With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates student involvement, promotes participation and celebrates accomplishment through three unique but interrelated businesses: Herff Jones, A Varsity Achievement Brand, BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand, and Varsity Spirit. Together, these assets promote individual, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports team and corporations. Shade Global advised and oversaw Varsity Brands’ Public Relations and developed Sponsorship opportunities over the past twelve years.
Sports Innovation Lab
Sports Innovation Lab is leading a sports research revolution. Educating their clients on the technological possibilities for elevating their respective brand and driving value to the end consumer, Sports Innovation Lab is able to inspire brands to create bold fan experiences through data-driven technology insights and industry-leading research. Shade Global consults their co-founder and CEO, Angela Ruggiero concerning Brand Development and Reach.
Ken Burns, Documentary Filmmaker
Ken Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. Shade Global worked with Burns on a series of films, most notably promoting on one of his mostly widely known documentaries, Baseball (1994). Burns’ documentaries have been nominated for two Academy Awards and have won 15 Emmy Awards, among numerous other honours.
BASEBALL is a nine-part series that examines nearly 200 years of American history through the prism of our national pastime. Americans have played baseball in some since the early 19th century—while they conquered a continent, warred with one another and with enemies abroad, and struggled over labor, civil rights and the meaning of freedom. At the game’s heart lie mythic contradictions: it is a pastoral game that was actually born in crowded cities;it is an exhilarating democratic sport that tolerates cheating—and has excluded as many as it has embraced; a profoundly conservative game that has sometimes managed to be years ahead of its time.
The series celebrates the achievements of dozens of memorable Americans who through baseball became national icons—including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Satchel Paige, Joe DiMaggio, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Hank Greenberg, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Jackie Robinson. It also follows the fortunes of two of the most beloved teams; the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox. Still, the series is much more than an accounting of games won and lost, teams rising and falling, rookies arriving and veterans saying farewell; it celebrates the extraordinary stars of the Negro Leagues, the pioneers who paved the way for integration of the national pastime and ultimately, America at large. The story of baseball is fundamentally the story of race in America. But it is also the story of the transformation of millions of immigrants from everywhere into new generations of Americans; of the rise and fall of great American cities; of fathers and sons and of mothers and daughters; and of our insatiable need for heroes. It is an integral and compelling manifestation of the American experience itself.
Paul Cumbo, Educator and Author
Paul Cumbo is a veteran educator with nearly two decades of experience teaching English at Jesuit high schools for boys. He coached rowing for twelve years, during which his crews earned multiple U.S. and Canadian national championship titles. He has also served as a swimming coach, retreat director, and service-learning coordinator. Paul’s books include two novels, Wilderness Therapy and Boarding Pass; Ten Stories, a short fiction collection; and Blue Doors, an institutional history. Wilderness Therapy won first place in the Young Adult category in the Writer’s Digest self-published book awards for 2021. His articles have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, The Buffalo News, and Independent Ideas, a publication of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). As an editorial consultant and freelance writer, Paul’s clients include professionals and small businesses as well as some of the world’s most recognized names in the corporate, academic, and nonprofit sectors, including McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum. He co-founded the Camino Institute, which offers immersive, service-oriented retreats in the rural Dominican Republic. As an author, he is proud to be represented by Sheryl Shade of Shade Global, Inc. Paul lives near Buffalo, New York, with his wife and children.
Paul’s Personal Website
Ilana Dunn, Content Creator and Podcast Host
Focused on creating content that dissects the nuances of modern dating, while simultaneously toying with the hilariously relatable aspects of millennial and gen-z life, Ilana Dunn is a specialist in relationship trends.
As the former Head of Social Media for Hinge, Ilana produced and hosted their in-house podcast ‘Dating Sucks’, which peaked at #3 on the US iTunes Relationship Charts and broke the Top 10 in fifteen other countries. Now, as the host of ‘Seeing Other People’, Dunn, alongside expert guests, discusses the tropes of modern dating and relationships. With an unmatched level of honesty and empathy, and over 300k downloads since its launch, Ilana offers listeners with actionable advice and unique insights to improve their dating lives.
Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) is a platform for the top female hockey talent in the world, including Hockey Canada and USA Hockey National Team players. With a unified mission to secure a viable professional league with livable wages, enhanced marketing, media infrastructure, and access to high-level training facilities, more than 200 players came together in 2019 to complete their first season. Shade Global assists with Sponsorship and Licensing opportunities.
Ed Brown, Chef and Innovator
Ed Brown leads the culinary charge for Restaurant Associates injecting his restaurant expertise into all aspects of their portfolio. As one of America’s leading chefs, his experience is synonymous with culinary innovation, quality food and entrepreneurial spirit. Brown’s culinary talent has garnered international acclaim and star ratings from the New York Times and a coveted Michelin star.
Brown’s professional life in the kitchen began shortly after his graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 1983, when he joined Le Parker Meridien Hotel at its New York Times three-star Maurice Restaurant as Sous Chef working beside Chef Christian Delouvrier and Chef-Maitre Cuisinier Alain Senderens. Two years later, he traveled with Senderens to Paris to work at the famous Michelin three-star Lucas Carton as Chef de Partie Tournant.
In 1990, Brown joined Restaurant Associates to open Tropica, the organization’s first project in New York’s MetLife building complex, eventually overseeing the culinary programs at all of RA’s restaurants in the building. After a brief stopover at Judson Grill, Brown returned to the RA family in 1994 to serve at the helm of The Sea Grill. During his 14 years as Executive Chef, Esquire magazine called The Sea Grill “one of the best restaurants in the world” and Brown, “perhaps the most impressive talent in his field.” Throughout Brown’s impressive career, he has earned 14 stars from The New York Times for such properties as Marie Michelle, Tropica, Judson Grill, The Sea Grill, Eighty One, and ACES.
Brown, a frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, and Food Network, as well as a 2010 competitor on Iron Chef America, was recently chef and owner of the New York City restaurant, Eighty One. Eighty One opened to rave reviews in 2008 and earned a Michelin Star two years in a row. Most recently, he partnered with Jeffrey Chodorow to open Ed’s Chowder House which was listed in the 2010 Zagat Guide as one of ”five big new anticipated projects of the year.”
Brown is the author of The Modern Seafood Cook, a comprehensive guide to buying and preparing seafood and fish. He has also contributed to other cookbooks, including the updated Joy of Cooking (Scribner, 1997), Chef Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet (Clarkson Potter, 2000) as well as other publications.
In January of 2018, Brown was again promoted to President, Restaurant Services. In addition to his new role, he continues to be the head of Culinary for Restaurant Associates.
Dr. George Lombardi
Dr. George Lombardi is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, City College of New York and New York University School of Medicine. He did his medical residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland and his infectious disease fellowship at Barnes Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Lombardi is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. He spent one year studying tropical infections in Kenya.
Dr. Lombardi was a technical advisor to the television series, Law and Order, for six years and a Fellow of the Explorers Club. He is also an attending physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Below is his talk concerning his treatment of Mother Teresa at the World Science Festival in 2013.