Sport Leadership Forum 2018

What: A free event open to the sport business community
Where: GSU Speakers Auditorium, Student Center East
When:  Thursday, March 1, 2018 – 7:15 p.m.– 8:15 p.m.

The 4th Annual GSU Sport Leadership Forum offers aspiring professionals the opportunity to learn from sport industry leaders. This year’s event features executives from the Minor League Baseball league office in St. Petersburg, Florida, as they discuss topics concerning MiLB and the sport industry. A moderated discussion, topics will range from breaking into the sport industry, leadership styles, and current trends in the sport industry.
This event is presented by the Sport Administration Academic Programs and Sport Administration and Management Club (SMAC).
This is a free event open to the Atlanta sport business community.

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Pat O’Conner– President & CEO, Minor League Baseball (MiLB)

Pat O’Conner has spent 35 years in professional baseball, including the last 25 in the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) offices. He has held positions such as General Manager, Director of Athletic Marketing, and Head of Operations in various sport organizations. Pat was elected the 11th president of Minor League Baseball in December 2007. He was re-elected for a third term in December 2015.

Since Pat’s arrival at the Minor League Baseball headquarters, Minor League Baseball has set attendance records. O’Conner is credited with negotiating three successive Professional Baseball Agreements with Major League Baseball on behalf of Minor League Baseball. Pat oversees the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development, has brought together Minor League Baseball clubs in packaging digital rights with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), and negotiated collective bargaining agreements with the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU). He oversaw MiLB’s first-ever diversity initiative and is credited with developing Minor League Baseball’s “Green Team” initiative to make Minor League Baseball teams and stadiums eco-friendlier and cost effective. O’Conner introduced Project Brand: 160 Teams, One Brand, which promotes its model of affordable, family-friendly entertainment in order to attract major corporate sponsors to MiLB.

Vince Pierson – Director of Diversity, Minor League Baseball (MiLB)

Vince Pierson is responsible for setting the strategy for Minor League Baseball’s industry-wide Diversity Initiative. He oversees the development and implementation of programs, activities, partnerships and other endeavors that advance diversity and inclusion within the industry. He is also responsible for creating educational programs and focused on diversity and inclusion for clubs at industry events and individually when designated.

Vince joined Minor League Baseball in 2015 and is currently a member of the National Diversity Council – Tampa Chapter, the Pinellas County Urban League and the National Black MBA Association – Tampa Chapter. Vince currently sits on the DeVos Sport Business Management’s Advisory Board.

Vince is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Science in sport management from Virginia State University. He also earned Master’s degrees in business administration and sport business management from the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program.