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.
Chris Hill is a 2x founder and CEO. He currently serves as Chairman of PerkSpot. He is also actively involved with a variety of startups as a board member, advisor, and/or investor.
Chris founded Spotlite in 2012 to help make benefits enrollment easy and intuitive for employees. In 2014, Spotlite was acquired by Rally Health, owned by UnitedHealthcare, where he joined the executive leadership team.
Chris founded PerkSpot in 2006 to help employees save time and money through perks and rewards programs. PerkSpot currently serves more than 10 million employees from top employers including United Airlines, Spotify, Mayo Clinic, Twitter, and Walgreens. PerkSpot was bootstrapped until it raised $50m from Susquehanna Growth Equity in 2018.
Ahiza Garcia-Hodges is a reporter at NBC covering the intersection of media, sports, tech and business. Before joining NBC, Ahiza spent five years at CNN where she launched the site’s sports business beat and also spent time covering tech and business news. Ahiza graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Jacob Horne is on the Product and Venture teams at Coinbase, the largest regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the world. In his time at Coinbase, Jacob has worked across the exchange and the main Coinbase team, and was responsible for the strategy, execution and launch of USDC on Coinbase. Previously, Jacob was running a crypto-brokerage and early Ethereum startup while completing his Computer Science degree at the University of Sydney.
Jaeson Ma is a media executive, artist, and serial entrepreneur. He is a principle co-owner in social music video app Triller, co-founded premium production studio Stampede Ventures, digital music label 88rising, and east-west talent, brand strategy & investment firm East West Ventures. Jaeson is a Senior Advisor to Tencent Music Entertainment & KKBox fund KKFarm, Sparklabs Foundry & a Network Partner for consumer tech fund GoodWater Capital. Jaeson is considered one of the leading financiers to companies, institutions, and individuals investing in Asian media, entertainment & tech. Investments include Musical.ly (TikTok), Grab, Dark Horse Comics, Slock.it, Brain, Oursong, Triller, Kind Heaven, NanoTech Energy & MAUM restaurant (Michelin Star).
Gail Perry-Mason, of Detroit, Michigan, has come a long way, from foster care to caring for others. A respected authority in the financial industry, Gail is also a bestselling author. Her years of experience coupled with her “down-to-earth” but also “down-to-business” style has made her a sought after speaker and presenter. Regularly addressing capacity crowds, she educates people on financial literacy conducting financial training sessions and workshops for companies such as Chrysler, IBM, MGM, Blue Cross and Wells Fargo. Her regular national speaking engagements include keynote addresses at the University of Notre Dame, the NAACP Image Awards Women’s Reception, NBA Wives, University of Hawaii and the Allstate Purple Purse Movement. Gail’s wisdom also hit the airwaves as she co-hosted an award-winning talk show entitled “Building Wealth,” via broadcast on iHeartRadio affiliate WMXD (MIX 92.3 FM) and a television broadcast on Comcast Cable. She has appeared on national outlets such as BET, Fox News, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, RadioOne and NPR Radio. In 2014, Gail was a featured financial speaker at the Essence Women’s Festival.
Ms. Perry-Mason is a prolific, published writer and has written articles for local and national print media. Her features can be found in many publications, including: Ebony, Black Enterprise, On Wall Street, Research Magazine, Quick and Simple-Good Housekeeping Magazine, Essence, Jet, Free Press and Detroit News, Signature Magazine, Corp!, Washington Post and by the Associated Press.
While juggling her demanding financial career and public appearances, Gail found the time to write and publish her first book, Money Matters for Families, which served as a manual for the employees at DaimlerChrysler on managing finances. The book is geared toward families and focuses on the critical elements for building a strong financial foundation. It sold out of its original printing in the first year and is currently out of print. Gail’s second book, Girl, Make Your Money Grow, written with co-author Glinda Bridgforth, was a national best seller. This highly successful financial guide, featured on Oprah’s Debt Diet, has helped build Gail a national following.
