First Commerce Credit Union Announces Next Speaker in Power Forward Series: Jim Kelly

NFL Great and Entrepreneur



Courtesy of First Commerce Credit Union

NFL great and entrepreneur Jim Kelly will be the next speaker in First Commerce Credit Union’s Power Forward Speaker Series on Oct. 5. For the third year, Tallahassee’s largest business event leading up to Entrepreneurship Month in November will be moderated by Andy Serwer, editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance.

“After more than 75 years of empowering our members, we remain committed to keeping our business leaders inspired and cultivating entrepreneurism in our community – and we are proud that Power Forward has become Tallahassee’s largest business event,” said Cecilia Homison, CEO of First Commerce. “Jim Kelly’s story is one of resilience in the face of obstacles while transforming his personal brand of leadership into the business world.”

A Buffalo Bill for his entire NFL career (1986-1996), Jim led his team to six AFC East Championships and four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Although the Bills did not come home with a Super Bowl Championship ring, they showed incredible resiliency by making it back four times in a row. No other team has matched this accomplishment. Jim was inducted as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2002 and at that time he was the 8th quarterback in NFL history to be selected on the first ballot.

After his NFL career, Jim developed various business and philanthropic ventures. One is Game Day Greats, which produces a growing line of NFL and college licensed seasonings and spices. Additional Game Day Greats products include key racks, multi-purpose clips and drinking straws. All products found in his kiosks and online store are made in the U.S.A. and are customizable for promotions and fundraisers. 

In 1997, Jim and his wife Jill established The Hunter’s Hope Foundation after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal nervous system disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy. Hunter lost his life on August 5, 2005, at age 8. The Foundation is the Kellys’ lifelong commitment to increase public awareness of Krabbe disease and other leukodystrophies, as well as to increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment. 

In June 2013, Jim was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer in his upper jaw. Shortly thereafter, he underwent a successful surgery. In March 2014 after a follow-up test, his cancer returned and he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. While ongoing tests reveal there is currently no sign of cancer, he will continue to be closely monitored.

Past speakers in the Power Forward Speaker Series have included Randi Zuckerberg of Facebook’s startup team; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc.; and Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s entrepreneurial hit, “Shark Tank.”

The fourth annual Power Forward event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 3:30 p.m. at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Tickets are available starting at $40, with a limited number of tickets in a student section for $10. With an average of 1,000 attendees, limited seating is available, so purchase your tickets today at https://tickets.fsu.edu/online/ or at the FSU Fine Arts Ticket Office. A portion of the proceeds goes back to funding entrepreneurial programs in our community.

First Commerce is again working closely with Domi Ventures to host a follow-up workshop for budding entrepreneurs inspired by Power Forward to identify the resources in our community that can help them bring their ideas to life. Stay tuned to Domi’s website at http://www.domistation.com/ for details.

For more information about Power Forward with Jim Kelly, visit www.FirstCommerceCU.org/PowerForward .