Master of Ceremonies Cari Coats

Cari Coats is Executive Director and a member of the adjunct faculty of the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship in the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.  Additionally, Coats is President of C2 Advisors, a management consulting firm, and a Managing Partner of Sea Change Venture Philanthropy.

The Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship (CFAE) is a Center of Excellence within Crummer focused on advanced entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, and family enterprise and private wealth.  Coats serves on the entrepreneurship adjunct faculty and is the primary business officer overseeing all entrepreneurship-related programming and leadership with key community and civic organizations.  The Crummer Graduate School is consistently ranked the #1 MBA program in Florida by Forbes and Business week Magazines.

C2 Advisors, Inc. provides advisory and consultative services for entrepreneurial and family-held enterprises, and corporations specializing in strategy, operations, governance and succession, marketing and business development.  Clients represent a wide range of industries including financial services, real estate, development and construction, sports and entertainment, distribution, biomedical, architectural and legal professional service sectors.

Sea Change Venture Philanthropy delivers the capital resources required to create societal and environmental change.  SCVP connects foundations, for-profit entrepreneurial companies and not-for-profit beneficiaries, leveraging innovation to accelerate and scale sustainable solutions.

Prior to her current roles, Coats was chief operating officer for CNL Real Estate Advisors, a real estate securities firm and a corporate officer for CNL Financial Group.  Coats joined CNL as chief marketing officer in January 2004.  In January 2005, she was promoted to chief strategy officer, responsible for all corporate level strategy development and performance management.

Previously, Coats was executive vice president of the Orlando Magic and vice president of business development for its parent company RDV Sports.  Coats joined the NBA franchise as part of the start-up team in 1987.  Her 16-year NBA career included appointments as vice president of marketing for RDV Sports and president of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

Prior to joining RDV Sports, Coats was a senior account executive with the Orlando office of Young & Rubicam. From 1984 to 1986, she was director of communications and member programs for the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce. Coats began her career in broadcasting, most notably as co-host and producer for the nationally syndicated television show “PM Magazine” in Orlando from 1980 to 1984.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer appointed Coats as chairman of the Mayor’s Downtown Strategic Transition Team.  She also served on Mayor Dyer’s Consolidation of Service Study Commission and the Mayor’s Parramore Advisory Board.  She is a member of the board of trustees and executive committee of Orlando, Inc., the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, the University of Central Florida Foundation and the Nemours Council. Coats formerly served on the Enterprise Florida board of directors, the Orlando Museum of Art board of directors and the Ronald McDonald House advisory board.

Coats is active at her alma mater, the University of Central Florida.  In 1994 she was named UCF’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.  Previously, she served on the adjunct faculty in the Devos Sport Business Management Program at UCF.

Coats holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio and Television/Communications from UCF and a Masters in Business Administration – Global Executive from Duke University.  She and her husband, Russ, reside in Orlando. They have 15-year-old twin daughters, Kate and Maddie.