CHICAGO, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Acclaimed businessman, humanitarian and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson will share insights into current issues and events, based on his 30-year journey toward becoming the number-one brand in Urban America, at the National Restaurant Association's annual trade show this May. Mr. Johnson will address attendees at NRA Show 2014 on Sunday, May 18, at Chicago's McCormick Place.
"Mr. Johnson is an inspiration to us all," said Sam Facchini, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2014 and co-owner/co-founder of Metro Pizza. "He didn't let where he came from dictate where he could go. He has spent his life overcoming challenges and giving back to his communities. He is the embodiment of the American Dream in general, and the spirit of the restaurant industry in particular."
Earvin "Magic" Johnson grew up in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University, where he led the Spartans to the NCAA Championship in 1979. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the first overall pick of the 1979 NBA Draft and played for the Lakers for 13 years, during which time he enjoyed five NBA Championships, three MVP awards and 12 All-Star designations. He was part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Basketball team that won the Gold Medal in Barcelona and returned to the Lakers as coach for the 1994 season.
Since retiring from basketball, Mr. Johnson has committed himself to bringing jobs and brand-named businesses to underserved communities. His philanthropic organization, the Magic Johnson Foundation has become one of the most recognizable charitable organizations in the world. They currently have:
- 160 students on scholarship through their Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program
- 18 empowerment centers that's helping to bridge the digital divide
- 5 HIV/AIDS Clinics assisting all patients regardless of their ability to pay
- Tested over 40,000 individuals
As the Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Mr. Johnson is often called the "most powerful African-American businessman in the world." His business portfolio includes:
- Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball Owner
- Yucaipa Johnson, a $500 million private equity fund
- ASPIRE, a new African-American television network
- MAGIC Workforce Solutions, a staffing company
- SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company with over 31 major accounts statewide, including the American Airlines Admiral Clubs and Toyota
- Magic Airport Holdings, a partnership with Hudson News operating airport concessions at Los Angeles International Airport, including the Magic Johnson's Sports store
- Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies, a dropout prevention and recovery program with more than 17 locations to help students achieve their H.S. diplomas.
- Clear Health Alliance, a Medicare/Medicaid healthcare provider with a specialty plan that covers HIV/AIDS patients
- Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), with more than 15 radio stations
- EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, Controlling Shareholder
- Los Angeles Sparks, Women's National Basketball Association Owner
Mr. Johnson's keynote address will be held at 2 p.m. in McCormick Place's Grand Ballroom, S100, on May 18. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. The keynote is open to all registered NRA Show 2014 attendees, exhibitors and media, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals in the world. NRA Show 2014 will be held May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2014 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, held in conjunction with NRA Show, will take place May 18-19. The events attract 65,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the NRA Show and IWSB websites at Restaurant.org/Show and WineSpiritsBeer.org, and find the NRA Show on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, Instagram @NRAShow, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest and its widely read NRA Show Blog.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.
SOURCE National Restaurant Association