Sports in the Age of COVID – Sports Writer Talks with Pro Teams About Managing Games During the Pandemic

february, 2021

26feb10:00 am11:00 amVirtual EventSports in the Age of COVID - Sports Writer Talks with Pro Teams About Managing Games During the Pandemic


(Friday) 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Event Video

Event Details

Peter Golenbock, bestselling author and sports journalist interviews Brian Auld, President, of the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) and Vice Chairman of the Tampa Rowdies (USL) and Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lighting forward. With an introduction by Dr. Saskia Estupinan-Day International Public Health Expert

This year we are excited to include a panel on the vital role that professional sports play both in promoting the development of our cities and in attracting the attention of new audiences. Our recent achievements have been notable across the board, including the magnificent success of the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, the World Series. COVID has brought new challenges to sports, along with massive economic consequences, ranging from postponement of the World Olympics empty stadiums across the U.S., along with empty soccer stadiums around the world. It goes far beyond entertainment, as sports is part of the fabric of our culture, and an important part of our economy, without which so many upstream and downstream service providers are affected.   The Tampa Bay and St Pete truly stands out in the year of COVID, having achieved the Lombardi Trophy, Stanley Cup, and World Series final. Our region has overcome as nowhere else has, and it is important for us to recognize these achievements while also giving encouragement to all as we work to get to the other side of the pandemic. 


Speakers for this event

  • Alex Killorn

    Alex Killorn

    Killorn capped the best season of his NHL career in 2019-20 by helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2004. He scored five goals and 10 points in 25 postseason games, including one goal and one assist in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and raised outside of Montreal, Killorn was selected in the third round (No. 77) by Tampa Bay in the 2007 NHL Draft, but had committed to attend Harvard University starting in the fall of 2009. As a senior, the forward was named to the All-ECAC first team, earned American Hockey Coaches Association East First-Team All-America honors with a 23-goal, 46-point season and led the Crimson to the ECAC championship game. Killorn signed with Tampa Bay in 2012 at the end of his college career and joined Norfolk of the American Hockey League. When he arrived, Norfolk was in the midst of a record 28-game winning streak to close out the regular season. Killorn appeared in the final 10 regular-season games and was a mainstay in the lineup throughout the playoffs, contributing three goals and 12 points in 17 playoff games to help Norfolk win the Calder Cup. By the latter part of 2012-13, Killorn was with the Lightning after spending the first half of the season in the AHL under coach Jon Cooper. After Cooper was promoted to Tampa Bay to replace Guy Boucher, Killorn scored the tying goal in the final minute in Cooper's NHL debut on March 29, 2013, a 5-4 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils. Killorn settled in as a middle-six forward in 2013-14, and for the next six seasons scored 14 to 19 goals and finished with anywhere from 36 to 47 points He missed just 13 games during those six seasons. In 2019-20, Killorn's shooting percentage rocketed from 11.8 in 2018-19 to 20 percent, and he finished with NHL career highs in goals (26) and points (49) in 68 games. He also had career highs in power-play goals (eight) and game-winners (seven).

  • Brian Auld

    Brian Auld

    Brian Auld begins his 16th season with the Rays and his seventh in his current position as team president. Together, he and Matt Silverman lead the club’s operations both internally and externally, including an innovative plan for the team to build new home ballparks in both Tampa Bay and Montreal and divide its home games across both geographies. In his tenure as team president, Auld has brought a renewed focus to the Rays mission—to energize the community through the magic of Rays baseball—by redoubling the Rays commitment to its community and to its employees. Under Auld’s leadership, the Rays have developed a thriving workplace culture. In addition to paid parental leave, adoption benefits, paid volunteer time and a wellness initiative, the Rays created a $10 minimum wage for all part-time employees. In 2018, Auld and Silverman oversaw the Rays purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies USL soccer team, based in St. Petersburg. They now also serve as vice chairmen of the Rowdies, overseeing all franchise operations. Prior to Auld’s promotion to team president, he oversaw a wide spectrum of the team’s business operations, including the human resources, information technology, marketing, ticket sales, fan experience and stadium operations departments. Auld joined the Rays in June 2005 as director of planning and development, where he worked closely with Silverman to define organizational priorities and assist with the transition in ownership. Soon after, he played a key role in establishing the Employee Community Outreach Team (ECOT). All Rays staff may spend up to one paid workday each month volunteering in the community and ECOT assists by finding opportunities. Before joining the Rays, Auld attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA focusing on managing human capital, marketing and finance. Auld’s previous work experience includes serving as lead teacher and director of development for the East Palo Alto Charter School in California. Born in Berkeley, Calif., Auld received a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in education from Stanford University, where he also captained the lacrosse team. He and Silverman met in high school in Dallas, and graduated one year apart. Brian is proud to claim that he once trekked to the bottom of Mount Everest. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Rays Baseball Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and CEOs Against Cancer. He also serves on the Heart Ball Cabinet for the American Heart Association, the Sports Advisory Council for Special Olympics Florida and the executive committees of the Tampa Bay Partnership and the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation, where he also serves on the Tropicana Field Site Redevelopment committee. He and his wife, Molly, reside in St. Petersburg and are proud parents of two daughters, Lucy and Mia, and a son, Jack.

  • Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day

    Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day

    Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day is a public health dentist with worldwide experience including all of the countries of the Americas as well as many countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. She has provided leadership in scientific and academic communities and is a leading worldwide authority in the development of oral health strategies, implementation of national programs, international technical cooperation, and management of research programs. She has conceived and implemented major innovations in public health dentistry research and programs including fluoridation, atraumatic restorative treatment, and the application of cost-effectiveness analysis and policy support to national programs. A salient characteristic of her combined approach to research, management, and cost-effectiveness, as an emphasis on evidence-based research and programming. Over decades of involvement with the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), she led the development of highly strategic program innovations developed under Dr. Estupiñán-Day’s leadership at PAHO, major outcome improvements that resulted in significant caries reduction in almost every country of the Americas; improved cost-effectiveness; expanded coverage; capacity development; transfer of technology; and improved sustainability. During a post hoc evaluation of her landmark public health dentistry work in salt fluoridation, her program was credited with having prevented as many as 300 million caries and saving families the associated costs. The program continues to produce multiples of the stream of benefits (and earned her the moniker among her colleagues as the “Johnny Appleseed of salt fluoridation”). During her career, Dr. Estupiñán-Day has advised over 50 ministries of health as well as international agencies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, foundations, research entities, and private sector partners. She has authored and co-authored nearly 50 publications; served as Associate Editor of professional journals; and participated in or led major scientific and technical sessions in most regions of the world. She is a committed educator, having served as visiting professor and adjunct professor in major universities (Temple University, NYU College of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and others) and has served as a preceptor and mentor to over 40 students. On the personal side, Dr. Estupiñán-Day is a sports enthusiast. Her primary sports interest is in track and field, as she became a national champion in her native Ecuador at the age of 15, as an avid runner, and eventually returning to her love of hurdling as a member of the USA Track and Field Team, Masters, winning the USA national gold medals in 80-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles and competing the World Masters Athletic Championship in Italy. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL.

  • Peter Golenbock

    Peter Golenbock

    Peter Golenbock is an author and journalist. He has written 10 New York Times best-sellers including The Bronx Zoo (with Sparky Lyle), American Prince (with Tony Curtis), and Presumed Guilty (with Jose Baez, the attorney for Casey Anthony.) His current book is American Nero, a book about how Donald Trump was the president who trampled most on the rule of law. He wrote the book with Richard Painter, the ethicist for George W. Bush.

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