Wed, Sep 20|
#BSPNTX Event - Inside HBCU Athletics
Join Black Sports Professionals North Texas on Wednesday, September 20 for another engaging webinar, this time delving into the world of Historically Black Colleges and Universities athletics.
Time & Location
Sep 20, 2023, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT
About the Event
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 655 238 4265
Our panelists will talk about their journeys, from being HBCU students to being HBCU executives, and highlight the successes and challenges along the way to bring positive attention and awareness to HBCU athletics. From getting their foot in the door to discussing today’s ever-changing sports landscape, our featured speakers will give insights on the skills and tools needed to navigate this unique brand of college athletics, touch on hot topics affecting the sports industry and share nuggets of wisdom to the generation of sports professionals interested in careers in college athletics.
John T. Grant is Executive Director of the Cricket Celebration Bowl and the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, college football games in Atlanta owned and operated by ESPN Events. Grant joined ESPN Events in August 2015 and has built both games into marquee events played in a world-class facility with national broadcast agreements and top-tier sponsorship support and activation. Grant’s tireless work garnered him to be named one of the 20 Most Influential Black Figures in College Football by Sports Illustrated in 2023, one of many awards he has received as a highly respected business leader in the Atlanta area. Grant currently serves on several boards including the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Sports Council and National Wildlife Federation Executive Committee. A native of Potecasi, N.C., Grant attended North Carolina A&T State University.
Tiffani-Dawn Sykes is Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Florida A&M University. Sykes was named to the role in October 2022 and officially took over in Tallahassee on January 4, 2023. Prior to Florida A&M, she spent more than three years in senior leadership roles in the athletics department at Dartmouth College, most notably as Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Varsity Sports and Senior Woman Administrator. Her career stops in college athletics include time at six HBCU schools (Grambling State University, Norfolk State University, Chowan State University, Virginia Union University, Saint Paul’s College and her alma mater, Virginia State University) as well as the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association office. Sykes was a standout student-athlete at Virginia State as team captain and a four-year starter on the volleyball team and a three-year letterwinner on the track & field squad. The proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance from Virginia State in 2001 and her Master of Science degree in Sport Administration from Grambling State in 2010.
Derek Webber is President/Chief Executive Officer at Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC. Webber launched his Charlotte-based, full-service marketing agency in 2009. Since that time, his agency has evolved into the largest marketing agency of record for HBCU schools, conferences and events. An industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in sports and entertainment marketing, Webber’s extensive list of brands and events he has worked with include McDonald’s, NASCAR Productions, Street & Smith’s, four HBCU conferences (CIAA, MEAC, SIAC and SWAC), Honda Battle of the Bands, Queen City Battle of the Bands, National Battle of the Bands, American Black Film Festival and ESPN. He is active with several civic organizations in the Charlotte community and serves on the men’s fellowship board at the United Church of Christ. Webber earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from Hampton University in 1995.
Jordan Thomas is Senior Manager, Partnership Sales for the Long Island Nets, the NBA G League team affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets franchise. Thomas recently moved into his role with the Nets after spending a year as Manager, Business Development for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and National Lacrosse League’s Panther City Lacrosse Club. His sports experience includes stops with the NBA G League, Perfect Game USA, Texas Rangers Baseball Club and Major League Baseball Players Association. The New Orleans native is a former professional baseball player who played collegiately at Bethune-Cookman University and Webber International University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations from Bethune-Cookman in 2016 and his Master of Science degree in Sports Business, Athletic Administration from Temple University in 2022. While completing his master’s degree at Temple, Thomas served as the graduate school co-chair for the university’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management program and a peer mentor for the school’s Master of Science in Sport Business program.