We're bringing the best and brightest in the Gaming & Esports industries together in Atlanta to give you the skinny on the future of gaming, esports, and digital entertainment in the southeast.
Join us at Esports Summit
Co-Founder, Major League Gaming (MLG)
Sundance is a seasoned executive, recognized thought leader in video game culture, and veteran creative director with more than 18 years of experience in the media, technology and video game industries. He co-founded MLG in 2002 with Mike Sepso, with the goal of creating a company that would reflect both his lifelong passion for gaming and his deeply competitive nature. Sundance currently serves as the CEO of MLG, focuseing on the long-term growth of competitive video gaming and the various distribution channels that are helping to bring this burgeoning sport to an ever-growing community.
Prior to co-founding MLG, Sundance was Worldwide Creative director at Gotham Broadband, a broadband media pioneer. He is a veteran creative executive and has worked closely with a wide variety of brands, including AOL Time Warner, DirecTV, Sony, Pfizer, Nortel Networks, and Sprint.
Kevin Lin is the Co-Founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. Since graduating from Yale in 2004, Kevin has worn many hats in a variety of industries, from working at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species to running major events and promotions for the NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization—to managing sales and operations at a San Francisco beverage company.
Kevin finally found his home in the live online video world with Twitch. In 2008, he joined Justin.tv as COO and helped launch Twitch in 2011, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014. He is excited and passionate about enabling creativity through angel investing and advising.
Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Inside Sales & Customer Success, INAP
TJ Waldorf leads INAP’s global marketing, customer success and inside sales organizations as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to this role, he served as Vice President of Global Marketing at INAP and Vice President of Inside Sales and Marketing at SingleHop, which was acquired by INAP in 2018.
Waldorf's previous experience encompasses a broad spectrum of marketing, sales, operations and business management positions, including management roles at Phoenix NAP and Secured Servers. There, he led initiatives to increase global market share across several data centers with a broad IaaS portfolio of dedicated and virtual servers, colocation, private and hybrid cloud.
President & COO, Envy Gaming
Geoff is a 25-year sports and entertainment veteran currently responsible for sales, marketing, sponsorship and venue development for Team Envy. Team Envy is comprised of several teams playing under that name as well as the Dallas Fuel in the Overwatch League and the Dallas Empire in the Call of Duty League.
Prior to joining Envy, Geoff was a partner at LOGE Capital Partners, where we consulted on stadium designs around the world. He also served as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for the creation and launching of Circuit of The Americas, which was the nation’s first custom built F1 entertainment facility. Geoff was the first employee of the Dallas Stars organization and served in various capacities over 18+ years. He spent three years as a part of the design and build task force for the American Airlines Center and the last seven years as the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Geoff is an original member of the Dallas international Sports Commission, which was instrumental in Dallas’ efforts to secure 1994 World Cup games and activities and relocate the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas.
President & Co-Founder, Pittsburgh Knights
James “Jame^s” O’Connor has had a storied career in North American esports, playing in more than 30 professional seasons over the course of 10+ years. He created and led numerous teams from the amateur league into the professional division of Counter-Strike. This success led him to become a sought after instructor and coach. He went on to teach over 4,000 individual students and 200 teams across the globe.
After earning his MBA and working in economic development for the city of Pittsburgh, O’Connor went on to coach Team Liquid. He helped them recruit the world’s biggest Counter-Strike stars, qualify for two major world finals, and took them from the 25th ranked team world-wide to the 4th. James parlayed this success into obtaining an equity position with the Detroit Renegades. There, he helped NBA player Jonas Jerebko acquire the team and carve out their spot in the industry. He is currently a board member of the Pennsylvania Esports Coalition and is working closely with local government to bring esports tourism to Pittsburgh.
He is now the president and co-owner of the Pittsburgh Knights. Founded in 2017, the Knights are Pittssburgh’s professional esports team. In December 2018, six-time Super Bowl winners, the Pittsburgh Steelers, invested in and partnered with the Knights, making headlines in both the traditional sports and esports scenes. In 2019, the Knights brought on another strategic partner with Pittsburgh roots - multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa. Most recently, the Knights have partnered with Mexican media and entertainment group MX LATAM with plans to expand into Latin American esports. With this group, O’Connor is committed to making the Knights one of the most esteemed teams in esports.
Outside of esports, O’Connor is a USMC veteran who served in Iraq. Upon returning home, he has helped build various organizations that help veterans transition into civilian life, applying their experience in the armed forces to serve their communities.
