Tomorrow Is Your Chance To Network with the Pros

Darren HeitnerSenior Analyst IJanuary 29, 2009

I am currently in Tampa, have already had some very productive meetings, and plan to head to the Yardbarker/GQ/Jack Daniels party hosted by Terrell Owens tonight. Tomorrow, I will head to an event titled, Network with the Pros. I just received a press release about the event and am happy to pass along the information. 

If you will be there, make sure you network with me, whether you consider me a pro or not.

Every year, hundreds gather to “Network with the Pro’s”, an elite networking experience of hand-picked athletes (retired and active), celebrities, and top executives.

Last year’s successful event was at the Wrigley Mansion in Arizona. This year’s event is hosted at and sponsored by Robb and Stucky (International Plaza), The Strand, Budweiser, and Athletes and Executives.

The massive luxury furniture store will close down the entire upstairs and most of its' downstairs areas to make room for custom designed and very private VIP networking rooms, a press room for red carpet interviews, and a 100-item silent auction.

Along with, of course, the classic amenities of gourmet food, drink, and live music.

Hand-picked invitees for the event range from the local up-and-coming executives to the respected local mainstays. But the wow factor for everyone will be the opportunity to network with top level executives and CEO’s from major national and international corporations, including but not limited to Anheuser Busch, M&M Mars, Adidas, Nike, Sports Illustrated, XM, Red Bull, Lear Jet, Marriott, and Raymond James.

Of course, there will also be a fair share of politicians, sports agents, and even Olympic Committee officials coming to tag their piece of the action.

“Business will be done at this event. This is not a shake a hand and lets exchange small talk. The entire event is centered around making connections and making business happen.

"People come to this event every year—fly in from all over the country—expecting to sign deals and start on the path to new negotiations,” says Jenn Greacen, Executive Director of Red Frog, the coordinating host of this years' event.

Pro player sightings will include Hall of Famer John Hannah, whos' charity foundation Fourth and Goal Unites will benefit from the massive silent auction featuring items such as the traditional signed Peyton Manning jersey, a Bruce Springsteen hand-signed guitar, and some exceptionally unusual items like a Tony Hawk-signed skateboard or a Michel Phelps-signed swim cap.

A confirmed 50 pro athletes are registered to attend, including retired local resident Seth Joyner, our own Bucs local Dave Moore, two time Super Bowl Champ Leonard Marshall, and MLB baseball great Curt Shilling.

“What makes this event unusual and unlike any other is the fact that it is not a party. It is held during business hours, you can’t ask to get on the list, you can’t buy a ticket, it isn’t about the food or the glitz or glam, it’s just about business. That’s why our people love it. That’s why everyone wants on the list year after year,” says Alan Anastos, co-founder of Athletes and Executives.

Network with the Pros will take place at Robb and Stucky in International Plaza on Friday, Jan. 30 2009 from 1-5 PM. For security reasons, invitees including press must register in advance at networkwiththeprostampabay and bring proof of ID or press credentials to be granted access.