We spoke with Scott Rochelle, President and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Player Association, covered the 2018 Dick Vitale Gala, ran down the top plays in sports philanthropy, as well as brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
President & CEO
National Basketball Retired Players Association
2018 Dick Vitale Gala
community marketing manager
Abby Jacobs is a Community Marketing Manager for DICK’s Sporting Goods in Wisconsin, where she manages the brand’s regional sponsorships and community outreach programs. She is responsible for establishing the chain’s stores as pillars in their local communities and partners with over 200 youth sports organizations across the state. Abby also oversees all local donation requests and is the corporate marketing representative for DICK's Sporting Goods in the field.
Prior to DICK’s Sporting Goods, Abby was an Experiential Account Executive with Team One Advertising in New York City, managing the sponsorship portfolio of 12 Lexus Dealer Associations in the sports, entertainment, lifestyle and philanthropic categories.
In June 2018 Abby founded Sports Biz Mom - a blog focused on supporting, encouraging and developing Mom's working in the sports industry. Her site features interviews with current "Sports Biz Mom's" and also provides practical advice for women, parents and employers about managing parenthood while working in sports.
Abby is passionate about community service, both through sport and volunteerism. While in New York she was on the Associates Board for Covenant House New York , which is the nation's largest privately funded agency serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. She has continued to fundraise for their cause since leaving the city, most recently as a member of the Home Team for the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon. Currently, she is a volunteer with Girls on the Run of Southeastern Wisconsin and is the Chair-Elect of the Grants Committee for the Junior League of Milwaukee.
Abby received her undergraduate degree in Marketing and International Business from the University of Nebraska in 2009 and her Master of Business Administration and Master of Sports Administration from Ohio University in 2013. She currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Ben, and their 1-year old son, Fraser.
jim mora count on me
As the daughter of a high school football coach and athletic director, Kara witnessed from a young age the positive impact that sport has in a community. A Southern California native, she volunteered on and off the field, assisting with team events, fundraising and community programs. Meanwhile, a passion for helping children led her to pursue a career in teaching.
Kara's love for education, fundraising, and football ultimately led her to the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation. The foundation, created by former college and NFL coach Jim Mora and family, focuses on empowering, nurturing, and inspiring children in need and at risk. As Program Director, Kara oversees all Count On Me programs, which primarily use the power of sports to shape young minds. Along with managing several youth football clinics in conjunction with professional athletes, Kara led development of the Bus 2 the Bowl program, providing children an opportunity to attend and be inspired by a UCLA football game. Other programs include the Holiday Shops, which provide children in hospitals across the country an opportunity to shop for their loved ones during the holidays without ever having to leave the hospital or even the comfort of their room.
Beyond her program directing responsibilities, Kara is heavily involved in planning and securing sponsorship for fundraising events, including the Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic. The flagship event, which includes 30+ celebrity and professional athletes, was a prime example of why Kara loves using the platform of professional sports to raise money and positively influence the community. Kara also manages Count On Me's social media platforms and online giving campaigns.
In addition to her work for the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation, Kara has assisted several other nonprofits with sponsorship and event coordination, including the Chris Long Foundation, the Sports Academy Foundation, and Athletes vs. Cancer. She continues to collaborate with like minded sports philanthropists across the country in hopes of continuing to spread the utilization sports for social impact.
Kara is part of the George Washington University Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Spring 2018 Cohort, and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine. She currently lives in Redondo Beach, CA.
soccer without borders
Mary McVeigh Connor is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Soccer Without Borders (www.soccerwithoutborders.org), a non-profit organization that uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the United States and abroad. Mary joined Soccer Without Borders from the college coaching and professional soccer ranks. As a player, Mary earned NCAA Division 1 All-America and Scholar All-America honors, and was the seventh overall draft pick for the Philadelphia Charge of the WUSA in 2003, later joining IBV of the Icelandic Premier league after the league folded. She coached NCAA Division 1 soccer for six years at Dartmouth College and Lehigh University, where she earned her Master's degree in Sociology.
Under her leadership as the first-ever Executive Director, Soccer Without Borders has grown by every measure, establishing original infrastructure and building programs from the ground up. Since its founding in 2006, Soccer Without Borders has reached more than 15,000 young people from more than 65 different countries of origin through its year-round programs and camps. The winner of the 2017 FIFA Diversity Award and 2016 Lipman Family Prize, Soccer Without Borders is best known for its work with refugee and immigrant youth, and getting girls in the game.
After playing club lacrosse and graduating with a B.A. in Art History from Indiana University, Sam Angelotta took a 10-month job coaching, playing, and developing lacrosse in Manchester, England. Using Manchester area primary schools as a recruiting ground, there was an opportunity presented for kids who weren’t keen on soccer to try something new. Angelotta returned to the US and decided he wanted to teach, coach, and incorporate a similar program in Chicago. After earning a masters degree in elementary education from DePaul, he eventually began teaching at St. Malachy School on Chicago’s West Side. It was there that Sam launched the first OWLS program after school with ten students (which continues today).
Angelotta tapped into the Chicago lacrosse community to help build OWLS. He found support from hundreds of volunteers with varied professional skills that helped us build a robust and fully compliant organizational structure, an integrated curriculum, and a trained, dedicated coaching staff to support the vision. Sam brought this vision to the likes of the University of Notre Dame’s Men’s Lacrosse program and Northwestern University’s Women’s Lacrosse and found additional institutional support for OWLS through local business partnerships.
Since its inception, OWLS has become one of the premier urban lacrosse programs in the country, currently serving over 300 at-risk Chicago youth annually and providing community service opportunities for over 150 committed volunteers. In 2017, the year-round OWLS Academy program was launched to provide direct scholarship access, academic readiness programs, and quarterly college visits. Last year Academy participants earned in excess of $150,000 in scholarships.