Local Organizing Committee formed for Toyota SWAC BBall Tourney

Courtesy SWAC.org
Fri, January 27, 2017

By Cicely Parson

Birmingham, Ala.– The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has announced the formation of a SWAC Basketball Tournament Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The committee will consist of 12 members from the Houston community.

The membership includes representation from many Houston organizations and will be responsible for marketing, fundraising and fan engagement.

The SWAC chose Houston as the home of Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament and Toyota Football Championship over four years ago.

The SWAC’s two-day tournament includes semi-final and championship games to be held at the Toyota Center in Downtown Houston during March 10-11. The tournament will also include an OMG Photo Booth, concourse fan fair and promotions from tournament sponsors.

The Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament is a time for SWAC’s best teams and bands to showcase their world-class talent on and off the court. It also serves as a recruiting tool as many high school students will attend games as tickets are donated via Community Partnerships from local businesses.

As part of the LOC, the members will be the faces of SWAC Basketball Tournament, helping showcase the enthusiastic base of SWAC supporters in the area. With less than two months to go before the SWAC Tournament is hosted in Houston, the LOC have begun meeting and members of the LOC will travel to different events in Houston to promote the tournament. As hosts of this event, the LOC is committed to supporting historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the community.

Upcoming SWAC Basketball Tournament announcements will include details of tournament themed events, promotions, weekend activities and more. For member bios or information on how to purchase tickets, visit www.SWAC.org.

Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament LOC

Ed Ryland

Mark Jacob

Julia Askew

Joi Beasley

Courtney Johnson Rose

Linda Marks

Rev. Louis Morris

Caleen Allen

Jim Hicks

Karen Levingston-Franklin

Felix Weston

Connie Cochran

Qua-Terrial Hughes

2017 Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament Local Organizing Committee Member Biographies

Ed Ryland

Ed Ryland is the President and CEO of ARVO Realty Advisors a national commercial real estate organization. Ed is the founder of the Institute for Inner-City Commercial Real Estate Development and Leftovers for the Left Out. In 1992, he was recognized for being the first African-American elected as director of the Houston Association of Realtors. He served as president of the Houston and Texas REALTIST organization. Ed is a part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters and served on the board of Leadership Houston, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council and is a National Vice Chair for the National Minority Supplier Development Council Input Committee. Ed received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from William Penn University, is a graduate of Dartmouth and the Kellogg School of Business, Executive Business Program.

Rev. Louis Morris

Rev. Morris was born and raised in Houston.  He graduated from Jefferson Davis High School and Texas Southern University.  Passionate about his community and sports, he volunteers his spare time during sporting events: SWAC Basketball and Football Championships, the 2016 NCAA Final Four, NBA All Star game, 2016 US Olympic Processing center.  He is currently the Outreach Minister at Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church, where he has coached AAU Basketball for 20 years.  He takes great pleasure in serving his community and trying to make an impact on youth lives.  In addition, he has worked at Methodist Hospital for seven years.  He is married with four kids, two in college at Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University. Also one is a graduate of Alcorn State University.

Caleen Allen

Caleen Allen is a seasoned communications professional with over 25 years of experience in corporate communications, strategic communications consulting, media training, crisis management, community relations, partnership management, television reporting and magazine publishing. Presently, she is the General Manager of Strategic Partnerships for the Houston Independent School District. Allen manages Corporate and Community Partnerships, Special Events, Special Projects, Volunteers in Public Schools and Information Center departments.

Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs is CBE, SVP of Commercial Banking in Houston. Mark is in his fifth year within Regions, previously serving as Market Manager in C&I also Manager Business Banking in a leadership position in Fort Worth, Texas. Marks deep commercial lending and corporate finance background includes Bank of America and GE in Chicago. Mark led GEs Commercial Lending Group Southwest, based in Dallas. Mark is very involved in the Houston Community with the Rodeo, Houston Golf Association and Houston Opera. He also serves on one University of Alabama Boards. He is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Arlington and a MBA from Butler University.

Jim Hicks

Jim is the founder of Greater Houston’s #1 info source of amatuer basketball and publisher of “Da Magazine”, the largest high school basketball magazine in the country.  He is the co-host of a very (and I mean very) popular urban sports talk show, “The Chop Shop” weekdays 12p – 2p on 1520AM.  You may watch “The Chop Shop” via facebook live – KYND1520.  During the weekends, you may watch Jim on your TV screens – Sat & Sunday6p on KUBE57 “High School Sports Zone” hosted by Todd Freed.

Joi Beasley

Joi is President/CEO of GOGO Business Communications, a branding, marketing and print-on-demand company, recently introducing business consulting and organizational and professional development to GOGO’s service offerings. Beasley also enjoys taking leadership roles that support and uplift the community. She is the Vice Chair for the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, served on the Board of Directors for Alzheimer’s Association, and CSTEM Student Support Services and past Advisory Board Member for Houston Black MBAs. A native of Omaha, NE, Beasley holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fisk University and Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa.

Courtney Johnson Rose

Courtney is the principal real estate broker for George E. Johnson Development, a full service real estate company. Courtney also currently serves as chair of the Board for the Greater Houston Black Chamber. She is a graduate of University of Texas and Prairie View A&M University where she was recently named part of their inaugural 40 under 40 Alumni class.