Joby Branion, Founder and CEO
949-636-1688 | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Duke University scholarship football student athlete who graduated holding degrees in both political science and philosophy, Joby later earned a JD and MBA from UCLA. Joby’s call to advocacy began as a corporate lawyer for a prominent Los Angeles based entertainment firm, from which he was recruited away by a pioneering sports agency to launch his 18+ year career in athlete representation. Joby quickly rose to leadership roles in contract negotiations, NFL relations, research, procurement of marketing and endorsement deals, pre-draft training, talent acquisition and client maintenance. In 2001, Joby co-founded Athletes First and helped guide it to a #2 overall ranking for Most Valuable NFL Agency by Forbes in July 2014. Joby has worked with NFL, NBA, MLB and Olympic athletes. He’s even worked with four professional boxing champions.
Joby and his colleagues at Vanguard Sports Group have ventured out to set a new standard, unrivaled in the industry, by aggressively and proactively investing in their clients–ensuring that each will have the best opportunity to not only get drafted as highly as possible, but to also seamlessly transition into the pros, then from rookies to highly-valued veterans, and ultimately, from active players to well-adjusted “former” professional athletes.
Keith Grunewald, Sr. VP, Baseball Operations
404-216-2284 | email@example.com
Drafted 59th overall out of high school, Keith chose to play baseball at University of North Carolina for 3 seasons before starting his professional career with the Rockies. He played 5 seasons in the minors prior to becoming an agent. In his nearly 20 years in the business, he has represented 24 First Round picks, negotiated through arbitration 23 times, secured the biggest contract for a player at their position, represented all stars, gold gloves, silver sluggers, and just about every other award.
Brett Smith, Director of Operations
321-917-7524 | firstname.lastname@example.org
An attorney and NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor, in 2014 Brett helped Joby launch Vanguard Sports Group after working together in the business for nearly five years. Brett made the transition into the agent industry after completing his Master’s Degree in Sport Administration at the University of North Carolina, where he also worked in the UNC Athletics Department. Brett’s professional experience with the University of North Carolina, as well as his years working with Joby at Athletes First, has provided him with firsthand knowledge of the importance of a personal connection with clients, and his background gives him a strong skill set to represent athletes at every stage and within every facet of their career. No task is too large or small for Brett when it comes to helping clients. Brett graduated from University of South Florida with a B.A. in Economics and later earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee.
John Guy, Director of Professional Development
716-860-4511 | email@example.com
John Guy has seen and done it all in the world of football. After 20 years of coaching at the collegiate level in the ACC and SEC, John made the jump to the NFL where he coached for five more years. John then transitioned into player personnel and quickly moved up the “ladder”, ultimately landing executive roles with the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. John earned a B.S. from NC A&T, pursued graduate studies in Social Psychology at University of North Carolina, and in 2003 he was one of the first NFL front-office executives selected to complete the League’s Program for Managers at Stanford University. John helped recruit Joby to Duke in 1980.
Trevor Kieboom, MLBPA Certified Agent
404-395-9910 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor provides a unique perspective as a former player that still has family playing professionally. In his short career as an agent, he has worked with a 1st Round pick in 2016 (Carter Kieboom), 2nd Round pick in 2017 (Drew Waters), and multiple top prospects in the minors. He played baseball at Clemson University and University of Georgia before starting in the business working with Keith.
Brandon Fricke, Assistant Director of Football Operations
530-228-3750 | email@example.com
A graduate of Central Michigan University, where he played Quarterback for the Chippewas, Brandon also earned a Masters Degree in Management from Arizona State while beginning his career in the sports representation industry through an internship at Athletes First. Following ASU, Brandon joined Sean Howard at PRIME Athletes, and again with Vanguard Sports Group. Brandon is integrally involved in all aspects of client maintenance, client marketing, recruiting, contract research and negotiation.
Blake Stanton, Client Services
Blake is a graduate from the University of Oregon where he played wide receiver and majored in Crime, Law & Society. Having been a former Division I collegiate athlete, Blake has developed a distinct ability to relate to all athletes. Blake strives daily to make sure all of our clients needs are fulfilled, on and off the field. He also works to organize player marketing strategies and secure endorsement opportunities.
Anthony Fields, Assistant Director of Client Services
248-875-0527 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony is a former college point guard, who started his career at Wake Forest University. He is great communicator and has a very diverse sport business background. Anthony spent a year as a operations assistant on the Texas A&M Men’s Basketball staff. He earned a Sport Communication degree at Bradley University, and received a Sport Management masters from Liberty University. He is originally from Detroit, MI and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Lois Deloatch, Foundation and Charity Development
Lois Deloatch’s career spans more than two decades in the arts, philanthropy and community development. Lois has held administrative and leadership positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina Central University. In 2013, Lois founded Northampton Partners, LLC, a consulting firm committed to supporting people and organizations seeking to make a positive impact through service and philanthropy. Currently, she works as major gifts officer for the Center for Responsible Lending, a national nonprofit working to promote fair financial practices.