Director of Partnerships, Atlanta Reign & Atlanta FaZe
Jeremy Poore is the Director of Partnerships for the Atlanta Reign and Atlanta FaZe, the city’s professional esports teams, owned and operated by Atlanta Esports Ventures. He is on a mission to educate prospective partners on the power and growth potential of the thriving global esports industry.
With expertise in brand partnerships and marketing, Jeremy has over 10 years of experience working with prominent brands including ESPN, FOX Sports, and Scuf Gaming. Jeremy’s passion for esports and gaming started when he was young while playing against his brothers on the Atari 2600. Originally from Louisville KY, he has called Atlanta home since 2001.
Owner, Spacestation Gaming
Shonduras started on Snapchat, revolutionizing the platform and organically growing one of the largest and most engaged audiences. Looking to diversify his reach he took his attention to YouTube where he once again created a far-reaching and engaged audience in a short amount of time. Fans look forward to his daily “Best Day Ever” videos, each filled with fun content centered around his family life, skateboarding, hanging with friends, and new trends that pop up. Shaun understands the social psychology behind getting fans to engage and participate with content and has used these principals to grow across social platforms. He has won several awards for his content, including a Forbes 30 Under 30 for marketing and advertising. He has also created two businesses under his brand: a competitive esports organization called Spacestation Gaming and a marketing agency called Spacestation Integrations which focuses on influencers and brand partnerships.
Vice President of Solutions Engineering, INAP
Josh Williams is Vice President of Solutions Engineering at INAP. His team enables enterprises in the design, deployment and management of a wide range of data center, cloud and network solutions. Prior to this role, Williams served as Vice President of Enterprise Sales and Solutions Engineering at SingleHop, which was acquired by INAP in 2018.
Senior Director of Global Marketing, INAP
Danielle Walter is the Senior Director of Global Marketing at INAP. Part of SingleHop during the INAP acquisition, she has worked for the company since 2016. In her current role, she advocates for IT professionals worldwide to lead their organizations’ growth through innovative IT transformation. She also led the team responsible for INAP’S rebranding. Prior to INAP, she ran global marketing campaigns at Rackspace with a focus on rebranding/remessaging, internal sales and customer support alignment. She also increased marketing tracking efforts to ensure company performance went above and beyond industry ROI standards. As a certified sommelier, Danielle savors her free time exploring new wine, food and destinations. She is a native of the Chicagoland area and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University. She currently resides north of Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.
Co-Founder, Blue Mammoth Games
Matt is the Co-Founder of Blue Mammoth Games, a Ubisoft studio. Founded in 2009, Blue Mammoth is the maker of the popular fighting game Brawlhalla. Since 2015 Brawlhalla has had over 35 million players across XBox, PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Brawlhalla esports competitors have won over $1,000,000 dollars in prize money across over 200 official tournaments, and the fourth annual Brawlhalla World Championship is taking place at the 2019 Dreamhack Atlanta.
Matt's other credits include City of Heroes, City of Villains, and Global Agenda. His real love is for quirky 2D games like Castle Crashers and Monkey Island, classic animation, and board games. Other programmers make fun of him because his degree is in history.
President & CEO, McKinney Economic Development Corporation
Creativity and Innovation have always been a passion for Peter Tokar. Earning his degree in advertising and graphic design, Peter planned on winning Addy awards for a big NY Ad firm. However, his career path took a creative turn of its own during the great recession. Working odd jobs in hospitality, sales and whatever freelance work he could find, Peter went back to school to get his Masters of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University who offered the degree with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. After graduating, Peter found himself working of all places, in the economic development department of a local government. Economic Development is different though. If there is a creative sliver of government, it is economic development. In the 15 years since, Peter has been crafting community outreach programs, business assistance programs for local businesses, launching innovation centers for start-up tech entrepreneurs, sponsored kids coding programs in the local community, promoting Esports and Creative Industries and help bring life and vibrancy to the cities he has been a servant to. Peter is passionate about what he does and is always trying to find that innovative element that will bring positive change and growth to a community. Peter is currently the President & CEO for the McKinney Economic Development Corporation in McKinney, TX.
Director of Gaming, IM Creative
Christie is a former competitive Counter-Strike player who has over a decade and a half of marketing and strategy experience under her belt. Notably she has managed social media communities and produced content for companies like J.P. Morgan Chase, L'Oréal, and Viacom. She has built social strategies for clients like Twitch, Samsung, Microsoft, Epic Games, and PUBG. Christie is currently gaming director at IMC, an experience studio that creates extraordinary audience engagements for the world's best known brands.
