TALLAHASSEE, FL – First Commerce Credit Union announced that Jim Kelly, NFL great and entrepreneur, will be the next speaker in the Power Forward Speaker Series. For the third year, the kickoff event for Entrepreneurship Month will be moderated by Andy Serwer, editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance. The announcement was made at an event this evening where First Commerce unveiled the next speaker.
“After more than 75 years of empowering our members, we remain committed to keeping our business leaders inspired and cultivating entrepreneurism in our community – and we are proud that Power Forward has become Tallahassee’s largest business event,” said Cecilia Homison, CEO of First Commerce. “Jim Kelly’s story is one of resilience in the face of obstacles while transforming his personal brand of leadership into the business world.”
A Buffalo Bill for his entire NFL career (1986-1996), Kelly led his team to six AFC East Championships and four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Even though the Bills did not come home with a Super Bowl Championship ring, they showed incredible resiliency by making it back four times in a row. No other team has been able to match this accomplishment. Nicknamed “Machine-Gun Kelly,” Jim Kelly was perhaps best known for running the Bills’ fast-paced “No-Huddle Offense,” which denied opposing defenses the opportunity to make timely substitutions and established the Buffalo Bills as one of the NFL’s most successful and dangerous offenses. Kelly was inducted as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2002 and at that time he was the 8th quarterback in NFL history to be selected on the first ballot. Jim’s accolades have continued through the years as he has earned numerous achievement and service awards since retiring from the NFL.
Kelly developed various business and philanthropic ventures. Marrying his love of football and tailgate cooking, Jim founded Game Day Greats which produces a growing line of NFL and college licensed seasonings and spices. Additional Game Day Greats products include key racks, multi-purpose clips and drinking straws. All products found in his kiosks and online store are made in the U.S.A. and are customizable for promotions and fundraisers.
In 1997 The Hunter’s Hope Foundation was established by Jim and his wife, Jill, after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal nervous system disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy. Hunter lost his life on August 5, 2005, at age 8. The Foundation is the Kelly’s lifelong commitment to increase public awareness of Krabbe disease and other leukodystrophies, as well as to increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment. The Foundation’s major goal and highest priority is that every newborn in every state be tested for every possible disease, saving the lives of thousands of children through Universal Newborn Screening. The Foundation also strives to fund research efforts that will identify new treatments, therapies and a cure for Krabbe disease and other leukodystrophies.
On June 3, 2013 it was announced Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer in his upper jaw. He underwent surgery at a Buffalo hospital in June and reported to news outlets shortly after the surgery was successful. In March 2014 after a follow-up test, Kelly’s cancer returned and he did undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Doctors confirmed in September 2014 after biopsies had been taken that there is currently no sign of cancer. Jim will continue to be closely monitored.
Past speakers in the Power Forward Speaker Series have included Randi Zuckerberg of Facebook’s startup team; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc.; and Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s entrepreneurial hit, “Shark Tank.”
The fourth annual Power Forward event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 3:30 p.m. at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Tickets are available at early-bird pricing starting at $40 in advance, with a limited number of tickets in a student section for $10. With an average of 1,000 attendees, limited seating is available, so purchase your tickets today at tickets.fsu.edu or after Tuesday, August 30, at the FSU Fine Arts Ticket Office. A portion of the proceeds goes back to funding entrepreneurial programs in our community.
First Commerce is again working closely with Domi Ventures to host follow-up workshops for budding entrepreneurs inspired by Power Forward to identify the resources in our community that can help them bring their ideas to life.
Other sponsors of Power Forward with Jim Kelly include the FSU College of Business, Leon County Government, Proctor Subaru, City of Tallahassee, NCR, Dodstone, Mad Dog Construction, Williams, Gautier, Gwynn, DeLoach & Sorenson, P.A., FAMU School of Business and Industry, Henry Buchanan, PA, Comcast Business, STRUCTURE Commercial Real Estate, Rodney Rich & Co., 850 Business Magazine, the Tallahassee Democrat, WCTV, 100.7 WFLA, Lamar Advertising, and Comcast Cable. Limited sponsorship opportunities are available; for more information, please contact First Commerce Business Services at (850) 410-3567.
For more information about Power Forward with Jim Kelly, visit www.FirstCommerceCU.org/PowerForward.
ABOUT FIRST COMMERCE CREDIT UNION
First Commerce Credit Union has proudly supported the communities we serve for more than 75 years. Headquartered in Tallahassee, First Commerce is a full-service financial institution currently serving more than 45,000 business and consumer members in Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia. First Commerce has 10 financial centers – eight in Tallahassee, one office in Marianna, and one in Thomasville, Ga. First Commerce’s latest expansion will be into Valdosta, Ga., in September 2016. First Commerce was named “Top Credit Union of the Year” for 2014 by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) North Florida District Office. Business products and services include SBA 7a and 504 loans, commercial vehicle and equipment loans, real estate loans, lines of credit, credit cards, ACH origination, merchant & payroll services, payroll & employee expense reloadable cards, wire transfers, free business checking, interest-bearing business checking, community checking, online & mobile banking, BillPay, remote deposit, real-time text/email account alerts, CDs, IRAs, savings & money market accounts, and more. In addition, First Commerce offers a wide range of financial planning and investment services through our subsidiary, Six Pillars Financial Advisors, and commercial & personal insurance through First Commerce Insurance Agency. For more information, visit FirstCommerceCU.org/Business or call (850) 410-3559 or (850) 488-0035. First Commerce is federally insured by the NCUA and is an equal opportunity lender.