We spoke with JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer for MLS, Lesa Ukman, President of Lesa Ukman Partnerships, ran down the top plays in sports philanthropy, and brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
Champions of philanthropy, Inc.
Alycia M. Powell, originally from West Haven, Connecticut is the co-founder of Champions for Philanthropy, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers consulting services for professional athletes to establish their charitable brand. The organization assists athletes who are looking to start a charitable foundation, as well as assisting athletes in managing their existing charitable foundation or charitable giving.
Ms. Powell attended Fordham University, where she obtained her degree in Sociology with a minor in African and African American Studies. She went on to graduate from New York Law School, where she held leadership positions as the President of the Black Law Students Association, the Co-Editor in Chief of the Black Law Students Association Legal Journal, and the Co-Chair of the Public Interest Auction. Ms. Powell served as the Vice-Chair of the National Black Law Students Association, Northeast Region, where she oversaw the execution of all events, programs, and initiatives of the multi-state, 300-plus member organization.
Also while in law school, Alycia was very active in the Media, Entertainment and Sports Law Students Association, before forming the New York Law School Sports Law Society. Besides founding the organization, Alycia served as the president and Chair of the New York Law School Sports Law Symposium. The Symposium attracted top sports law speakers from across the country, and it is currently in its eighth year.
After graduating law school in 2011, Ms. Powell served as a legal and business consultant for entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. She went on to work in the legal department of an international retail brand, where her focus was on intellectual property matters, tax law, compliance, and general corporate law. Alycia went on to work in the aviation and tax law sectors, and also managed the operations of a private investor and a small family office.
Prior to founding Champions for Philanthropy, Ms. Powell sat on several non-profit boards for national organizations that focused on disadvantaged youth.
CHAMPIONS OF PHILANTHROPY, INC.
Michelle C. Mays is the co-founder of Champions for Philanthropy, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers consulting services for professional athletes to establish their charitable brand. The organization assists athletes who are looking to start a charitable foundation, as well as athletes seeking assistance with managing an existing foundation or charitable giving plan.
Like the athletes she works with, Michelle is passionate about giving to the community. She volunteers in various capacities at her church, is president of the New England Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, participates in city government, and is a former commissioner for her local fire department. She also holds a variety of work and volunteer experience in sports, having assisted with event management, client relations and fan engagement at events with the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the United States Tennis Association and the CIAA Basketball Tournament. Additionally, she has worked as a coach for local youth and adult basketball leagues, as a volunteer for the Jim Calhoun Classic charity events, and has served on the boards of local and national nonprofit organizations that work with youth through sports.
Michelle has worked for several years in nonprofit marketing and communications, and previously held positions at the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Georgia Power Company.
A native of West Haven, CT, Michelle graduated summa cum laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. While at Spelman, she was inducted into The Phi Beta Kappa Society and earned a certificate of Spanish studies from Benito Juárez Autonomous University in Oaxaca, Mexico. She received her MBA in Sports Marketing and Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
CEO & President
Miles is the CEO and co-founder of The Drive, a mobile fundraising application creating a fun and easy giving experience for donors. The native mobile app allows donors to give based on sports ($5/TD), or give directly to the charity of their choice with a few clicks on their mobile phone. The Drive’s charity network connects donors, charities, and advocates to achieve one goal – create a culture of giving around sports. In addition to partnering with non-profits like Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish, and North Texas Food Bank, The Drive works with pro teams, universities, athletes and corporations to enhance their charitable efforts via a simplified giving platform.
Miles has a diverse business background. He’s led consulting engagements for Fortune 500’s, start-ups and non-profits primarily focused on strategy, business process improvement and system implementations. Miles has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, where he focused on consulting and brand management. He received his BA from Texas Christian University in Entrepreneurship and is PMP certified.
Assistant Director | Internal Operations
BiRd ice arenA
Kyle Robbins was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado where she grew up a two-sport athlete as a downhill ski racer and soccer player. At the age of 18 she decided to leave Colorado and the athlete side of sports to pursue the business side of sports at Ohio University. There she would go on to receive a Bachelors in Sports Management and Sports Administration and would work in football operations and football recruiting for the next four years. As an intern for Ohio Football, she ran the summer youth football camps and focused on creating a larger impact for future student athletes.
With a passion to create a larger impact in the sports world, she currently holds multiple positions to both gain valuable experience and to continue to pursue my goal of working in community and philanthropy of sports. She aspire to work in one of the big five sports and believes that sports have the capability to be a platform to create a positive impact at the local, national and international level.
As the Assistant Director of Internal Operation at Bird Ice Arena, Kyle helps plan and execute community, youth, and student programming and initiatives, as well as oversees all internal operations. She is the president of Women In Sports, which has a mission of building young professionals in the sports industry through networking, professional and career development, and hands on experience.
Kyle is currently enrolled at Ohio University where she received a Masters in Business Administration and will be graduating in 2018 with a Masters of Sports Administration. In her spare time, Kyle works for the Cincinnati Bengals in their Corporate Partnership and Activation department on game-days.