The first edition of the CEC/EIC Northeast Summitto be held in Atlantic City on October 18-19has announced three new expert speakers. Tim SullivanCEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA); John Boyd, Jr. a Principal of The Boyd Company; and Rob JohnsonCEO of Playfly Esports.
The event is hosted by the Casino Esport Conference (CEC) of Las Vegas and the Esports Innovation Center (EIC) of New Jersey’s Stockton Universityand it has already confirmed 13 other speakers for its inaugural edition.
Tim Sullivan He became Chief Executive Officer of the NJEDA in February 2018. The NJEDA serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth and is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development.
During his tenure, he has led the NJEDA’s transformation into a comprehensive economic development organization dedicated to implementing Governor Phil Murphy’s strategy with that aim. Sullivan has overseen the creation of new programs focused on catalyzing industry clusters and a dedicated Small Business Services unit charged with providing robust financial, workforce, and technical support to the State’s small business community, with a focus on historically underrepresented firms.
Most recently, he served as Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), where he oversaw State tourism and branding, brownfield redevelopment, transit-oriented development, and waterfront initiatives. He joined the DECD in January 2014 and became Deputy Commissioner the next year.
Also, Sullivan previously served as Chief of Staff to the New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. Prior to joining city government in 2010, he worked at Barclays Capital as Chief of Staff to the Head of Global Investment Banking. He began his career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in 2003 as a healthcare banker, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions for leading companies in the managed care, biotechnology, and healthcare services sectors.
John Boyd, Jr., is a Principal of the corporate site selection consultancy The Boyd Company, Inc, which was founded in 1975 in Princeton, New Jersey. Since joining the firm in 2002, he has worked on a wide range of site selection and development projects that have resulted in billions of dollars of capital investment and tens of thousands of new jobs in the US and around the globe. The Boyd Co. has provided economic development counsel to a number of leading US gaming markets, including Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe and to Native American tribal properties in California, Arizona and Nevada.
Rob Johnson is Chief Executive Officer of Playfly Esports, connecting brands to esports communities throughout the high school, collegiate, amateur, and pro gaming ecosystem. They are co-operators of NACE Starleague, the world’s largest college esports league with nearly 700 schools and over 13,000 students who participated during the 2021-22 academic year.
Johnson previously served as Chief Operating Officer for Nerd Street Gamers (NSG), an esports infrastructure company based in Philadelphia, between 2018 and 2020. NSG’s esports portfolio currently includes competitive gaming venues (Localhost), national esports events (Nerd Street Events), and content production (NSGTV). Under Johnson’s operational direction, the company closed a Series A funding round lead by a national retailer, Five Below, was named Technically Philly’s 2019 “startup of the year”, was recognized for “top 10 most innovative companies in gaming” by Fast Company, and he created the two-time Mid-Atlantic Emmy winning TV series, “FTW Philly,” airing on NBC Regional Sports Networks nationwide.
In addition, Johnson was a Vice President with Jackbox Games, the creator of party video games “You Don’t Know Jack” & “The Jackbox Party Pack” (2016-2018). He launched a first-of-its-kind mass audience gaming platform for the sports & entertainment industry, bringing Jackbox Games to National Football League, NCAA, and high-profile esports events. He also oversaw both consumer and business marketing strategy and launched the company’s portfolio of games nationally on cable-box based platforms.
Before working in the video game industry, Johnson was Vice President of Digital Media & Partnership Marketing for the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. In 2014, his team earned a Webby Award Honoree for excellence in sports social media. That same year, he was also named to Philadelphia Business Journal‘s “40 Under 40”.
He also founded GreenLit Consulting, which provides hands-on business and personal brand building and led to co-authoring Millennial Reboot: Our Generation’s Playbook for Professional Growth, published in December 2016. Millennial Reboot launched as a #1 Amazon Best Seller in its category .
These three additions join J Moses, Director of Take-Two Interactive; and Allie Young, CEO of AXR Edge, formerly Axis Replay. Before them, CEC/EIC organizers had also confirmed NFL Hall of Famer Ahman Greenformer running back of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers and current Esports Head Coach at Lakeland University.
The speaker roster also includes Anthony GaudCEO and founder of Gaud-Hammer Gaming Group (G3); Anthony StrangiaDeputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE); Seth SchorrChairman of Downtown Grand; Eric Weissformer DGE and current Vice President of Technical compliance at Odds On Compliance; Sari KitelynDirector of Esports + Project Development for Full Sail University; Eloisa Marchesonia “self-made Crypto-entrepreneur”; Daniel CossiPresident and Chairman of WESCO (World Esport Consortium); Andrew Weilgus, Executive Director of the Esports Innovation Center; and CEC co-founders and executive producers, Ari Fox and Ben Fox.
The new educational event will feature conversations about how the esports industry specifically fits into the conversation of the casino industry. Organizers said it will also discuss esports from a non-casino viewpoint and tackle the competitive collegiate, High School, and elementary levels at which esports have been affecting the next generations of competitors. It will also show future landscapes of new businesses that will be born from this event for professional-level esports.