She is also on the advisory board for Hallid.ai AI Gaming, the developers of Fridai, an AI powered virtual gaming assistant. An advisory board member for Wombo Sports, a gaming team that allows fans to engage with professional athletes and celebrities. Christie proudly serves on the advisory board for Gamers Outreach; a non-profit organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. To date, an estimated 1.2 million patients benefit from Gamers Outreach programs in nearly 200 healthcare facilities across the United States.
Marcus Howard is the CEO of ProjectMQ, a multimedia search engine exclusively for independent (i.e. “indie”) video games, which was PayPal’s top digital service of their 2018 business contest. He’s also the President of Tampa Association of Gaming and Global Coalition of Gaming, nonprofits dedicated to growing the gaming industry and supporting STEM youth programs. Marcus got Super Mario Bros. 3 for Christmas when he was six, and he’s been playing video games ever since. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, with a minor in Management, from Georgia Southern University. Marcus sees tremendous potential for indie games in esports: 75% of Steam’s video games are made by indie studios, and nearly 30% of the top esports titles in 2018 were created by indie devs. He understands that the gaming industry, with $140B of revenue and 2.7B gamers worldwide, is how blockchain/crypto adoption will go mainstream.
Executive Director, National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE)
Michael currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). NACE is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of member institutions and is the only governing body of college esports in North America. NACE’s members are developing the structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space. Areas of collaboration include: Eligibility, Path to Graduation, Competition & Scholarships, IP Rights, and Program Implementation. NACE currently has 179 varsity esports programs as members, accounting for nearly all varsity programs across North America. Michael and his work with NACE has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, ESPN, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, SBJ and many others.
Manager State & Local Tax, Aprio
Jess is a manager in Aprio’s State and Local Tax practice. He brings over seven years of tax experience to clients, helping them save money and reduce their risk of tax exposure. Jess works in all aspects of state and local tax, specializing in sales/use and income tax consulting, state tax nexus studies, state voluntary disclosure agreements, M&A tax due diligence, state audit defense and state income tax credits/incentives, such as the Georgia film and gaming tax credits. Jess also regularly writes content for Aprio’s State & Local Tax Newsletter, keeping clients proactively informed of changes and news that affect them.
Vice President, Esports, Turner Sports
Jennifer Dill was elevated to Vice President, esports, Turner Sports in August 2019. In this role, Dill oversees partnerships, operations and strategic planning for Turner Sports’ esports division, including ELEAGUE, Turner Sports’ premium esports content and live tournament brand. Since the launch of ELEAGUE in 2016, Dill has played an integral role in coordinating the internal and external resources needed to drive the brand’s premium content initiatives and live events, including global syndication and distrbution, finance, production, legal, marketing, digital products, sales, research, and talent.
Over the past two years, Dill has helped fuel ELEAGUE’s growth by expanding its portfolio of key publisher partnerships. She has brokered multi-faceted agreements including those with EA Sports, Xbox Game Studios, Nintendo, Psyonix and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and is a recognized industry expert on how to make these partnerships mutually beneficial from conception to execution.
Dill has more than a decade of experience in media planning and strategy, helping partners understand audiences and fandom to determine the most effective methods of promoting their products.
Prior to joining Turner Sports, Dill served as Associate Media Director, Turner Media Group. In that role, she worked across several of WarnerMedia’s networks and platorms – including CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and Turner Sports – and supported an array of top-tier cable networks including A+E, History Channel and Discovery.
Dill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in strategic communication, and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business
Director of Partnerships, Genvid Technologies
J. Eckert is the Director of Partnerships for Genvid Technologies, where he wears many hats, including Partnerships, BizDev, and managing the LA offices. Previously the head of 3rd Party Ecosystem at Riot Games and various roles at EA, including Developer Relations and Publishing, he has over 15 years in gaming. Aside from being a lifelong gamer and esports enthusiast, he's also an avid maker in the 3D printing space and a part-time photographer.
Brand Director of Live Games, Hi-Rez Studios
Alex Cantatore leads the marketing and community teams for the hit free-to-play games SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale. He has spent the last four years leading major marketing initiatives at Hi-Rez Studios, including the launches of both Paladins and Realm Royale. Alex's passion for esports stretches back to before his time at Hi-Rez, when he ran a fansite on SMITE esports while working at an ad agency.
Jessica Merriman is an accomplished speaker and event planner with over 16 years of hands on experience. She holds a M.S. of Computer Information Systems and has been involved with events from 20 to 80,000 people, providing organizational and consulting services on event organization and cosplay contests. She is passionate about making sure attendees have a fun, memorable experience, and knows that a convention is more than a business: it's a community.
