Join us as we celebrate leadership and community service at the Ryan Nece Foundation’s 2024 Huddle, presented by Suncoast Credit Union. Hosted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Armature Works, this annual event supports teens in our Student Service Program.
The Student Service Program positively impacts teens by teaching them the principles needed to become the next generation of servant leaders in our community dedicated to lifelong volunteerism, philanthropy, and civic responsibility. This two-year program brings together high school juniors from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties twice monthly to train them to look beyond themselves, lead with empathy, and how to strategically serve their community and those in need. In 2023, our Student Service Program members donated more than 2,300 service hours to 40+ unique causes, touching more than 5,000 lives in need.
Moderated by Ryan Nece, this huddle will bring together an incredible team of leaders – including Warrick Dunn and President Rhea Law – to discuss how they have been able to use their roles and/or platforms to lift others and the community up. Even after football, Ryan continues to discuss the privilege it was for him to be in a huddle with men from all walks of life that he probably would have never met otherwise – and how their diverse and unique perspectives made the team stronger.
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
The Gathering @ Armature Works
VIP Moment | 11:00 a.m. (Invitation Only)
Registration | 11:30 a.m.
Luncheon & Program | 12:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks | 1:15 p.m.
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2024 Sponsorship Opportunities
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Meet The Panelists
Warrick Dunn is former NFL running back and three-time Pro Bowl selection, who is also known for his philanthropy which began when he was a rookie, playing for Coach Tony Dungy.
Warrick founded his Homes for the Holidays program in 1997 during his rookie year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The program is a tribute to his mother, Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge police officer who as a single mother of six worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream of owning her own home. While working a second job as a security guard, she was murdered in the line of duty leaving Warrick to raise his five siblings with the help of his grandmother.
Warrick Dunn Charities was later founded in 2002, to improve lives through innovating programming inspired by Dunn’s life journey. To date, the program has worked with 204 single parents and over 549 dependents to assist in helping families achieve first-time homeownership.
Dunn’s football career began at Florida State University. In 1997, Dunn was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played for the Bucs for five years before signing with the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. Six seasons later, in 2008, he returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his final season. His 2008 autobiography, Running For My Life, provides his perspective of raising a family while he played college football dealing with crippling depression that he didn’t recognize until years later.
After a 12-year career, Dunn retired, and in 2009 was approved by NFL owners to become a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons. He was in the first class of NFL Legends. In 2020, Dunn launched his second nonprofit, WD Communities, which supports families from the beginning to the end of the purchase of affordable transitional housing.
Dunn serves on numerous boards and has made it his life’s mission to impact future generations by helping fulfill his mother’s dream while investing in ideas and innovation that improve the condition of the human spirit.
Rhea Law became the University of South Florida’s eighth president in March 2022. A fifth-generation Floridian who is passionate about the success of the state, Law is actively involved in corporate, public policy, civic, and charitable work.
Law is the first USF graduate to serve as president and has deep ties within the university community and across the state of Florida. After earning her bachelor’s degree in management from USF, she then earned her terminal degree in law at Stetson University College of Law.
As a founding member of USF’s Board of Trustees, Law spent five years as vice chair and four years as the first and only female chair, contributing significantly to USF’s growth and evolution as a high-impact research university.
Over the course of her 35-year-plus career, she has held top leadership positions with many Florida-based organizations. Previously, Law served as CEO and Chair of the Board of Fowler White Boggs, a Florida law firm. Her areas of practice included higher education, environment and land use, government, and economic development.
Meet The Moderator
After Ryan Nece played seven years in the NFL (including a Super Bowl Championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), he launched his investing career as a Principal at DeBartolo Development. A few years later, he co-founded StraightCast Media, a mobile app designed to empower athletes to create their own HD content. The company was sold to FOX Sports in 2014, allowing Ryan to pursue his dream of starting Next Play Capital. Ryan’s unique experience as a pro athlete and entrepreneur has been instrumental to his success as a disciplined investor and leader at Next Legacy. Since founding Next Play Capital in 2015, Ryan has created a strong investment platform that affords non-traditional diverse communities access to venture capital and company investments. Now that Next Play Capital and Legacy Venture have joined forces, Ryan’s leadership and vision continue to play an integral role in the combined firm.
Join The Huddle
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