Opportunities Through Athletics: Mike Gilliam
For over twenty years, Mike Gilliam has positively impacted the lives of thousands Nationwide. Companies, organizations, schools, teams, and booster clubs have retained Mike for his dynamic message. Mike’s electrifying message comes from first hand experience in what needs to happen to prepare young adults for success in school, career, and life.
Mike is an accomplished former Division I athlete. He was inducted into the Kent State University Hall of Fame with the likes of Lou Holtz, Jack Lambert, Thurman Munson, and Ben Curtis. He was a National Champion, two-time Nationals qualifier, Midwest Regional Champion, five-time conference champion, school record holder, and two-time team captain at Kent State University. He also coached at the Division I level winning a conference championship and performed in five world tours as a professional athlete, entertaining millions with the world renowned Daredevils. He’s been featured on ESPN, CNN, Incredible Sunday, the Tonight Show, and Late Night with David Letterman. Mike recruited some of the finest athletes in the world, professionally and collegiately.
He has helped hundreds of high school student-athletes and their families, worldwide, with the organization he founded in 1998, Opportunities Through Athletics, Inc. also known as Oi. His organization, based in Marietta, GA has helped secure over $50 MILLION in scholarships and financial aid for student-athletes they work with. The Atlanta Falcons have joined forces with Mr. Gilliam and Oi to further assist the youth of Metro-Atlanta. Mr. Gilliam and his organization have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Fox 5 High School Sports Show, AM-680 The Fan, AM-790 The Zone to name a few.
He and his family have raised thousands of dollars to assist Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis patients to support cancer and MS research through Team in Training and the MS Bike Tour. He lives in Marietta, GA with his wife and five kids.
Breakthrough Business Solutions: Rick Crain
Rick Crain’s experience and knowledge for building successful businesses and leaders began with a 32 year career with the World’s largest financial services company, ADP. Starting with ADP in St. Louis, MO in 1974, his career included leadership responsibility for the startup operations for regional offices. In 2003, Rick accepted Vice President responsibility for the Southeast operations for ADP Major Accounts division spanning 14 locations in seven states with $290 million in revenue. Throughout his career Rick has developed high performing leaders and teams to replace him before moving on to the next organizational development and personally challenging initiative.
In 2005, Rick left ADP to pursue his career and passion. Rick is a certified and licensed business and executive coach with the World’s #1 business coaching and consulting firm, ActionCOACH Business Coaching. He owns his own company, Breakthrough Business Solutions, and is also an entrepreneurial partner with DrawSuccess, a company with an innovative and fun solution for team transformation.
In 2008, Rick was recognized as a Top 100 Coach in the World by the International Business Coaching Institute, and, Georgia’s Most Inspirational Coach, Rick’s mission is to accelerate the advancement of inspiring leaders and teams above and beyond bottom line results.
Rick Crain received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Peirce College and Certifications in Project Management and Strategic Organizational Leadership from Villanova University. He is a certified executive coach, with a master’s in Certified Coach Trainer This certification separates Rick into the top 1% coaches in the world.
Rick still loves to play baseball and has a burning desire to participate in a major league baseball fantasy camp. He is the father of two very successful kids and a proud grandfather.
Co-Opportunities Inc.: Ira Blumenthal
Ira Blumenthal is the president of CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting company that has counseled world class clients such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kroger, McDonald’s, Harrah’s, American Airlines, Disney, United Artists, Marriott, Exxon, Wal-Mart and others in areas related to branding, strategic alliances, marketing, change management, re-invention and success.
His successful first book, “Ready, Blame, Fire!” focuses on the “myths and misses in marketing.” He is also the recipient of the coveted “George Washington Honor Medal For Literary Excellence” (Freedoms Foundation). Ira has written and published over 100 magazine articles on business development.
The former host of a popular radio talk show “SuccessTalk”, Ira has interviewed guest “success stories” such as General Colin Powell, Mario Andretti, Tommy Lasorda and other notables.
Delivering over 75 speeches annually, Ira has served as the “opener” for leaders such as President George Bush (Sr.), General Colin Powell, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Dole, Lech Walesa, Henry Kissinger and others
Ira is a committed leader in the fight against hunger, he is also a tireless community activist and youth coach. In his own youth, he was a “World Cup” athlete, as well as a collegiate Football and Lacrosse coach. Originally from New York, Ira resides in Atlanta with his wife Kim. He is the father of two daughters and three sons.