Founder & CEO, FanAI
Johannes Waldstein is the Founder and CEO of FanAI, a leading fan data platform. FanAI increases franchise and sponsorship revenues by analyzing in-depth audience data that enables brands to gain a fuller picture of their esports target audience. The platform is used by top teams publishers and leagues including, OpTic Gaming, LA Valiant, NY Excelsior, Hi-Rez, and Capcom.
Being a big data expert and a lifelong fan of competitive sports and esports, FanAI is the culmination of twin passions for Johannes. A serial entrepreneur, he founded four other startups rooted in data, mobile payments, and sports tech. As a Product Manager at dunnhumby, the world’s largest Loyalty Data Sciences company, Johannes helped build data platforms providing insight from some of the world’s largest retail chains including Tesco, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Macy’s to global brands and agencies.
Executive Director, Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority
Kerry Stewart is a business Executive with over 20 years of experience in the areas of business planning, strategy, finance and operations. Kerry has experience with both small to mid-size private entities to larger Corporate 500 companies. He has been a thought leader in the following industries: banking, educational services, real estate, energy efficiency, fuel cell technology and non-profits.
Mr. Stewart is currently the Executive Director of Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, where he is responsible for the daily operations and planning. Kerry’s oversight includes the newly renovated State Farm Arena, Zoo Atlanta, John A. White Park Golf Course and other city and county assets. Prior to joining the Authority, Kerry was the Director of Finance and Planning for a boutique consulting firm where he was responsible for business development, strategic planning and financial modeling for small and mid-sized companies in the Atlanta area.
Strategic Partnerships, Esports, Google
Bart joined Hi-Rez Studios in 2011 where he built the esports program for Tribes: Ascend and SMITE. As the lead of talent and 'face of the game' Bart spent 5 years at Hi-Rez guiding the esports program. In 2016 he joined Google to manage esports and Publishers at YouTube as part of YouTube Gaming. Over the last 4 years Bart has managed top gaming publishers, esports and events at Google while being a passionate gamer.
Acting CMO, Electronic Gaming Federation
As the Acting CMO of the Electronic Gaming Federation, Jen is leading marketing strategy, brand development, creative, advertising and communications for the esports pioneer. She is creating the brand identity and marketing programs associated with the BIG EAST and Power Five esports invitational tournaments as well as EGF Division 1 Collegiate leagues building to the EGFC National Championship in April 2020, as well as the EGF High School leagues which culminate in the EGH High School National Championships at Walt Disney World® Resort in partnership with Disney.
Prior to EGF, Jen served as the VP Marketing and Communications for the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, where she was responsible for marketing and communications strategy for key programs surrounding the game including Legacy 53 initiatives e.g. civil rights and sustainability, as well as volunteer recruitment, key event promotion, general fan information and emergency preparedness. Considered the “best ever Super Bowl,” Atlanta drove over 200,000 fans to sanctioned events, and earned over half billion impressions across the 18 day period.
Prior to the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, Jen spent the last three years at AMB Sports + Entertainment, where she served as Director of Marketing and Brand, leading marketing and creative services for the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. While at AMBSE, Jen and her team launched award-winning campaigns for both entities, including the Atlanta Falcons seasonal, playoff and Super Bowl campaigns, repositioned the Atlanta Falcons brand and created the grand-opening marketing plans for Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Johns also served on the NFL Marketing Steering Committee with marketing leaders from across the league. Before joining AMB Sports + Entertainment, Johns was a sports and entertainment marketing consultant creating promotional campaigns for Nike, Coca-Cola, AT&T, AMC, Current TV, TBS, TNT and The Weather Channel. Her deep background features a blend of sports and entertainment: leading activations for McDonald’s, Adidas and Budweiser at FIFA World Cup and European Championships as well as leading marketing teams at Cartoon Network.
Jen currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the TransAtlantic Sports Group uniting German and US soccer leadership to grow the game in the US and serve international teams with talent development. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of William and Mary and a Masters Degree from Ohio University. She and her husband Rob along with their two boys reside in Decatur, GA.
Founder & CEO, Maestro
Ari’s thought leadership is creating new gold standards in engaging live broadcasts and metrics to help customers build stronger relationships with their audiences. Ari led Maestro’s win in the 2017 Manatt Digital eSports Startup Launchpad and finalist recognition at the 2016 SXSW Accelerator and 2016 TechCrunch Disrupt hosted by the NFL. Prior to Maestro, Ari was a product manager at Zynga where he designed features, managed revenue, and integrated brands into CityVille, the biggest game on Facebook. Before Zynga, he was an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Ari holds an M.S. in Management Science from Stanford and a B.S. in Information Science from Cornell.
