2018 MEAC/SWAC Challenge High School Seminar Panel Announced

Sports business professionals set to engage Booker T. Washington High School students at annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge High School Seminar

As part of the festivities surrounding the 14th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta, Ga., ESPN Events will present its annual High School Seminar at historic Booker T. Washington High School. The panel-style event will be attended by 400 juniors and seniors beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 31. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris will once again emcee the event.

Now in its eleventh year, the High School Seminar provides local high school students the opportunity to hear from and interact with a wide variety of professionals in the sports and entertainment industry. Throughout the panel’s presentation, the students in attendance are offered ideas and inspiration to help craft their goals for the future, as well as opportunity to lead the conversation through their questions.

The 2018 career panel will feature:

  • Junior Gaspard, CEO – Experience: Junior Gaspard is President and CEO for Experience, the mobile commerce, ticketing, and data solutions company based in Atlanta. Gaspard oversees the global strategy, vision and direction for Experience, as the company continues to be a leading provider of mobile technology for the sports and entertainment industries. Gaspard joined Experience in 2013, and has made a tremendous impact on the business, growing the sales team, securing relationships with many industry pillars, and building the company’s partner roster to more than 350 relationships around the world.


  • Michael McClendon, Manager, Corporate Sponsorships – Atlanta Hawks: Michael McClendon recently joined the Hawks after four years as a Premium Sales Manager for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons. In that role Michael played a key development function between suite sales and sponsorships while leading the business development team in the sale of suites, loge boxes and other premium products. In addition to these responsibilities, McLendon led the efforts of selling the 2018 College Football National Championship and 2019 Super Bowl, among other major events.


  • Melissa Proctor, CMO – Atlanta Hawks: Melissa McGhie Proctor joined the Atlanta Hawks in June of 2014 and is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Philips Arena. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of marketing teams, including marketing integration and direct response, digital content and advertising and promotions. Additionally, Proctor plays an instrumental role within the organization spearheading internal corporate employee initiatives and executive communication.


  • Michael Stovall, Assistant AD of Student-Athlete Development and Life Skills – Georgia State University: Michael Stovall joined the Georgia State Athletics Department in November 2015 and serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Career Development and Life Skills. In this role, Stovall oversees programming to enhance the personal and career development of all Panther student-athletes 16 teams, as well as their engagement in community service initiatives. He also serves as the Advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.), Chair of the “Golden Panther Awards” Student-Athlete Honors Banquet planning committee, and advisor for Summer Bridge Program.


  • Tareia Williams, Director of Communications – Turner Sports: Tareia Williams is Director of Communications, Turner Sports, with wide-ranging responsibilities including direct oversight of the division’s digital and social communications disciplines. She leads PR campaigns for Turner’s award-winning suite of digital products — including NCAA March Madness Live and PGA Championship Live — along with Turner’s move into the direct-to-consumer space and the unveil of B/R Live as the Company’s premium live streaming destination.  Additionally, Tareia leads PR efforts supporting all live events including the NBA Awards on TNT and the annual NCAA March Madness Music Festival.

This year’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge kicks off at noon on Sunday, Sept. 2, from Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta. The season-opening game, which will be televised on ESPN2, will feature the MEAC’s North Carolina Central Eagles against the SWAC’s Prairie View A&M Panthers. Several additional events take place around the game, including the Seminar, a financial literary seminar sponsored by SunTrust, and the halftime Battle of the Bands.

Tickets for the game are available online through Ticketmaster. The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. For more information, visit www.meacswacchallenge.com.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada);   New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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