McLendon Foundation Partners with Helix Ventures

CLEVELAND — Helix Ventures announced its partnership with the McLendon Foundation, a non-profit organization founded on empowering and developing minority talent into the next generation of executive leaders in sports. Helix Ventures will focus on connecting and collaborating with companies whose values align with the McLendon Foundation to create impactful and lasting strategic partnerships.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with the McLendon Foundation on crafting a partnership strategy. Sharing their commitment to empowering college students in sports aligns perfectly with our vision,” said Roger Jones, a partner at Helix Ventures. “It’s an honor to work alongside Adrien Harraway and his team as they commemorate Coach John McLendon and the Secret Game’s 80th anniversary. We look forward to sharing the McLendon story with brands eager to positively impact the next generation of sport industry professionals.”

Established in 1999 under the guidance of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the McLendon Foundation is committed to increasing diverse representation in sports. To this end, the Foundation administers two flagship programs aimed at creating access and opportunity for minorities.

The McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship Program awards eight (8) $10,000 scholarships annually to candidates pursuing master’s degrees in athletics administration or sport management. The recipients are known as McLendon Scholars, and the Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarship dollars since the program’s inception.

Additionally, the McLendon Leadership Initiative (MLI) offers meaningful employment experiences that accelerate career growth and expand professional horizons within the sports sector. MLI participants are known as McLendon Fellows. The MLI began in 2020 and since then, the Foundation has donated over $5.8 million to fellowships across the country. Together, McLendon Scholars and Fellows are collectively known as Torchbearers.

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Helix Ventures, a collaboration that embodies our shared commitment to providing access and opportunity for historically excluded talent in the sports industry,” said Adrien Harraway, Director of the McLendon Foundation and NACDA Senior Vice President. “Together we will forge new pathways to provide our McLendon Torchbearers more career exploration, professional development, and networking opportunities to ignite their passion and propel their careers to unprecedented heights.”

The goal of the partnership is to establish the McLendon Foundation as the destination for curating diverse, best-in-class, career-ready talent for the sports industry. If your company wants to help guide the path for the next generation of executive leaders in sports, reach out to Roger Jones or Adrien Harraway. Together, through the McLendon Foundation, let’s shape tomorrow’s leaders, today!

About Helix: Helix helps companies strategize and implement their creative visions. Our growing Marketing Agency is driven by passionate thinkers who work closely with each brand to create strategies that produce unparalleled results. We love content and design but thrive on the data necessary to succeed in a digital world.

About NACDA: Now in its 59th year, NACDA is the professional and educational Association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. NACDA manages 18 professional associations and four foundations. In addition to virtual programming, NACDA hosts six major professional development events in-person annually. The NACDA & Affiliates Convention is the largest gathering of collegiate athletics administrators in the country. For more information, visit

About the McLendon Foundation
The McLendon Foundation, established in 1999, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded and administered by NACDA. The Foundation honors the legacy of Hall of Fame coach John McLendon who was a pioneer in the field of athletics, the game of basketball, and the civil rights arena. Its mission is to create access and opportunities for historically excluded talent who aspire to impact the sports industry. The Foundation is committed to empowering and developing the next generation of executive leaders in sports through financial resources, a robust educational curriculum and an engaged community of principled leaders. All organizational planning for the Foundation directly aligns with the values of Coach McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentorship. More information regarding the McLendon Foundation can be found at minorityleaders.orgMcLendon Foundation’s LinkedIn Page and @McLendonScholar.

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