Research Scientist II, Institute for People and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Laura Levy is a Research Scientist II at the Institute for People and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology working as a human factors psychologist with a focus on games user research. Levy has researched and developed technologies that support the esports user experience including augmented and virtual reality, wearables, and data visualization tools for fans, coaches and teams, as well as players. She leads an esports research center at Georgia Tech that focuses on three main areas of esports user support technologies, esports as STEM engagements for students, and esports player health and safety. Levy has a BS in Zoology from the University of Florida, a MS in Biology and a MS in Psychology for Georgia Tech, and expects to earn a PhD in Psychology from Georgia Tech in 2020.
CEO & Co-Founder, GRID Esports
Moritz Maurer, has more than 8 years of experience pioneering at the intersection of esports, data & betting. After creating the first UK- licenced esports bookmaker – GGwins – and later launching the world first in-play esports betting solution in 2015, Moritz focused on unlocking the potential of official data assets for some of the biggest rights holders in esports.This vision culminated in the creation GRID, an innovative data & technology platform in esports which is leading the way in data solutions for teams, leagues and brands in esports.
Senior Director of Ecosystem Expansion, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Grant Wainscott is the Senior Director of Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In this role, Grant leads a team of cluster experts as they work to retain, expand and attract jobs and investment to the metro Atlanta region, while shining the light globally on the assets and brands that have made metro Atlanta such an international hub. He also oversees the chamber’s technology practice, working specifically with the clusters of FinTech, Cyber Security and the Creative Industries (Film/TV/Gaming/Esports/Music/VR/Animation) to support and grow the ecosystem.
Previous to his current post, Grant was the Director of Economic Development & Film for Clayton County, Georgia. In that role as the county’s lead economic officer, Grant oversaw more than $200 million in development and redevelopment projects around the world’s busiest airport, and helped attract more than 2,500 new jobs. In his role as the director of the state’s first county film office, he helped to recruit dozens of major television and film productions to the region, as well as commercials, music videos and industrials.
Grant has also served the metro Atlanta area as Vice President for Community and Economic Development for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, and as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Morrow. As Chairman of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce’s International Promotions Council, he led foreign trade missions for the region and has participated in more than 40 business and cultural missions throughout the world.
Grant holds a B.A. in International Business from Florida Southern College, and attended university in Quebec, Canada and Augsburg, Germany. Originally from Seattle, he has studied and lived abroad in five countries, and speaks French and German. He has served on several regional boards and councils including the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech Society, Tech Alpharetta, FinTech Atlanta and the Technology Subcommittee for Super Bowl LIII.
Founder & CEO, Axis Replay
Entrepreneur Allie Young is the CEO and Founder of Axis Replay, the first-of-its kind entertainment and event facility for video games and esports. Axis Replay exists to provide gamers and their friends with a fun and social in-person gaming experience that enables them to build stronger connections. She also serves on the board of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
Prior, Young was the CEO and Founder of Alcovy Media where she was responsible for building the sales team, operations, strategic growth, and development. During Young’s tenure at Alcovy Media, she built the company to a $1.5M / year in revenues serving clients like Capitol Records, the US Army, and the Essence Festival along with successful political campaigns for SPLOST, eSPLOST, workforce initiatives, with strong results in event marketing.
An avid video gamer since her 20s, she used her knowledge of the sales and marketing industry along with her passion for gaming to create Axis Replay with the goal to bring gamers together. Allie brings the understanding, leadership, and organization to her role as CEO to ensure the success of Axis Replay. With a knack for building strong relationships and collaboration, she is a visionary with a unique perspective on innovation and thinking outside the box.
Director, DKC Esports
Matt serves as Director for DKC Esports which is focused on helping clients navigate the gaming and esports landscape with public relations, analytics, experiential and digital strategy. Some of DKC’s major accounts include corporate communications for FaZe Clan and the BLAST Pro Series, as well as serving as the marketing agency of record for Zenni Optical to help them evaluate and execute partnerships.
Matt remains immersed in esports by attending major events and conferences throughout the year. He offers 20+ years of work experience in corporate, global integrated marketing agency, and non-profit environments with an emphasis in communicating value and benefits to stakeholders. He enjoys presenting across multiple platforms with curated storytelling and interactive dialogue to build brands and engage constituents. Prior to focusing on esports, Matt worked with the WNBA, See Tickets, Special Olympics, UMBRO, the Atlanta Opera and Experian.
He has an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and spends his time outside of work volunteering, traveling, running and attending live events.