Jordan Lohman, Event Planning and Management
Jordan is a graduate of Ball State University, and after spending one year as an Event Coordinator at San Diego State University she earned her Masters in Sports Administration from Western Kentucky. After a brief stint as an associate at Pacers Sports & Entertainment in Indianapolis, Jordan worked her way up the ranks at USA Football. She eventually became the Football Development Senior Coordinator where she oversaw the execution of hundreds of football camps, managed the licensed program FUNdamentals and Heads Up Football.
Kristen Kulia | VP, Marketing & Business Development
Kristen has worked in the sports and entertainment business for the past 20 years. She is the leading female sports agent in the United States, representing more than a dozen current and former NFL players. Kristen was the first woman to negotiate a starting NFL quarterback’s contract, Doug Flutie’s $33 million contract with the San Diego Chargers. She oversees marketing and endorsement business for many NFL, NBA and MLB players. She has activated endorsement and sponsorship contracts with companies including NIKE, Reebok, McDonald’s, Sports Illustrated, USI, Cadillac, Eastern Bank, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Sun Life Financial, Dunkin Donuts and Motorola. Kristen is a cum laude graduate of both the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1991) and Suffolk University Law School (1994).
Marketing & Client Maintenance Associate
Tammie is a former collegiate basketball player from the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff. After graduating with B.A. in political science, Tammie spent two years at a small sports agency getting some hands on experience with public relations, marketing and endorsements procurement and client maintenance. She is looking forward to continuing to increase her breadth and depth of knowledge within all of these areas while working at Vanguard.
Katharine White | Director of Marketing & Events
Katherine serves as Director of Marketing and Events working closely with corporate clients that have included g3, Players’ Tribune, Golden Child Ventures, and United Sports Associates. In this role, Katharine represents g3 as their team liaison coordinating marketing efforts as well as negotiating and activating sponsorship assets with the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. Katharine assists in managing the Masters hospitality program and events that have included Buchholz Bowl, Flavors of New England, The Boston Music Awards, The Vince Wilfork Draft Day Fundraiser, The ALLY Foundation’s Golf Tournament and annual Gala. Originally from San Antonio, Katharine graduated with a B.A. from The University of Michigan in 2010.
DR. HERB MARTIN
Dr. Herb Martin, Success & Performance Consulting
858-945-8493 | email@example.com
Herb is the founder and CEO of Peak Performance Consulting Group. He has over 25 years experience providing a broad range of sport psychology and management consulting services which focus on Leadership, Prevention, and Performance, working with the NFL, NBA, Center for Creative Leadership, Anti-Defamation League, and several Fortune 500 companies. He has worked extensively and directly with athletes, musicians and corporate executives throughout the world. Herb has been responsible for the design, development and implementation of programs for large and small businesses, as well as personalized programs specifically tailored for uniquely situated individuals. An accomplished professional musician (percussionist), Herb his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from United States International University. Herb was brought in as a consultant for one of Joby’s NFL clients in 1998 and the two have worked closely together ever since.
DR. ROBERT M. NIDEFFER
Dr. Robert M. Nideffer, Success & Performance Consulting
Dr. Nideffer has published over 100 professional articles and 20 books focusing on performing under pressure in the world of sports, corporate America, military and more. He is known internationally for his practical experience and the creation of Enhanced Performance Systems. Dr. Nideffer received his Ph.D. in clinical and experimental psychology from Vanderbilt University and has taught at the University of Rochester, the California School of Professional Psychology, and at San Diego State University. Dr. Nideffer has worked together with Dr. Herb Martin for over 20 years.
DR. JETHRO TOOMER
Dr. Jethro Toomer, Success & Performance Consulting
Dr. Toomer is a world-renowned forensic and clinical psychologist. As a forensic psychologist, Dr. Toomer gained international notoriety with his evaluations of infamous serial killers Ted Bundy and Aileen Wuornos. Toomer, who specializes in appellate and death row cases, provides services for convicts and those who do not have the resources to acquire proper legal assistance. Clinical psychology is also a significant part of Toomer’s career. Employed by both the NFL and the NBA, Toomer works with athletes to make the transition from celebrity to civilian. Having worked for the NFL for nearly 20 years, Toomer assists players who have difficulties with life skills and substance abuse problems, as well as players with injuries and those who transition into retirement.
