The Third Annual William V. Campbell Trophy Summit, sponsored by Intuit, took place Aug. 14-17 at Stanford University, solidifying the event's role as a powerful force for connecting more than 200 former Campbell Trophy nominees with some of the nation's top CEOs and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who imparted valuable life lessons for attendees at all stages of their careers.
 
Peru State's Dan Boshart (Wood River), a former Bobcat football player, was among the attendees after having been nominated by the College last fall. Boshart was one of a few NAIA players in attendance and most likely was from one of the small schools in attendance.
 
"In three short years, the Campbell Trophy Summit has become one of the must attend events in the country," said Intuit Executive Chairman Brad Smith in addressing the attendees. "That is not hyperbole. We have had countless people ask how they can buy a ticket, but that's what makes this event so special, you can't buy your way in, you can only get here one way, you have to earn it."
 
Smith went on to inspire the group, challenging them to figure out the "why" of their careers by imparting his own personal decision to step down after 11 years as CEO of a $70 billion company to embark on the next stage of his life.
 
"It was the job of a lifetime, but I knew when I took it that it could not be a job for a lifetime," Smith said. "Like every chapter in our life, the end date is inevitable, and I had one goal when I became CEO: be a part of choosing that end date."
 
Each college in the country is allowed one nomination per year for the Campbell Trophy, proudly supported by Fidelity Investments, and the requirements include a 3.2 GPA or better and for the student-athlete to be a significant contributor on the team in their final year of eligibility. Covering every college and university from all divisions of play, the nomination process effectively creates a pool of the best student-athletes from each school in the nation who are then invited to attend the Summit.
 
Boshart, who was interviewed by National Football Foundation (NFF) officials while at the conference. In addition to his interview which can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/xWhJo815Pbk, Boshart provided the following comments: "The Summit gave everyone in attendance a chance to hear from some of the most influential business people in America and to network with like-minded individuals. I made connections with former college football players from all around the country while also learning about what it looks like to be a true leader."
 
Concluding, Boshart added, "Going to the Summit meant a lot to me because there were very few NAIA athletes there, so I was happy to be able to represent "the little guy." I would highly suggest this summit to any future Peru State athletes who have the chance to attend."
 
Boshart is presently doing his student teaching in the social sciences in Gibbon and is also helping coach with the football program.

"We are so proud of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program and the Campbell Trophy, which is the crown jewel of our scholarship program," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Summit has become a powerful platform for us to showcase all the great nominees for the trophy while providing us a vehicle for mentoring them and subsequently sending them out into the workforce with many of the tools and concepts that Bill Campbell used to influence so many people in the business world. This is a great way for those who loved Bill and the great game of football to pay it forward."
 
The event, which aims to help attendees with their personal and career growth, pays tribute to Bill Campbell, the award's namesake who passed away in 2016. Campbell, who played and coached at Columbia before a switch to the business world, became one of the most influential individuals in Silicon Valley, using the lessons of the gridiron to mentor Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt of Google, Scott Cook and Brad Smith of Intuit, and countless others. The event, which attracted 212 former nominees and featured 38 speakers, served as the perfect vehicle to carry on Bill's legacy of mentoring.
 
MWF Advisors CEO Mark Flynn, a former linebacker at Saint John's (MN) who coached eighth-grade boys-and-girls' flag-football team with Campbell for thirteen years, played the lead role in organizing the event.  
 
"The storyline of how we were able to put this together involved multiple people, saying how can we pull together something in the legacy of Bill Campbell and share some of his values, and make a difference because that was what Bill was about," said Flynn. "We took the concept to Brad Smith who said 'We are all in whatever it takes and whatever resources you need, Intuit is behind this'... All of you made it a priority to get out here, so our job is to make sure that it's worth your while that we help you advance your life, your career, and we help you with your goals and ambitions."
 
Taking place over four days, the 2019 Summit attracted attendees from 136 colleges and universities from all divisions. The nominees traveled from Finland, Japan, Tanzania, England, Canada, 44 states, and the District of Columbia, and their careers ranged from doctors, engineers, lawyers, physicists, actors, film producers and business and civic leaders.
 
Activities included leadership workshops, a career expo, team building activities, a physical and mental competition dubbed the "Campbell Championship Series," a dinner cruise of San Francisco Bay and several other activities designed to build relationships. The panels explored a wide range of topics designed to foster leadership, personal growth and the career development. The sessions included a Hall of Fame panel with Ronnie Lott (USC) and 1983 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Steve Young (BYU); a workshop with Liz Wiseman, the author of The New York Times bestseller "Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter;" and sessions with Intuit CEO Brad Smith, SoFI CEO and former Army West Point linebacker Anthony Noto, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal.
 
Companies participating in the career expo included Altamont Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deloitte, Enjoy, EY, Google, Intuit, JMI Sports, McChrystal Group, SoFi, Sonim Technologies, WeDriveU and the XFL as well as professionals from the medical and real state fields and several entrepreneurs from a diverse range of emerging companies.

Hoping to expand the Summit's impact, organizers launched the "Campbell Trophy Mentor Challenge," which will encourage attendees to continue Bill's legacy of mentoring by volunteering with a local community-based organization after returning to their local communities. Setting a modest goal of 50 attendees committing to 200 hours of community service, organizers hope to achieve an impact of 10,000 hours during the next year.
 
All accommodations and meals are provided at no charge for the attendees, and first-time attendees who need assistance receive a $400 travel stipend. 
 
"We at the National Football Foundation try to do the right thing to protect the game, and Mark Flynn came to us, saying we can make a difference. We can add a new chapter, putting together the summit and putting the wind in its sails," said Hatchell. "And Brad Smith said I'll go shoulder-to-shoulder with you, and I'll walk every step with you, and I'll make it work. So for three years, this wonderful, spectacular event, which defines college football in the very best way is because of these two people, so thank you."
 
For the complete release regarding the Summit, individual day recaps, and the entire list of speakers and participants, please go to http://bit.ly/2Zz1Z5r