President & CEO, KontrolFreek
Ashish is the President and CEO of KontrolFreek - a leading video game peripherals maker. Bringing more than 20 years of experience, Ashish has been with the company since KontrolFreek began as an industrial design project. Under his leadership, KontrolFreek has experienced rapid growth from its humble beginnings in 2009, and has emerged as one of the fastest-growing brands in the video games industry. Ashish is also Managing Partner of BLH Venture Partners and functions as an investor and adviser to young companies. His operating experience includes leadership roles with high-growth companies within Cyber Security, SaaS, and E-commerce.
Ashish's first entrepreneurial role was co-founder of Virtex Networks (Acquired by Leapfrog Services), then as an early team member of AirDefense (Acquired by NYSE: MOT). Mistry also spent two tours as an EIR at Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), working with start-ups across Georgia. He is also active in community organizations including current and prior board positions with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Venture Atlanta and the Atlanta CEO Council, as well as serving on committees with the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Mistry is a graduate of Emory University and resides with his wife and children in Atlanta.
Founder, Chairman, & CEO, MELT
Named one of Sports Business Journal's 2019 "Power Players", Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2018 "Most Admired CEOs", Atlanta Magazine's Power 500 and Biz Bash's Top 500 Event Producers, Vince Thompson is an award-winning brand builder and one of the nation's top sports marketers.
In 2000, Thompson founded and has built MELT into one of the nation's largest independent sports/culinary/entertainment marketing agencies. This includes MELT’s 19-year representation of The Coca-Cola Company, activating 17 straight Final Fours, 7 straight seasons of ESPN College GameDay, FIFA, MLB, MLS, Nascar, PGA and Olympics. Clients include 404 Vodka, Aflac, Atwell Suites, Avid Hotels, Boy's & Girl's Clubs, Cam Newton's Fellaship, Core Power, Crook & Marker, GA Crown, Giving Kitchen, HEB, IHG, KIA, Powerade, Reese's Sr. Bowl, Viscardi Center, Wellstar and Wingstop.
MELT is a full-service agency offerings its clients brand strategy; event/experiential; social/digital media content/production; esports and sports property/ sponsorship strategy/execution. Thompson, a 1984 graduate of Auburn University, was a Student Assistant in the SID and a Sports Editor for The Auburn Plainsman. This led to the formation of MELT University, an award-winning intern program for college students. He lectures at universities and appears on The Paul Finebaum Show. He sits on boards of Samford and UGA.
Managing Partner, Saunders Lockliear Entertainment
Laurie’s entertainment career began in the 90’s working with radio stations, record labels and as a production manager for national tours that included Lollapalooza, Warped Tour and H.O.R.D.E. Festival. After a few more years at Radio Disney and Disney Events, she moved into marketing and agency management. In 2017, Laurie launched Saunders Lockliear Entertainment (SLE) a film, television and video game brand integration agency in Atlanta. SLE is currently working on productions for Amazon, HBO, Lionsgate Films and Paramount Pictures International. Laurie is currently the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of a gaming reality competition show which will premier in five countries in early 2020.
Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Collegiate Sports Management Group
Neil A. Malvone is the EVP of Business Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Collegiate Sports Management Group and CEO/Founder of Cutting Edge Sports Management. Most recently Neil was named Vice-Chairman of the NJCAA Esports Association. Neil is engaged in all aspects of esports and sport event planning including event creation, revenue generation, sponsorship sales and activation, social media and communications. Neil is developing esports national championship events for the NJCAA and the ECAC with a focus on production, media rights, streaming, and sponsorships. Neil is also a notable professor of sport business & sport law at the Masters and undergraduate levels throughout the New York metropolitan area. In his position as a professor at Caldwell University, Neil created the first Esports Business Management major degree curriculum in the state of New Jersey, and only the second such program in the country. Neil also serves as a Board of Director for PennReach Organization, a non-profit corporation servicing the special needs community of NJ and PA. Neil has earned Juris Doctor and Masters of Sport Administration degrees.
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Team Doctor
Dr. Vonda Wright, MD, MS is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and internationally recognized authority on active aging and mobility. She specializes in sports medicine and currently serves as the inaugural Chief-Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute Sports Medicine.Previously she was the inaugural Medical Director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, an innovative collaborative initiative between the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey organization. Dr. Wright is the founding director of the Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA) and her pioneering research in mobility and musculoskeletal aging is changing the way we view and treat the aging process.