Gail is extremely visible and active in her community. Recognizing the necessity of teaching youth the importance of money management, she has mentored over 25 young women who are now professionals in the financial industry. Ms. Perry-Mason has implemented a program within the Detroit Public Schools cultivating financial literacy and outlining the steps to entrepreneurship. She has served as Chairperson for the Tavis Smiley Youth to Leaders Program in Detroit and was honored for her work with Mr. Smiley at a benefit in Los Angeles. Gail is an honorary member of Elliottorian Business and Professional Women’s Club and a member of The Links, Incorporated. She currently serves on boards of many local and national organizations, including DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital (formerly Women’s Hospital), Detroit Music Hall, Detroit Development Fund, Nevada Women’s Money Council and Morgan State University.
Continuing her community involvement, she founded the original Money Camp for Teens and the first youth investment club, now known as the Money Matters for Youth Camp. Since 1996, Gail has instructed thousands of young people throughout Metropolitan Detroit, Denver and Jamaica. Money Matters has taught the core values of financial awareness and literacy, development of diverse, positive relationships and entrepreneurship, while emphasizing a message of giving back through service and philanthropy. Its ultimate goal is to provide a program that is committed to fostering the social, emotional and cognitive growth of young people while preparing them for professional and personal success. Gail’s program has received national recognition, with Money Matters receiving an invitation by Warren Buffett to be the first youth group to attend the Berkshire-Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, and featured in a national documentary on Mr. Buffett, in 2017.
Gail has received numerous awards, including honors from Ford Motor Company, Michigan Women’s Foundation, New Detroit Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. For her work in the community, she has been honored with the Michigan’s Local Hero Award by Bank of America, the Community Role Model Award from Alternatives for Girls and the Economic Empowerment Award from 100 Black Men. Named as one of Michigan’s Top 10 Business Women by the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2007, Ms. Perry-Mason has also received the Community Service Award from the Michigan Women’s Foundation. Named Phenomenal Business Woman of the Year, Gail was honored by the former Governor of Michigan with an award for fundraising on behalf of Non-Profit Organizations, and named a Community Ambassador by the present-day Governor of Michigan.
With the many accomplishments and accolades already under her belt, Ms. Perry-Mason shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Through the newest addition to her resume, 4ever39, Gail seeks to motivate 40, 50, and 60 year old women to optimize their daily life experiences with a focus on three areas: fitness, wine and funds. The 4ever39 product line, which will feature items related to all three categories, is expected to be released in 2018.
Gail is a mother of three terrific sons. Her mottos are “Success Benefits Others First” and “OpportUNITY Doesn’t Happen Without UNITY.”
Diallo Marvel, Global Creative Director, Beats By Dre
While growing up on the South Side of Chicago, a wise man told Diallo to “…just follow the music…” These sage words stuck and still inspires him in his current role as Global Creative Director at Beats By Dre.
Energized by the start of House Music in his Southside neighborhood, Diallo joined the next wave of young minds shaping Black Culture and went south to Atlanta to attend HBCU Clark Atlanta University where he studied Journalism, wrote music reviews for local magazines, and photographed the many artists that flocked there in the 1990’s. This time taught him that Black Culture is American Culture.
After graduating, he followed a lesser-known path, studied Art Direction, and began a career in Advertising. He saw that Marketing, not journalism, was the place for him to make the most cultural impact. He went on to work for some of the top ad agencies in the country, such as TBWA\Chiat\Day LA and HAVAS NY.
In 2013, Diallo met one of the founders of then start-up Beats By Dre at a concert, and after one conversation he was offered a job as Creative Director. Beats was acquired by Apple in 2014 and over the next six years, along with founders Jimmy Iovine and many other trailblazing minds at Beats, Diallo helped transform Beats into a premier American brand. His approach to storytelling set a new paradigm for music integration and personal narrative. Many commercials, brand films and awards later, he’s still at the helm, giving consumers permission to follow the music.
Jelani McCoy is a retired American Basketball player. He won a NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002. Post Career Jelani has worked as an Executive Producer, Director, producer and a CSO/ Partner at a Sports Media Platform before coming onboard SLiC.
Two-time NBA Champion JaVale McGee took an interest in technology at an early age. He maintained that level of fascination for the changing landscape of technology and since then, JaVale has been developing in the tech world through innovative companies such as Coinbase and Lime. Lime, a ride sharing company that has changed the local transportation game. Coinbase, a disruptor to the financial systems as we know them. JaVale is also the co-founder of JUGLIFE, together he and Kez Reed have created a company that manufactures reusable water bottles and builds water wells in Africa.
