Kent State College of Business Administration Presents Daymond John as the Keynote of the Better Business Bureau of Akron’s 101 Year Anniversary Summit

AKRON, Ohio – Daymond John, founder/CEO of FUBU, presidential ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Group, will speak at the Better Business Bureau of Akron’s 101 Year Anniversary celebration, BBB Anniversary Summit, on Thursday, April 8, 2021 in collaboration with the Kent State College of Business Administration’s Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.

“We are pleased to partner with the Better Business Bureau of Akron to build connections with the Akron business community,” said Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business Administration. “As the Better Business Bureau celebrates 101 years, it seemed fitting for the College’s Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series to participate by bringing Daymond John to keynote the event.”

The Kent State College of Business Administration’s Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series brings experienced entrepreneurs to the area to share professional insights with students and community members and has brought a speaker to Kent State’s campus each semester since May 2008. This endowed program is supported by Michael D. Solomon, a Kent State College of Business Administration alumnus, and is presented by the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI).

To coincide with the celebration, the College of Business Administration will also present its fifth annual student business pitch competition, CEBIpitch, virtually from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. During the event, eight student finalists will present their business pitches to a panel of executive judges for an opportunity to win $20,000 in cash prizes. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested here. The student entrepreneurs will also be invited to attend the BBB’s Anniversary Summit to hear John’s fireside chat conversation with Kent State’s Justin Hilton.

John initially made his mark as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand FUBU, which has eclipsed more than $6 billion in global retail sales. In 2009, John was tapped by lauded television producer Mark Burnett to join the cast of a new business-reality concept, Shark Tank. Now, after 12 seasons, five Emmy Awards, multiple Critic’s Choice Awards and millions of dollars in investments, the show has become one of the most successful business reality series of all time. Over the course of the series, John has been a mainstay of the cast of Sharks and is now affectionately referred to as “The People’s Shark.”

John is also the author of 5 best-selling books including his New York Times best-selling books, The Power of Broke (2016) and Rise and Grind (2018). In March 2020, John released his sixth book, Powershift, that walks through his tried and true process of how to transform any situation, close any deal and achieve any outcome through his own experience and vast network of industry leaders.

2020 marked the centennial anniversary year for the Better Business Bureau of Akron, marking 100 years of service to the local greater Akron community. While we prepared to celebrate, the world was impacted by the effects of COVID-19. BBB of Akron wanted to ensure the safety of its BBB Accredited Businesses and event attendees, thus canceling the April 29, 2020 Spark to a Flame event. Even a year later, we still are considering the safety of our community - and transforming our anniversary event to a virtual platform. With the help of Kent State University, our sponsors and keynote speaker, we have been able to transform our original event plan into a completely virtual and unique experience, without losing our original mission of celebration.

For more information on BBB’s Anniversary Summit event, visit The event is free for all participants and ticketing is now open.

For more information about the Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, visit:


Kent State College of Business Administration
The Kent State College of Business Administration holds dual accreditation from AACSB and is one of only 185 business schools worldwide to achieve accreditation in both business and accounting.

The College offers numerous graduate business degree options including highly ranked Executive, Online and Full-time MBA programs; five dual degree graduate programs; a Master of Arts in Economics; a Master of Science in Accounting; online and in-person Master of Science in Business Analytics programs and a comprehensive Ph.D. program.

The Online MBA program with a concentration in business analytics ranks #25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2021 and the Online MBA ranks as a Best Online Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2021. In addition, the Online MBA program is ranked #26 by The Princeton Review for 2021, #1 in Ohio by MBA Central in 2019 and #46 in the QS global ranking in 2020. All of Kent State’s online MBA core courses have earned Quality Matters certification.

For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. BBB Serving Akron, which was founded in 1920 and serves Summit, Portage, Medina, Richland, Wayne and Ashland counties.


Media Contacts:
Joni Bowen, College of Business Administration,, 330-672-1279
Allie Wilkins, BBB of Akron,, 330-564-2482

POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2021 - 8:48am
UPDATED: Monday, March 29, 2021 - 4:00pm