Dr. Wright maintains a practice focusing on minimally invasive arthroscopic and reconstructive surgical techniques of the hip, shoulder and knee and treats athletes and active people of all ages and skill levels from high school to college, recreational, Olympic and professional players. As a team doc, she is currently the Medical Director for Georgia State University, Hi-Rez esports teams, the Atlanta Hawks Talons, select Atlanta Track Club races and an Atlanta Ballet physician. She was the head physician for the University of Pittsburgh Football team for five years and head team physician for five of the University of Pittsburgh Olympic teams, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Pens Elite Youth Hockey system, is a match physician for the World Rugby 7’s, and the medical director of the Pittsburgh Triathlon.
Chief Performance Engineer, Statespace
Taylor Johnson is an esport performance expert creating the possibility of transforming the esports industry and millions of people worldwide with performance programs and education on health and wellness.
He is the Chief Performance Engineer for Statespace, a neuroscience and AI gaming company as well as operates as a private consult. At Statespace, he leads the gaming and esports training and education initiatives, contributes to product innovation and development, and navigates business strategy and partnerships. His consulting is with organizations, teams, players, and startups on how to build strategic programs to enhance all aspects of in-game and out of game performance.
Prior to his work in esports, he worked with a number of collegiate and professional sports teams, including the San Francisco 49ers as an Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach. During his stint at the Niners, he was in charge of the physical preparation and rehabilitation of the players as well as developing and implementing the team’s nutrition and sports science/wellness program.
Principal Consultant, Blue Scorpion Reputation Management
Kimberly M. Starks, APR is an accredited public relations practitioner with a specialization in reputation management. She is the principal consultant of Blue Scorpion Reputation Management, a PR firm specializing in the areas of video gaming, agribusiness, pet health and wellness, and government contracting. She also is the cofounder and CEO of Immense DC, an esports consultancy. Prior to launching her firms, she served as the spokeswoman for the Georgia Lottery Corp. and was a print reporter at a number of newspapers throughout the Southeast.
Vice President of Product & Content, ESL
Kevin Rosenblatt is Vice President of Product and Content at ESL, the world’s largest esports company. In this role, Rosenblatt oversees the scaling and growth of ESL’s sales, business development, live event execution and television production.
Rosenblatt’s career has taken place at the epicenter of the video game industry, where over the last decade, he has executed on hundreds of initiatives for industry leading brands such as Red Bull, Newegg, Samsung, Ubisoft and Twitch, as well as Fortune 500 companies including Intel, DirecTV and Activision Blizzard.
Prior to ESL, Rosenblatt was a founding employee and junior partner at ESS Agency, a premier North American video game and technology agency acquired by Turtle Entertainment GmbH in 2014.
Managing Director, Gamers.Vote & World Poker Tour Founder
Featured on the cover of INC Magazine and above the fold of the Wall Street Journal for creating "the Hottest Business in America", Steve Lipscomb created the World Poker Tour and served as its CEO from inception. After taking the WPT public on the NASDAQ stock exchange and later selling the company, he has served as CEO and board member of both public and private companies. He has orchestrated and/or overseen mergers, acquisitions and private placements in the esports and energy sectors.
Now based in Santa Fe, NM, Lipscomb works with corporations, American sports leagues, academic institutions and foundations to build businesses and make a difference. He is Managing Director of Gamers.Vote (which partners with the best game companies and influencers to encourage voter participation) and FixItAmerica.org (which works to change the dynamic of $$$ in elections/governance and gerrymandering). He continues to create and produce media projects, including BORN TO RUN, the American Idol of politics.
Prior to the World Poker Tour, Lipscomb worked closely with luminaries such as Norman Lear, Al Burton and Alvin Toffler, creating television and film projects. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School, he is licensed to practice law in California and Colorado.
Director Corporate Partnerships, Hawks Talon GC & College Park Skyhawks
Stewart Tanner joined the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club in 1998. In his current role as the Director of Corporate Partnerships for Hawks Talon GC (NBA 2K League) and College Park Skyhawks (NBA G League), Stewart oversees partnership sales while developing and implementing sales strategies for both of Atlanta’s newest teams.
Prior to joining the Hawks, Stewart was Promotions Manager for the Atlanta Braves. At the Braves, he was responsible for the sales and activations for corporate partnerships related to the Braves, Turner Field and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
A Georgia native, Stewart holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the University of Georgia where he was also a student-athlete competing on the Track & Field and Cross-Country teams.
He and his wife, Lisa, live in Winston, and have two children, Mackenzie and Trey.
Project Manager of Digital Entertainment & Emerging Media, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Asante Bradford is Project Manager for Digital Entertainment and Emerging Media for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the sales and marketing arm for the State of Georgia.
The Global Commerce Division conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The division’s team also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources.