Keep in touch with JaVale: @Javalemcgee
Upon taking office, Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, appointed Candace Moore to serve as the City’s first Chief Equity Officer. Charged with leading the a new Office of Equity and Racial Justice, Candace has been tasked with creating and advancing new policies and practices through the lens of equity.
Prior to serving as the City’s Chief Equity Officer, Candace advocated for educational equity through a lens of racial and social justice at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. She was instrumental in the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s re-launch of the Educational Equity Project. Candace’s work with the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee focused on organizing legal advocacy resources to address disparate school discipline and barriers to enrollment for students throughout Chicago and its surrounding communities. As a next generation civil rights advocate, she believes that it is imperative to work in partnership with community-based advocates and institutional policy makers to achieve sustainable and meaningful solutions.
Candace‘s dedication to public service and advocacy is fueled by her own trials and triumphs and the countless stories of people who continue to be unfairly met with systemic barriers. Whether serving as a case manager for adults with disabilities at the Association for Individual Development or a Community Education Manager at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Candace’s past professional experiences have ignited a passion to be intentional in her work and created an unrelenting desire to be an agent of change. She is a proud graduate of both Loyola University Chicago’s undergraduate program and the School of Law (J.D.’13). Beyond her formal education, Candace engages in thought leadership and advocacy surrounding her deep commitment to empowering people to develop their own voice and be their own agents of change and is an alumna of the inaugural Surge Fellowship cohort and the Shriver Center’s inaugural class of the Racial Justice Initiative.
On the court, Chris Paul is a force to be reckoned with, a fierce competitor, and one of the most talented, respected NBA players of all time. Off the court, he’s a father, husband, compassionate philanthropist and businessman, who has built a robust brand and made a huge difference in his community, all while creating a powerful legacy. He is greatly respected by his peers as a leader both in and outside of basketball.
After leaving Wake Forest University (who retired his jersey in March 2013) at the end of his sophomore year, Chris was chosen by the New Orleans Hornets as the fourth pick in the 2005 NBA draft, which led to NBA Rookie of the Year honors, and the first of his nine All-Star selections.
Chris joined the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011 becoming the face of the franchise and helped lead the Clippers to their first ever Pacific Division title in 2013. After six years with the Clippers, Chris joined the Houston Rockets in 2017 and helped the team win a franchise-record 65 games in his debut season. Chris is currently playing with the Oklahoma City Thunder after two seasons with the Houston Rockets.
The Winston Salem, North Carolina native is a four-time NBA First Team selection, a seven-time All NBA Defensive First Team selection, a four-time NBA assist leader, and a six-time NBA steals leader, who won MVP honors at the 2013 All-Star game. He is also a two-time gold medal winner with Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Chris has become a well-respected and admired leader as evidenced by his elected role as President of the National Basketball Players Association since August 2013. He has played an instrumental role in making key decisions including the landmark decision to provide health insurance to retired players.
In addition to his leadership role with the NBA Players Association, Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for the NBPA Foundation and the Brotherhood Crusade. He is the President of World Waters (WTRMLN WTR’s Advisory Board) and an Advisory Board Member for College Track Los Angeles.
He is the co-founder of Go Hoop Day, a day for celebrating the game of basketball worldwide. He cohosts The Baha Mar Showdown, the annual celebrity golf showcase created by Turner Sports and CAA Sports.
Chris’ business partnerships include the Jordan Brand, State Farm Insurance, Spalding, Turner Impact Capital, Muzik, WTRMLN WTR, Beyond Meat, Uncharted Power, Calm, Fanatics, Panini Cards, and more.
Chris teamed up with Turner Impact Capital to raise awareness for the importance of affordable housing for working-class families. He’s also an investor in the Turner Multifamily Impact Fund, which aims to invest, preserve and enrich existing multifamily properties in densely populated, ethnically diverse, underserved urban communities.
