Promote education, economic development and diversity while raising money for scholarships and institutions of higher learning.
Party with a Purpose
The 2nd Annual College Basketball All-Star Game & Extravaganza will be held Saturday, April 22, 2023 at Schottenstein Center, on the campus of The Ohio State University. All-Star Game & Extravaganza offers an entire day of educational, cultural and entertainment festivities—everything you expect from an HBCU Classic.
The main attraction is the game when top seniors from Historically Black Colleges & Universities around the country (HBCU All-Star Team) vs. dynamic players from universities across Ohio (Ohio All-Star Team). And a world-class postgame show featuring a famous R&B recording artist live in concert.
Associate your brand with an HBCU event where more than 25 colleges and universities participate.
Connect with the African American community by planning an engagement activation at the All-Star Game & Extravaganza
Contributed over $430,000 to scholarship programs and HBCUs.
Connected 4500 students with college enrollment, internships, and job opportunities.
Brought over 34,000 African Americans together in peace, unity, and pride.
Helped brand Columbus as a great place to visit, live and work.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
John C. Pace, Jr.
President & CEO
Classic For Columbus
John Pace launched his first major event when he was eighteen and sold the intellectual property rights and trademark to Anheuser Busch two years later, which became part of the Michelob brand introduction. Over the next four decades, John created world-class sports and entertainment events at venues across the country, including Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Ohio Stadium (the Horseshoe), and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. John utilizes his events to promote education, economic development, and diversity.
He partners with Fortune 500 companies and community-based organizations to raise millions of dollars for scholarship programs. John is a native of Columbus, Ohio.
Creative Services Director
Josh Combs is the Creative Services Director for NBC4 overseeing the marketing and branding efforts for the Columbus, Ohio NBC station since 2016. Josh has previously worked in creative management at WFLA (Tampa, FL), KLRT (Little Rock, AR), WMBB (Panama City, FL) and also held positions at CW and PBS affiliates. Josh is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Telecommunications. Josh's core strength's are audience analysis and connecting that audience to a meaningful and relevant message. Josh has used this approach with high-profile platforms like The Olympics, Super Bowls, College Bowl Games and his advertising work with professional teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Executive Vice President,
Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Culture Officer
Huntington National Bank
Donald leads all aspects of diversity, equity, inclusion, and culture at Huntington Bancshares Incorporated, a $183 billion regional bank-holding company. His belief is that when people feel respected and appreciated, they are more creative, innovative, and successful. He professionally develops strategies and programs to successfully engage, develop, retain, and attract a diverse workforce. Donald is responsible for fostering inclusion, advocating for equity, and embedding a sense of belonging for all colleagues across the company. His contributions help to deepen Huntington’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the communities it serves in seven states. Donald serves on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Ohio Food Collective and chairs the Columbus Community Kitchen, LLC; he also serves on the UNCF Columbus Leadership Council. Donald completed the Executive Program in Leadership at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. The Columbus, Ohio resident holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English Literature from The College of Wooster.
Carla D. Fountaine, MHA
Director of Community Relations
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Carla D. Fountaine, MHA is the Director of Community Relations for Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH). As a member of the community relations team for the past 18 years, she is responsible for cultivating and managing an open line of communication between NCH and its neighbors and constituents through the hospital’s Good Neighbor Agreement. Fountaine also serves within the community as a bridge for various non-profit organizations in Central Ohio to establish significant partnerships supporting their respective causes. She works closely with various departments within the hospital and other organizations externally to assist with programming related to the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families (HNHF) initiative established by NCH. As a board member for the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation, she also participates in the development of programs focused on the mentorship of students through the teachings of science and technology. She is a lifelong resident of the Central Ohio area and currently resides in Galloway.
Chief Operating Officer / Senior Vice President, Columbus Arena Management
As COO of Columbus Arena Management, Michael Gatto is responsible for the oversight of Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Nationwide Arena a 20,000 seat multi-purpose arena, is the economic engine of the Arena District with over one million guests visiting annually. Under Mike’s leadership, Nationwide Arena has hosted the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four, 2021 NCAA Division I, Women’s Volleyball Championships, NCAA Men’s Basketball 1st & 2nd Rounds as well as NHL Playoffs, plus numerous concerts, and entertainment events. Mike has over 25 years of experience in facility and event management. He also has responsibility for the oversight of the Jerome Schottenstein Center, the 20,000 seat arena on the campus of The Ohio State University that is the home of the Buckeyes.
Mike graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Widener University and has a Master of Education in Sports Administration from Temple University. He resides in Westerville, Ohio with his wife Mary, and his children Allison and Anthony.
