May 22, 2023 | 12:00PM ET
Mark French, Chief Executive Officer, DON'T QUIT
Mark French has created, operated and sold multiple businesses in the consumer goods, sports, media and technology industries. As profiled by Forbes, French is recognized as one of the most successful business disruptors. As the recipient of three ‘40 Under 40 Awards’ in three separate business sectors, Mark has proven that his passion, creativity, leadership and entrepreneurial skill sets drive sustainable growth across industries. Previous ventures include MISSION®, The Players’ Tribune®, Healthy Together®, as well as entrepreneurial leadership roles with NBC Universal (Founder of NBC Everywhere). French is the Founder of NLP Ventures, an investor and hands-on operational partner for portfolio companies in the Sports, Entertainment, and Technology sectors. Leading consumer PE Firm L Catterton tapped French to join them on the Board of Directors for their portfolio company X2 Performance (a clean, healthy sports energy brand) and take over the CEO role in effort to scale the business. Under French’s leadership X2 partnered with Kawhi Leonard, Saquon Barkley and other elite athletes to grow the brands offering and distribution with large retailers including CVS, Subway, AMPM, GNC, etc. Mark recently led the strategic merger of X2 with Keurig Dr Pepper’s sports protein brand DON’T QUIT. The combined DON’T QUIT business now features sports beverages for all use occasions and is backed by Keurig Dr Pepper, LA Libations, Fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, Madison Square Garden, L Catterton, Sweetwater Private Equity, etc. . Over the course of his entrepreneurial career, French has partnered with legendary co-founding athletes and entertainers including Dwyane Wade, Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and others. Premiere institutional investors including L Catterton, Madison Square Garden, Live Nation, Endeavor, Roc Nation, Nelson Peltz, etc have backed French and his disruptive ventures. As a philanthropist, Mark received the Lowell B. Mason Award for exemplary volunteer service for his constant commitment and mentorship to at-risk inner-city youth. Mark was one of 150 delegates selected by Pope Francis for the Global “Sport at the Service of Humanity” Council. French is an alum of Ithaca College, where he is an active member of the Athletic Departments Advisory Council. He recently graduated from Harvard’s Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports Exec Program. Mark’s inspiring entrepreneurial story has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, ESPN, Fox Business News, and more. Mark is often asked to share his entrepreneurial story and teach best practices with corporate giants such as GE, The NFL and more.
Shannon Coyne, Co-Founder and President, AC Advisors
Shannon Coyne is the Co-Founder and President of Bluestock Advisors, a management consulting firm that provides C-Suite executives and board members in consumer industries with a powerful combination of strategy, investor relations and private capital raise advisory services aimed at creating long-term value. Shannon has decades of experience in retail and the capital markets industry analyzing consumer companies. Just prior to launching Bluestock Advisors, Shannon was a Senior Equity Analyst for BMO Capital Markets, covering the Household Products and Personal Care sectors. Prior to covering the CPG space, Shannon was part of the Consumer teams covering the Broadlines and Hardlines retail sectors at Credit Suisse and BMO Capital. Previously, Shannon spent a significant portion of her career at The Home Depot, holding various managerial positions within Investor Relations, Store Operations, Merchandising and Corporate Finance. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.