Chris’ production company, Oh Dipp!!! Productions, recently signed an exclusive development and production partnership with MGM’s Big Fish Entertainment to create content across multiple platforms. Oh Dipp!!! and Big Fish previously worked together in 2017 on the three-part ESPN docu-series Chapter
3, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at his decision to leave the L.A. Clippers and join the Houston Rockets. Chris also served as an executive producer of the ESPN documentary Crossroads featuring a high school lacrosse team’s journey in overcoming adversity. Chris recently executive produced The Game Changers, an award-winning documentary about plant-based eating, protein, and strength. The production company is currently working on future projects.
His CP3 Basketball Academy is a premier training academy in Winston Salem and Greensboro, NC. The Academy provides skill development, basketball education, and leadership opportunities for young athletes of all skill levels. Chris also hosts youth clinics and camps, as well as an elite camp for top high school and college students from around the country.
In 2018, Chris became part owner of the Winston-Salem Dash, a minor league baseball team in WinstonSalem, North Carolina.
This past summer, Chris hosted his inaugural Club 61 Leadership Alliance. The mission of Club 61 is to provide experiences and opportunities for young adults to develop leadership skills.
Chris and his family established the Chris Paul Family Foundation in 2005, which strives to have a positive impact on individuals and families by leveling the playing field in education, sports and life goals. Leveling the playing field in education, the foundation provides technology opportunities for children in underserved communities across the United States. The foundation supports numerous organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, Shoes That Fit, Vision to Learn, the Brotherhood Crusade, Leaps n Boundz and Feed The Children. The foundation also hosts an annual Prom Pop-up Shop and Prom Takeover event, which provides high school students with all the necessities for a memorable prom experience.
The foundation recently donated $2.5 million to Wake Forest University to support their basketball program. The gift will be used to transform the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses with expanded and enhanced locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas. The new Chris Paul Locker Room for the men’s team will be named in his honor.
The foundation’s impact in local communities has earned Chris the NBA Community Assist Award five times. He has also received the 2016 ESPYs “Humanitarian of the Year” award and the 2016 Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his community efforts.
Chris hosted Nickelodeon’s 5th Annual Kids’ Choice Sports Awards in 2018. He recently teamed up with Nickelodeon in Houston for Worldwide Day of Play, a nationwide initiative to promote active, playful lifestyles in today’s young generation.
Chris is a Co-Chair of When We All Vote, a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit shaping the promise of democracy through voter registration and participation.
Chris is married to Jada Crawley and they have two children; a daughter, Camryn, and a son, Chris II.
Tomás Puig is the Founder CEO of the San Francisco based startup Alembic Technologies, Inc. (B2B Enterprise SaaS) and Managing Director of Test Kitchen Capital; a seed phase venture fund.
His career launched at NASA Ames Research Center in web development and security at the age of 15, but his creative side beckoned him into film and advertising where his projects won 4 National Addys and 2 Cannes Clios. He then transitioned in-house as a CMO with a technical bent for some of the world’s fastest-growing companies – WP Engine (acq. Silver Lake), Cambium Networks (IPO), Emarsys (Growth Stage), Ceres Imaging (B round), before founding Alembic Technologies (Seed Round).
Other experiences include two years as a Bollywood filmmaker, singing opera, culinary training in SF and Paris, and ongoing adventures in race tracking motorcycles (KTM preferred), collecting manga and anime, and running his underground dinner party series.
Gayatri Sarkar is a Managing Partner at Hype Capital VC Fund (US, EU, Israel), a venture arm of HYPE Sports Innovation’s largest sports startup ecosystem with 12+ sports global accelerators. She is the first/few female Partner in a Sports VC Fund. She is an advisor and on the invention selection committee of CAI, by Walton Family Foundation for deep tech startups. Investor member of Sharenett, founded by Jim Pallotta, owner of AS ROMA, Red Sox, Celtics. Previously she worked as a Partner in venture arm of NFLA Sports fund, MIT alum led VC Fund and hedge fund. She has 15 years of collective experience in operator, entrepreneurship and fund management role. Previously, she worked in a senior executive position at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Goldman Sachs, IBM, HP with strong big data and fintech background. She founded two startups. She sits on multiple company boards including AI, Energy, Enterprise Software in the US and EU. She is a founder of She-VC in collaboration with women in VC community of 1200 VC funds and fund of funds across 46 countries. She is a fundraising and development chair at Harvard alumni Board of Directors. Gayatri was a physics major and a math minor with an MBA in operations management.