Connect Sports 2019 Speakers
Actor, Producer, Host, Entrepreneur
and WWE Superstar
John Cena devotes much of his time working on behalf of numerous charitable causes. He is Make-A-Wish’s most requested wish granter of all time and the only celebrity to grant 500 wishes. He is also committed to Susan G. Komen and has helped raise more than $1.6 million for breast cancer research and awareness. Cena is a longtime supporter of the U.S. military and was recently recognized by USO Metro as the recipient of their 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award.
In addition to his work in the community, Cena is a powerhouse on social media with 45 million Facebook fans, making him the most popular active U.S. athlete on Facebook. He is also one of the most followed athletes on Twitter and Instagram with 10 and 7.4 million followers, respectively.
Among the films Cena has starred in: “The Wall;” “The Pact;” “Trainwreck;” “Sisters” and a cameo in “Daddy’s Home,” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. He will reprise his role in the upcoming “Daddy’s Home 2.” This Christmas, John will voice the title role of “Ferdinand the Bull” in “Ferdinand,” the animated film based on the iconic children’s book. He also will star as the antagonist in the Transformer’s spinoff, “Bumblebee.” In 2018, Cena was honored as “Action Star of the Year” at this year’s CinemaCon
As the face of the WWE and a 16-time world champion, John Cena combines his athleticism, charisma, strong work ethic and genuine personality to make him one of today’s brightest stars. ■
Record-setting Olympic Swimming Champion
Michael Phelps is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He captured 28 Olympic medals, including a record-setting 23 gold medals, and set 39 world records over the course of his career. Phelps utilized his performance bonus for winning eight gold medals in 2008 to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes water safety, healthy living and the pursuit of dreams. The Foundation’s signature IM program is a learn-to-swim, healthy living and goal-setting curriculum based on the principles and tools Phelps utilized in his swimming career. It is available through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International.
Phelps launched his competitive swimwear brand, MP, in partnership with Aqua Sphere in 2014. He has published two autobiographies, “No Limits: The Will to Success” and “Beneath the Surface” that were New York Times and USA Today best sellers. He also published one children’s book, “How to Train With a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals.” ■
General Manager, Reno Aces
Emily Jaenson cut her teeth in sports as an intern in the Chicago Bulls ticket department where she sold 2005-2006 season and group tickets. Hitting the phones for 80 calls a day to fill the United Center truly taught her that fans are the lifeblood of any sports organization. Leaving the Bulls, Jaenson went the nonprofit route, coordinating events and fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Association Chicago and then Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada. Jaenson joined the Reno Aces in 2013, growing from sponsorship account executive to vice president in two years. In 2016, the Jaenson family relocated to Houston, where she volunteered for Super Bowl 51, and worked as sales director on the World Corporate Games Houston and the inaugural Houston Sports Awards Show (Houston’s “ESPYS”). She also managed business development through sports partnerships for Houston Methodist, the number one hospital in Texas. Jaenson returned to Reno in 2018 as general manager of the Reno Aces. She is currently the only female GM in Triple-A baseball and the first in almost two decades. ■
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, San Francisco Giants
Bill Schlough currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of the San Francisco Giants and Chairman of the Board of the San Jose Giants.
Since Schlough's arrival in 1999, the Giants have been recognized as one of the most innovative teams in sports, playing a pioneering role in the world of HD video, mobile content, wireless connectivity, ticketing/payment systems, and numerous proprietary analytic tools that helped secure three World Series titles so far this decade.
An Olympic enthusiast, Schlough has served on the committees for San Francisco’s bids to host the 2012, 2016 and 2024 Olympic Games. His event experience includes assignments at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Torino, Salt Lake and Atlanta, along with World Cup USA 1994. More recently, Schlough served as Interim President of the Giants’ Class A San Jose affiliate and was appointed to the team’s board as chairman in 2012.
In addition to his Giants and Olympic activities, Schlough supports Bay Area causes with a focus on education and athletics, serving for over a decade as a board member of Junior Achievement of Northern California. In his spare time he competes in Ironman triathlons, volunteers as a youth basketball coach with the El Camino YMCA and coaches baseball with Los Altos-Mountain View Pony Baseball. He is also an avid supporter of the Giants Community Fund, raising over $150,000 thru speaking appearances and other fundraisers. ■
Thanks to our 2019 Sponsors