CEO & President
Greater Columbus Sports Commission
Linda Shetina Logan has served as the CEO & President of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission (Sports Commission) since its inception in June 2002. A trailblazer in the sports tourism industry, Linda has led the Sports Commission to book more nearly 600 new sporting events that have generated over half a billion dollars in visitor spending. In return, Columbus has established itself as a top sports destination. A graduate of Ohio University, she currently serves on the boards of the AAA Ohio Auto Club, The Ohio State University Sports & Society Initiatives, and the Fairport Harbor Tourism Council. Linda was named 2019 Women WELDing the Way® calendar honoree due to her leadership and development of women. Additionally, she was a past recipient of the Columbus YWCA “Women of Achievement” and was recognized in Connect SPORTS magazine’s cover story “IX Women Who’ve Got Game” for making significant contributions to the sports tourism industry.
Associate Vice President
Jim McCoy is charged with strategy development, implementation, and measurement of all sponsorships in Nationwide’s sports marketing portfolio.This includes Nationwide’s official relationships with the NFL, the Memorial Tournament, National Women’s Soccer League, Minor League Baseball, the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL), the Columbus Crew (MLS), the Columbus Clippers (MiLB), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the Columbus Marathon. Jim also manages personal services agreements with Peyton Manning, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Anthony Muñoz, and numerous Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners. McCoy has more than 20 years of sports marketing and event management experience. Since joining Nationwide in 2004, he has been building, diversifying and managing the company’s sports marketing portfolio. Under McCoy’s leadership, Nationwide was named 2010 NASCAR Marketer of the Year and nominated for a 2014 Ex award for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200.
Rev. Charles Newman
Antioch Baptist Church
After serving several years faithfully, God once again had greater divine plans for Rev. Newman and called in back home, On September 9, 2018 he was installed as the Pastor of The Antioch Baptist Church of Columbus, OH. Under his leadership Antioch has continued the rich legacy of effective and relevant ministry in the city of Columbus, OH. Reaching and Restoring the lost, reconnecting them back to the church. He is also employed by the City of Columbus Department of Public Service, serving as the department's Public Relations Specialist. Rev. Newman is a graduate of Ohio Christian University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and a Bachelor of Religious Education.Rev. Newman currently serves as the Executive Secretary of the Ohio Baptist General Convention, Vice Moderator of the Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association. He has served as a lecturer for the Young Peoples Department of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and is a Proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. along with many other civic and professional organizations throughout the state and on a national level.
First Vice President
National Panhellenic Council Columbus
Jeffrey A. Ushry is a Wastewater Chemist with the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities having also served as a Compost Facility Supervisor.
He is past recipient of seven meritorious and achievement awards from the City of Columbus.
Mr. Ushry is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology with a minor in Microbiology. He currently is the Polemarch (President) of the Columbus Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In addition, he is an Alumni Board of Director for The East Central Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He also serves as the 1st Vice President of the National Panhellenic Council of Columbus.
Franklin County Board of Commissioner
JKenneth N. Wilson was appointed County Administrator in January 2015. As County Administrator, the highest unelected post in county government, Mr. Wilson leads 14 county agencies with more than 1,400 employees and oversees the County’s annual $1.9 Billion budgeting process for 35 agencies to ensure Franklin County remains one of the finest, best-governed counties in the nation. Mr. Wilson was hired in 2005 as Director for the County’s Office of Management and Budget. In 2010, Mr. Wilson was elevated to the role of Deputy County Administrator for Resource Management, overseeing several agencies including Job and Family Services, the County’s largest social service agency. Mr. Wilson was again promoted to County Administrator in January 2015. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Ohio University and a B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University, where he majored in Public Affairs, Metropolitan Studies, and Business.
Brian A. Turner
Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University
Brian A. Turner, PhD is a Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Baylor University, his Master of Education degree in Physical Education from Tarleton State University, and his PhD in Sport Management from Ohio State in 2001. His research focuses on Organizational Behavior in sport and he has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and made over 100 presentations at national and international conferences. Additionally, he has co-edited two editions of the textbook Marketing for Sport Business Success. In 2007, Dr. Turner was named a North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) Research Fellow and in 2017 he won the organization’s Distinguished Sport Management Educator Award. Additionally, in 2017 he was awarded the College of Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Teaching Award at Ohio State. Currently, he serves as a member of the University’s Athletic Council.
Meet the Team
Special Guest Experience Manager | Sanctioned Events Coordinator
Culture & Entertainment Leader
Administrative Associate and Transportation Leader
Public Relations Team Leader
Chief Administrative Officer
Sponsorship Activation & Compliance Officer
Ticket Management Leader
Operations & Production Team Leader
Volunteer Management Team Leader
Branding & Design Leader | Social Media Marketing Leader
All-Star Selection Chairperson | Basketball Partnerships Leader
Emerging Business Units Leader
Chief Financial Officer