab to focus on what promises to be their most successful venture yet, CBDEE.
Ryan Bukstein is a multidisciplinary creative guided by curiosity, community and a love of collaboration.
From launching hotels in cities across the globe like Portland, London and soon in Kyoto, to reinvigorating a renowned historical theatre in Los Angeles and working with brands like Beams, Uniqlo, Converse, Warner Brothers, Comex, Martin Greenfield and Microsoft, Ryan’s artistic eye and dynamic background provide the backbone for all that he does.
As the current Vice President of Brand at Ace Hotel Group, he has overseen more than 18 years worth of innovation, development and creative growth for the brand. He works directly with artists, writers, savvy business folk and left-of-center thinkers to oversee Marketing, Public Relations, Culture and Programming and Partnerships for all Ace Hotel locations and affiliated brands. With a penchant for leading through action, drumming and chasing after his big dog, Leonard — the unofficial Ace mascot — Ryan is a longtime member of the Ace family and believer in the power of good people coming together to do great things.
Stephanie Chuang is the founder of The Patient Story, a company born out of her own survival of cancer in 2017. The website features in-depth stories of cancer survivors to help newly-diagnosed patients and caregivers better understand what they may be dealing with during and after treatment. Previously, Stephanie spent a decade in TV news as an Emmy-nominated journalist. She was last working at NBC Bay Area as a Special Projects and San Francisco-based reporter.
Jim DeCicco is the Oldest Brother and CEO of Kitu Life, Inc., makers of Super Coffee. Jim and his two younger brothers, Jake and Jordan, launched Super Coffee as tired college athletes in January 2016. Today, Kitu Life is based in NYC with 75 Full Time Employees across the country. The company has raised more than $25 million in growth capital and is poised to clear $100 million in sales in 2020.
Lori Fena is a recognized technology policy thought leader, entrepreneur, investor and author. She has leveraged technical curiosity, business acumen and an activist nature to align stakeholders behind groundbreaking technology companies and international technology/data policy from the start of networked computing era to today’s world of AI, ML, Big Data and distributed ledgers. Ms. Fena was the former Executive Director and Chairman of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org), founder and Chairman of TRUSTe.org, and led the “Accountable Net” Internet Policy Program at the Aspen Institute. She continued as an investor and advisor to many technology companies after selling her company to Stream International, in a $1.2B merger of Corporate Software and R.R.Donnelly Global Software Services.
As Founder of premium cannabis company Viola Inc., Al Harrington is the mastermind behind the brand named after and inspired by his grandmother, Viola Harrington. After seeing how cannabis helped Viola who was a sufferer of various ailments including glaucoma and diabetes, Al worked with a team of industry leaders to create a cannabis brand that is founded in purpose.
Overseeing Viola’s carefully curated cultivation, extraction, and production processes, Al has
brought the most premium cannabis products to market. In 2018, Al launched Harrington
Wellness, a company that manufactures non-psychoactive cannabinoid products, as well as a third company Butter Baby, that makes cannabis edibles. All three companies are under the Harrington Group umbrella.
While in and after the NBA, Al Harrington has been a strategic investor in startups across the cannabis market. Prior to his entrepreneurship, Al Harrington was a professional basketball player for 16 seasons playing in the NBA. He played for the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards. He briefly played with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association. Al was first drafted at the age of 18, making him one of the youngest NBA players in history.
Al Harrington is currently an active member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association
(MCBA), the Cannabis Trade Federation, and Tidal Royalty’s Advisory Board.
Marisol Hernandez is a responsible investment specialist with over 15 years of experience working for the PRI, consultancy firms, and pension funds as a responsible investment adviser and alternative investments consultant. At PRI she is currently the Head of Asset Owners for PRI and its 2000+ signatories representing over $82T AUM. In this role she develops programs for selection, appointment and monitoring of external managers, and passive investments. Also, she developed the first industry standard due diligence questionnaire and the first industry guide for hedge funds focused on responsible investment, leading the implementation of responsible investment across the hedge fund industry. Marisol has advised institutional investors on their investment decisions for the allocation of large capital in alternative investments such as hedge funds, real assets and private equity, and other traditional asset classes such as equities and bonds. Marisol has an MSc in Financial Engineering, a BSc in Industrial Engineering, she recently completed a course at the University of Oxford on AI, and she is currently reading for a PhD in Economics with a focus on Responsible Investment for institutional investors.