We spoke with Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation, Scott Shirley, CEO of PLEDGE IT, ran down top plays in sports philanthropy, as well as brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland with a passion for sports and volunteerism, Kelly graduated with a business degree from Loyola University Maryland in 2011, where she was a four-year varsity lacrosse player. While at Loyola, Kelly interned over two summers with Baltimore Magazine and the Baltimore Orioles, respectively. Upon graduation, she took a position in Surrey, England, as a schools coaching officer with the English Lacrosse Association. After a year, she traveled back to the United States in search of a sports-related internship and was fortunate to land in the community relations department at the Baltimore Ravens.
It was through this internship that Kelly realized how powerful her impact could be when connecting professional athletes with the communities that surround them. After travelling with the team to the 2012 Super Bowl and coming home victorious, she knew there could be no other job for her. The following year, Kelly was hired as the community relations coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens and has since been promoted to manager within the same department. Heading into her seventh season with the team, she looks forward to continuing to develop the numerous programs and initiatives that she oversees, including the L.I.F.T. (Leading and Inspiring Females to Thrive) conference for high school female athletes, the team’s community-based publications and press releases, and the local implementation of the NFL’s Crucial Catch and Salute to Service campaigns. Kelly is also currently enrolled as a Business Volunteers of Maryland GIVE Fellow for the 2018 year.
National director of Business Development
Positive coaching alliance
Jason Sacks is the National Director for Business Development of Positive Coaching Alliance. PCA is a national nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the culture of youth and high school sports so that all kids have a positive, character building experience. In his current role, Jason oversees three areas: new Chapter Expansion (bring PCA to new cities across the country), National Partnerships (relationships with the NBA, MLB, National Governing Bodies and National Youth Sports Organizations) and Corporate Partnerships (ie, TeamSnap, Deloitte, Dove Men+Care and more). He served as the Partner Development Associate for the New Jersey/Philadelphia region, as well as PCA's Director of Partner Development from 2008-10. Jason was also the Executive Director for the PCA-Chicago chapter from 2010 to 2015.
Prior to joining PCA, Jason worked in sports television production, working for the production arm of International Management Group (IMG). He also worked in the Basketball Operations Department for the New York Knicks during the 2005-06 season. Jason holds an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University, and a Master's degree in Sports Management from New York University. He also served as an assistant coach for the Men's Basketball Team while at NYU. His other previous coaching stops include Egg Harbor Township High School (NJ) and Perspectives Charter High School (Chicago).
Outside of PCA, Jason, a native of southern New Jersey, serves on the Syracuse University Chicago Regional Council and is an adjunct instructor in Northwestern University's Masters of Sports Administration program. Jason and his wife live on the north side of Chicago with their twin son and daughter.
MSE Foundation Assistant
Erin Mordhorst is currently earning her master’s degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University.
She works part-time for the Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation, the official charity of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, Valor and Baltimore Brigade. In this role, she helps organize and facilitate fundraising efforts and events that benefit the foundation.
Erin recently accepted a position with Special Olympics International helping to plan and execute the organization’s 50th Anniversary global celebration. The events this summer will kick off a year-long celebration of unity, courage and empowerment. For more information on the anniversary celebration, visit the Special Olympics website.
Previously, Erin worked as Community Outreach Coordinator for Our Neighbor’s Child, a local charity that provided holiday assistance to over 600 families in 2017. She also worked on the Fan Development Team for the Chicago Blackhawks. In this role, Erin and the team visited over 100 Chicago Public Schools to lead hockey clinics and donate hockey equipment, so the children could continue playing throughout the school year.
Erin graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design and two minors, one in Sport Communication and one in Public Relations.
Director of K-12 Solutions
Stephen Minix is the Director of K-12 Solutions for UpMetrics, a socially driven technology company that provides activity management, data analysis technology tools and impact reporting to foundations, school districts, and non-profit organizations.
Stephen has dedicated his life's work to the belief that all children deserve an excellent education inclusive of access to activities that enhance college and career readiness, while also promoting a healthy life. Stephen has served youth in Los Angeles’ public schools as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and district coordinator for afterschool programs and athletics, recognized as the CIF LA City Section Athletic Director of the Year in 2015 and the Norm Mackenzie Rookie of the Year Winner in 2012. Stephen graduated from Pepperdine with a BS in Physical Education and MA in Secondary Education.
Stephen currently works with UpMetrics to provide tailored impact reporting for clients designed to identify and synthesize program impact metrics so that they can analyze, interpret, and use their data to expand services, make better decisions and increase funding opportunities.