SD Sport Innovators names John Sarkisian Industry Chairman of the Board

- SKLZ CEO named to newly created position - 

San Diego, Calif. - March 21, 2013 – SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), a non-profit, business accelerator that connects and drives the growth of Southern California's vibrant sports and active lifestyle economy, announced that John Sarkisian, CEO of SKLZ and SDSI Board Member since 2009, will serve as the Industry Chairman of the Board.

“John has been an invaluable member of the SDSI Advisory Board since the beginning.” said SDSI Executive Chairman Bill Walton.  “His experience, knowledge, and true professionalism cannot be matched and we are honored/privileged to have him accept the Chairman of the Board position.  He will continue to lead us to the Promised Land – let’s go!!”

Sarkisian, a serial entrepreneur, began his career in real estate and restaurant management where he started out as a commercial real estate broker and then founded and served as CEO of Trevi Group and Pat & Oscars.   SKLZ is at the forefront of providing innovative training products, instruction and programs to Athletes, Coaches and Trainers..   John is a great leader who lives the SKLZ mission of being “committed to elevating the athlete in each of us by guiding and serving athletes on their journey to be their personal best.”

“SDSI is overjoyed to have someone with John’s background, passion and drive to lead our organization.  He’s been an exemplary board member – always engaged and available.  He makes himself available to start-ups, to staff to bounce ideas and provide feedback and allows us to use SKLZ to host meetings and events.  He has been and continues to be an incredible advocate for SDSI’s mission out in the community as we work to grow the organization and sports community.”  said  SDSI Executive Director Lisa Freedman.  “John has great vision and understanding of not only the sports industry, but the business and innovation communities in Southern California all of which will be critical as we continue to work to ensure the industry grows and thrives.”

In addition to Sarkisian’s involvement with SDSI, he’s also the Founding Investor and Board Member at Brightscope which has developed the industry standard for measuring company 401(k) performance. In 1999, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for San Diego County. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of San Diego County and as a Trustee of the San Diego Sports Commission.

About SDSI

SD Sport Innovators (SDSI) is a non-profit, business accelerating, trade organization that connects and drives the growth of Southern California's vibrant sports economy by offering innovative programs and services for start ups, mature companies and service providers.  We offer mentoring, education and capital funding opportunities for start-ups; best practice collaboration, access to new technology, and public policy advocacy for mature companies; as well as deal flow to our service providers and the Southern California Investment Community. (