Kenneth Lewis, Director of Business & Legal Affairs
919-306-3766 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken is a business attorney at Nexsen Pruet in Raleigh, NC with nearly three decades of experience in a wide range of corporate, transactional, and securities matters. He represents clients in mergers, acquisitions, and sales of businesses, and in the formation of strategic alliances. His clients have included businesses in the financial services, technology, sports and entertainment, among many others. In 2010, Ken was a candidate in NC for the US Senate. Having almost 30 years of hands on experience with innumerable corporate, transactional, and securities matters, Ken offers a special legal insight into the analysis of business opportunities. He will provide the necessary perspective of a season transactional lawyer to the vetting of each and every business-related opportunity presented to Vanguard and its clients. Whether the opportunity is based in sports, entertainment, technology, real estate or anything else, Ken’s legal eye coupled with his business acumen will be invaluable. Ken earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his A.B. from Duke University where he was a classmate of Joby Branion.
Robert Wilson, C1 Marketing Group LLC
Rob Wilson is the President and founder of C1 Marketing Group, a full service public relations and marketing firm representing elite athletes and entertainers. Through Mr. Wilson, C1 Marketing Group oversees proactive PR efforts, media training, crisis management and brand consulting for Vanguard Sports clients.
Andrew Kim, General Counsel
Andy is a trial lawyer and civil litigator whose practice focuses on general business and commercial disputes of all kinds. He counsels clients in all phases of pre-litigation and litigation matters with particular experience in large, complex business and other disputes. Andy has represented companies and individuals. In the entertainment context, he has represented studios, production companies, television networks, producers, directors, writers, actors, singers, composers, athletes, talent agents and business managers, among others. He earned his J.D. at Boston University Law School and his B.A. from Brown University. Andy and Joby met in 1993 at the same powerful Los Angeles law firm where they both began their legal careers, and since have maintained a strong professional and personal relationship.
Matthew Johnson, Ziffren Brittenham, LLP
Matt Johnson is the managing partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, considered the country’s premier entertainment law firm. Mr. Johnson has an extensive film and television practice, representing some of the biggest A-list personalities including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, as well as many renowned directors and writers for film and television. He is a leader in structuring and negotiating ground-breaking transactions in the media and entertainment industries and has been instrumental in helping his clients develop important revenue sources, such as publishing, endorsements and merchandising opportunities.
Mike Dailey, Consultant
In 1989 Michael started speaking on “Credit Freedom” and teaching the power of good credit. In 1992 Michael started working with various professional sports teams and by 1987 Michael was working with all the NFL teams and NFL Rookie Symposium. In 2000 he was invited to speak at the NBA Pre-Draft Symposium and several NBA teams. He since has expanded his Financial Education to include the NCAA, MLB, WNBA, NHL and several major entertainment agencies. In 2012 Michael Joined forces with “The Winston Group” and their “Pushing Excellence” educational foundation. In the last 30 years of financial education and banking Michael’s team have helped over 25,000 athletes, staff and individuals associated with his business clients. The goal for his financial seminars and education is to give the power of “Credit Freedom” to his attendees through the knowledge of basic credit skills, negotiating large ticket items and assistance in good decision making on protecting their assets. Michael has had an 18-year relationship with Joby Branion that has helped his clients with financial knowledge and assistance.
Bryant McBride, Burst and Route 2 Digital
Bryant is a business builder. Since 2000, he has built seven start-ups all at the intersection of sports and technology. Bryant looks to build and invest in opportunities driven by growing markets and technologies that solve problems and unlock value. He has experience in building teams that produce products for the web, mobile, social, the cloud and TV. His teams and investors have been rewarded with successful exits to ESPN, The Active Network and Sports Illustrated/Time Warner. Bryant earned his MPA from Harvard and his B.A. from Trinity and currently serves as CEO to both Burst and to Route 2 Digital.
Edward Gomes, Director of Technology
Ed, also known by his childhood nickname “Veto,” grew up in Wareham, MA with Joby. After attending Boston University and graduating from Bridgewater State College with a B.S. in physics, Veto joined Joby in Durham, NC in search of their first real jobs together. Ed has never left and has risen to become Senior Associate Dean for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Technology Services at Duke University. He is responsible for strategic technology planning, developing strategic alliances and relationships with peer academic institutions and large scale project planning and implementation.
David Byrne, Founder | email@example.com
The Founder of BrightLights, David Byrne, previously worked as a financial regulator at FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) where his investigations resulted in over $30 million in fines, six individuals suspended and two individuals barred, and two firms expelled or withdrawn from the industry. Prior to that, David was licensed as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch on a team managing $600 million in assets. David is a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
BrightLights was founded to protect individuals from fraud and dishonest business practices in finance. BrightLights reviews a client’s financial documents for a specified period of time to examine for fraud or abusive sales practices like excessive fees or unsuitable investments. Periodic monitoring thereafter ensures that any problematic activity is identified, questioned, and stopped immediately. For more information on BrightLights, including its blog which tackles numerous educational topics regarding fraud and pro athletes: https://brightlightsllc.com/