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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Executive Forum to feature Emmy award-winning sportscaster

Mercer University’s Executive Forum will hold its 42nd annual dinner presentation Tuesday hosted by seven-time Emmy award-winning sportscaster Ernie Johnson Jr.

Founded in 1979, the Executive Forum aims to connect students and faculty to the outside business world with events ranging from networking opportunities to live seminars hosted by professionals hailing from corporate Georgia.

As per the wishes of its founders, alumnus William H. Anderson II, former President R. Kirby Godsey and founding dean of the Stetson-Hatcher Business School Charles H. Andrews, the Executive Forum continues to provide a myriad of opportunities for the Mercerian business community as they invite Ernie Johnson Jr. to the stand.

Originally based at Macon’s WMAZ-TV, Johnson now hosts Inside the NBA on TNT. His experiences in sports coverage range from the national NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on CBS all the way to the international stage at the Olympics.

In addition to sportscasting, Johnson authors his new book, “Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments that Make Life Extraordinary,” which gives readers a glimpse into his personal life. Johnson discusses the adoption of his and his wife’s six children, the death of his father, sportscaster Ernie Johnson, and his battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the immune system.

Allen London, the director of the Executive Forum, discusses the selection process for the Executive Forum presenters and talks about how the Forum chose Johnson.

“The Executive Forum has strived to select regionally and nationally known speakers representing a wide variety of topics of interest to our members including, but not limited, to leadership, broadcasting, politics, finance, and healthcare,” London said. “We chose Ernie Johnson Jr. due to his broad appeal, his inspirational story, and for his local connections.”

Speakers are selected by an internal group consisting of London, Senior Vice President for University Advancement John Patterson and Mercer Business Dean Julie Petherbridge. An external committee of co-sponsors and trustees also aid in speaker selection.

As the Executive Forum continues to work in conjunction with the Stetson-Hatcher Business School and the Office of University Advancement, their events are invitation-only to members ranging from corporations to individuals that can join by paying an annual fee. According to London, faculty and students may attend as well under certain conditions.

“Since The Executive Forum is a partnership between the Office of University Advancement and the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, all business school faculty are invited to attend any and all Executive Forum programs,” London said. “The Executive Forum is a membership-funded organization and, as a result, we are limited in our seating but often invite students to attend when seats are available.”

The event will take place Sept. 7 at 6:30pm in the President's Dining Room. For more information, visit the page for the Executive Forum on Mercer’s website.


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