Keynote Speaker


Interviewed by: Raymond Harrison- Senior Associate AD/Sports Administration & Student Services at NC State

Dereck Whittenburg- Associate AD/Community Relations and Student Support at NC State

Dereck Whittenburg serves as Associate Athletic Director of Community Relations and Student Support at North Carolina State University and is the founder of The Dereck Whittenburg Foundation. He was a member of the 1983 Men's National Championship Basketball Team from North Carolina State and has worked for the school since 2015. Prior to his current position at his alma mater, he worked as an assistant basketball coach at NCSU, George Mason, Long Beach State, Colorado, West Virginia, and Georgia Tech, as well as being the head coach at Fordham University and Wagner College. He has also worked as a College Basketball Analyst for ESPN. His organization, The Dereck Whittenburg Foundation, helps provide financial assistance to deserving college students in need of support to complete their degrees. Mr. Whittenburg also serves on the board of directors for the V Foundation, an organization which honors Whittenburg's former coach, Jim Valvano, and raises support and money to fund cancer research in his memory.

Panel Speakers


Justin Buck - Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena

Justin Buck currently resides and works in Raleigh as the Manager of Corporate Partnerships at the Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena. With this position, he works with local, regional, and national companies and brands to develop fully integrated sponsorship marketing platforms that meet and exceed each companies’ specific business goals.  Justin’s strategic focus is on partnerships that enhance both the partner and team brand.  Justin is a graduate of NCSU and has worked 11 years in the sport industry across major league teams from he NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB.


Amanda Dinkel- Community Relations Manager for the Atlanta Falcons

Amanda Dinkel is a graduate of NC State with a degree in Sport Management as well as a Minor in Journalism. Upon graduating from NC State she worked as a community relations intern for the Indianapolis Colts, as well as the Carolina Panthers. In March of 2015 she accepted a full time position as the Community Relations Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. In March of she was promoted to the Community Relations Managerfor the Atlanta Falcons, a position which she currently holds. She has also served on the Super Bowl XLIX public relations staff, where she specifically worked PR events for the Seattle Seahawks and Rodger Goodell throughout the event.


Tyler Collins- Director of Youth Programs at USA Baseball

Tyler Collins was named Director, Youth Programs, at USA Baseball in January 2017. His primary responsibility is overseeing the Fun At Bat program.Fun At Bat, a USA Baseball youth initiative supported by Major League Baseball, SHAPE America and Franklin Sports, is an introductory level bat-and-ball program for students with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, literacy, active play and fun. Fun At Bat is a part of the PLAY BALL initiative, which is the sport’s largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities. Collins managed the NFL FLAG program at USA Football prior to joining USA Baseball. During his nearly five years with USA Football, he worked on a number of youth football initiatives and played an integral role in increasing the participation in the NFL FLAG program from an estimated 150,000 participants in 2011 to over 370,000 in 2016.He received his bachelor's degree in Sport Administration in 2011 from Ball State University.


Zach Sansavera- Associate Manager with the Brands team at Wasserman

Zach Sansavera is an Associate Manager on the Brands team at the full-service sport and entertainment agency Wasserman, where he currently works on their CarMax account. Zach’s primary responsibilities include helping to manage their sports team and talent partnerships such as the Seattle Seahawks, the Boston Red Sox, and the Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to starting at Wasserman, Zach interned in Wasserman’s Raleigh office for a summer, and had prior experience with marketing and sponsorship at North Carolina Football Club. During his time at State Zach also worked in University Recreation, as well as a student ambassador for the College of Natural Resources. Zach graduated from NC State in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration.


Rob Douglas- Director of Production at PNC Arena

Rob Douglas graduated from Jamestown College with a Bachelor's of Arts in Education with minors in Music and Theatre in 1980. The following year, he participated in free agent tryouts with the Detroit Pistons. He then toured with Sing America from 1981-1983. Starting in 1980, Douglas sang the National Anthem at all Detroit Professional sports games, as well as served as a Detroit Police Officer starting in 1983.  He then became Account Executive for the Carolina Hurricanes from 1997-1999. Following this role, Douglas began working at the RBC Center as event and senior event coordinator. In 2011, he became the Director of Production at the renamed PNC Arena and continues to work there to this day. Mr. Douglas has spent 50 years in the entertainment and sports industries, being involved as an actor, athlete, singer and in corporate sales and arena management.