Asante helps promote the growth of the digital media industry as well as identify initiatives that will help grow businesses for the state of Georgia in interactive entertainment. He also helps educate potential prospects and provide clients with information about the Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentives Act.
His area of concentration with the Global Commerce office is to increase the impact of interactive entertainment for the State of Georgia as well as being a dedicated liaison to assist with promotions, logistics and business development for attracting digital media companies outside the state to relocate in Georgia.
Asante was the Digital Entertainment Liaison for the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development from 2007-2010 which helped Georgia become known as a center for video game development, animation and digital media. The economic impact of the entertainment industry in Georgia jumped from $413 million to $2.4 billion in that time span.
Executive Director, Georgia Game Developers Association & Commissioner, Georgia Esports League
Best known for his work on roleplaying and computer games, Andrew Greenberg runs the Georgia Game Developers Association (www.ggda.org) and Georgia Esports League. He recently began the N2 Esports (www.n2esports.com) youth league to give children a safe learning environment in which to become better at games. He chairs the DeKalb Entertainment Commission and runs the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo (www.siegecon.net). Greenberg has credits on more than 100 game products and is currently porting the Noble Armada: Lost Worlds PC game to PS4, Xbox and Switch.
Founder & CEO, Electronic Gaming Federation
Tyler Schrodt founded the Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) in 2015 and has grown the organization from a single collection of high school esports teams to a full-scale federation across collegiate, high school and youth esports ecosystems. The EGFC collegiate league features a nationwide collection of Division One schools from across the Power Five, Big East, MAAC conferences culminating in a bracketed championship much like the NCAA Final Four®. EGF’s nationwide high school league has schools from Alaska to Connecticut and culminates in the EGF High School National Championship at Walt Disney World® Resort held at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Tyler’s vision to put the students first, ensure transparency and empower member schools has elevated EGF to a leadership position in the industry.
Tyler has been involved with the esports industry since the age of 10, rising from a player, a team manager, and a tournament organizer before attending college at Rochester Institute of Technology. As a sophomore at RIT, he launched his first company, Enraged Panda Boarding Co., which he sold after graduating with his MBA. While at RIT, he was employed in the department of Residence Life and served on the institution’s Conduct Board for all six years. Following graduation, he worked as a business analyst for a defense contractor before founding the Electronic Sports Federation.
Tyler has an extensive knowledge of sports business history and is a fierce advocate for player rights, iterating on the models of traditional sports to create the most comprehensive possible ecosystem for esports. In addition to his position at EGF, Tyler serves on the board of PowerSpike and mental health non-profit, Rise Above the Disorder.
Collaboration Strategist, AVI Systems
This British Expat brings two decades of International design expertise in Audio Visual consultation that impacts the Reality of Virtual, Augmented and In-World environments!
As a technologist Robert specializes in understanding the human condition to create 3D concepts that deliver Strategic Collaboration Systems.Creative techniques focus on quality and value combined with In-depth experience of gaming culture, his Next Generation techniques result in bespoke award-winning systems that are World Class.
Developer of systems and tech. categories such as:
Head of Esports, Engine Shop
Jamie King is a legendary video game producer and creator of interactive entertainment. Born and educated in London, England, he started his game career at BMG Interactive before moving to New York in 1997 and joining Take Two Interactive Software.
During Jamie’s tenure at Take Two, he was a co-founder of Rockstar Games, and held the title of VP of Development for Rockstar and Director of Development for Take Two. Between 1997 and 2006, Jamie worked on the design, production and publishing of 80+ video games across all gaming platforms. Most notable games and franchises include Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Midnight Club, Bully, Warriors and Red Dead. As a co-founder of Rockstar Games, Jamie was awarded a group Bafta for his lifetime achievement in video games.
In 2007, Jamie raised financing for 4mm Games, acting as Chief Creative Officer, developing Def Jam Rapstar for consoles and Dog Show Friends for Facebook. In 2012, Jamie joined the gaming division of SA Studios Global, focusing on esports and brand integration into the gaming ecosystem. Specializing in strategy, tournament organizing and live stream production, Jamie worked with clients that included Machinima, Microsoft and Major League Soccer. Between 2016 and 2018, Jamie was Head of Studio at the Esports and Gaming Studio in the Microsoft Store, Flagship, Fifth Avenue, producing more than 300hrs of livestream esports competition. In 2018, Engine Shop acquired The Gamer Agency and the gaming division of SA Studios and Jamie is currently their Head of Esports. Since joining Engine shop, the esports department has won a tempest eSports award for Best New Stream (eMLS) and a Chief Marketer ProAward for Best Use of VR, (MLB).