Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Salamander Hotels & Resorts Sheila C. Johnson will serve as Event Chairperson
New York, New York, February 14, 2019 – The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) today announced the recipients of the 2019 ROBIE Awards, which will be presented at its annual Awards Dinner on Monday, March 4th at the New York Marriott Marquis. The event pays tribute to individuals who embody the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson, while raising funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
For 45 years, JRF has provided generous four-year scholarships, year-round mentoring and leadership development opportunities to talented college students, known as JRF Scholars. The opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in December of this year expands the Foundation’s mission and will educate and inspire the public about the life and legacy of American hero Jackie Robinson.
The highly anticipated Robie Awards Dinner is part of the Foundation’s year-long Jackie Robinson Centennial Celebration, honoring the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birth and leading up to the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum at the end of the year.
Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball, will receive the Foundation’s ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award for his extraordinary contributions to baseball and his commitment to preserving the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR Ventures, SpringHill Entertainment and UNINTERRUPTED, will also receive the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award for his transformational work in business and entertainment and for his continued support of the LeBron James Family Foundation and After School All Stars. Kristopher Bowers, the Emmy award-winning pianist and composer, known most recently for his work on the 2018 film, “Green Book” will be recognized with the ROBIE Pioneer Award for his award-winning musical compositions. The event chairperson is former
ROBIE award winner, JRF board member emeritus and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Sheila C. Johnson.
“Each one of these honorees has impacted society not only through their exceptional professional accomplishments, but through their commitment to equal opportunity and sharing the fruits of their success with underserved communities,” said JRF president Della Britton Baeza. “We are proud to pay tribute to this trio of influential people who honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson and serve as impeccable role models for our Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and Extra Innings Fellows.”
The ROBIE Awards Dinner has recognized many of the most celebrated names in business, politics, education, media, sports and the arts, including Henry L. “Hank” Aaron, Clive Davis, Michael Jordan, George Lucas, Claire Smith, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Rita Moreno, Tyler Perry, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jessye Norman, Mariano Rivera, Stephen Ross, Robin Roberts, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Ruth J. Simmons, Robert F. Smith, and Stevie Wonder.
2019 ROBIE Awards Dinner sponsors include Sheila C. Johnson, Steve and Myrna Greenberg, Martin L. Edelman, Esq., FOX Sports Supports, New Era Cap Company, Praxair, Inc., Strada Education Network, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Henry and Billye Aaron, Allen & Company, LLC, BNY Mellon, The Coca-Cola Company, GE, The National Basketball Association, Nike, Inc., Omnicom Group, Inc., Perella Weinberg Partners, Unilever, and Alice and Joe Torre. For additional information on sponsorship and ticket opportunities visit: https://www.jackierobinson.org/support/awards-dinner/
The 2019 Honorees
Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
Robert D. Manfred, Jr. is the 10th Commissioner in the history of Major League Baseball. Since Manfred began as Commissioner, MLB has concluded a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, continuing the sport’s unprecedented era of 26 consecutive years of labor peace through 2021, and a landmark transaction in which The Walt Disney Company acquired a 75% stake in BAMTech, a leading technology services and video streaming company created by MLB. Manfred’s goals for the industry include the expansion of youth participation, international growth, improved pace of game, the infusion of technology into the game, increased marketing of the game’s young stars and furtherance of the game’s diversity goals. In particular, the creation of the PLAY BALL initiative in 2015 has led to significant gains in youth participation, including 49.1% growth in casual forms of baseball. Additionally, under Manfred’s leadership, MLB has formed core partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Stand up to Cancer and, of course, the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
With an extensive background in marketing and business development, Carter serves as CEO of LRMR Ventures, the venture company he helped build that oversees all of his and LeBron James’ investments and business assets including the companies they co-founded – SpringHill Entertainment and UNINTERRUPTED. As their CEO, Carter oversees the expanding entertainment companies’ overall strategic directions, spearheads their new business and content development partnerships, and guides their growing multi-platform global distribution efforts. Throughout his professional journey, Carter has always made youth and his community a priority. Through his work with the LeBron James Family Foundation and After School All Stars, Carter has helped create the generational change he and LeBron James envisioned since they were just kids from Akron.
Emmy-winning composer, Kris Bowers, scores compositions that step beyond the traditional boundaries of genre to form new and thrilling music. Bowers currently scores Netflix’s critically acclaimed “Dear White People,” and Shonda Rhimes’ “For The People,” starring Hope Davis. He completed the score for Peter Farrelly’s latest drama, “Green Book,” starring Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali and Academy Award-nominee Viggo Mortensen. In addition to scoring the film, Bowers was the piano-playing double for Ali and performed all the on-camera piano playing in the film. Bowers has scored a wide range of films including Amazon’s TV movie “The Snowy Day,” for which Bowers won a Daytime Emmy. In addition to composing for film and television, Bowers has recorded and performed with artists such as Q-Tip, Aretha Franklin, Marcus Miller, José James, Ludacris, Christian Rich, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. He was commissioned by the Alvin Ailey dance company to create an original composition for “Untitled America,” a modern ballet piece that shines a light on the impact of the prison system on Africa-American families. The ballet was choreographed by Kyle Abraham, a MacArthur Genius Grant winner, with whom Bowers is a long-time collaborator.
About the Jackie Robinson Foundation
For 45 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) has continued Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity by addressing the achievement gap in higher education and is poised to expand its rich legacy with the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City in December 2019.
Founded in 1973 by Rachel Robinson, JRF has advanced higher education for minority students by providing generous, four-year scholarships and comprehensive support services to highly motivated minority students attending colleges and universities throughout the country. JRF’s efforts have led to a consistent 98% graduation rate among JRF Scholars. JRF has disbursed over $85 million in grants and direct program support to 1500 students who have attended over 260 different colleges and universities across the country. JRF alumni are leaders in their communities and across a broad range of professional fields –and are true ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy of service and humanitarianism.
Expanding its mission of education and the Robinson legacy, JRF is engaged in constructing the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City scheduled to open in December 2019. The Museum, which will include a robust online component, will chronicle Jackie Robinson storied athletic career and his social impact across society through artifacts, state-of-the-art exhibits, film and other media, and interactive programming. This physical tribute to Jackie Robinson will serve as a destination for those seeking innovative, educational programming and a venue for vibrant dialogue on critical social issues.
Scott Miranda on behalf of the Jackie Robinson Foundation – 914-806-6771