The Professional Business and Financial Network (PBFN), an organization exclusively for professional athletes focused on business building, professional development and peer networking opportunities, will hold its first annual Business Skills and Development Conference this May 5-7 in Dallas, TX.

Seasoned professionals both from within and outside professional athletics will lead hands-on workshops. Athletes will engage in structured and free-flow dialogue with speakers and attendees to maximize their developmental experience.

Keynote speakers include NFL Hall of Famers and successful entrepreneurs Roger Staubach and Franco Harris, author and renowned business expert, Terrie Williams, and sales and marketing guru, Max Carey.

The conference is designed to provide athletes with firsthand accounts of the successes and the challenges of business.

At the same time, they will benefit from the marketing opportunities, strategic planning insight, networking, strategic alliances/partnerships and sponsorship solicitation opportunities. Attendees will also participate in a business etiquette luncheon, since business etiquette is often just as important as business plan fundamentals.

Conference sponsors include: My Virtual Corp, Phillips Consulting, Inc., U.S.A. Harvest, Food for the Hungry, and Lincoln Financial Advisors.

According to U.S.A. Harvest’s founder, Stan Curtis, ‘Participating as a conference sponsor offers the opportunity to impress upon our colleagues and clients at PBFN that it is not only important to be conservative and vigilant in their own professional lives and decisions, but also to be ever aware of the fact that as leaders in their communities they can influence others to help those in need.’

PBFN’s founder, Ryan McNeil, formed PBFN to assist other athletes in an area often overlooked – life beyond the game. Currently with the San Diego Chargers, this veteran Pro Bowl defensive back has been playing professionally for nine years.

McNeil’s tenure in the NFL is a vast departure from the three and a half years of the average NFL player. While he has attained longevity in the NFL, he is fully aware that time is not on his side. McNeil believes that athletes themselves should shoulder the burden of assuring their continued successes.

PBFN provides members with an opportunity to create a competent business identity separate and apart from their athletic identities. PBFN’s goal is to help others rise to the challenge of business success during and after athletics.

The organization is open to all current and former professional athletes from all sports, worldwide. PBFN’s membership numbers are increasing rapidly.

There has been a strong interest in PBFN from athletes in a wide array of sports including professional basketball (Indiana Pacers’ Head Coach, Isiah Thomas, sits on PBFN’s Board of Advisors), baseball, hockey, golf, tennis and even rugby. There seems to be an echoed sentiment that this type of organization is long overdue, especially among former athletes.

Many people perceive professional athletes as superior performers on the field, but are reluctant to engage them as qualified business professionals off the field. PBFN is in the position to change this paradigm.

To succeed at the professional level in a sport requires perseverance, endurance, hard work and discipline. In McNeil’s opinion, ‘Many of the characteristics and skills it takes to be successful in professional sports are the same as in ‘real-life’ business. PBFN will facilitate the honing of these skills for success now and in the future.’

To become a member, sponsor or inquire about the Professional Business and Financial Network, please visit the Web site at or call 1.877.PBFN.ORG.

Larry Lundy, 1.972.778.7742,
Melissa Gillespie, 1.877.723.6674, x.2 or 760.522.4362,