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Leadership Team

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Mentorship and Development

“We built RISE on a commitment to athlete development and empowerment. This starts with committed mentorship and independent advisory. We lay the foundation of business fundamentals for aspiring athlete entrepreneurs and connect them to our trusted network so they can build their post-career legacy and enterprise."

⁃    Michael V. Ledo 


Michael V. Ledo

Founder & CEO

  • Michael Ledo Instagram
  • Michael Ledo LinkedIn

Michael Ledo is an established entrepreneur and leader in the business of sports, founding and operating 3 sports organizations over his 15 years in the industry. Michael holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Saint Francis, where he earned honors as a 2x All-American and became the first African American football player to be inducted in the USF Athletic Hall of Fame. Michael has a passion for business development, brand development and mentoring athletes who create and cultivate change in the world.


Annie Bailey

VP of Business Operations

  • Annie Bailey Instagram
  • Annie Bailey LinkedIn

With a passion for developing relationships and creatively fostering marketing and entrepreneurial opportunities, Annie thrives to find success for those she represents. As a 2017 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Communications, Annie brings her dedication, work-ethic, and tenacity from the Division 1 lacrosse field to each project she collaborates on. Annie has a passion to help each RISE clients create a successful and sustainable athlete enterprise.


Jay Bass

VP of Business Development

  • Jay Bass Instagram
  • Jay Bass LinkedIn

Jay is experienced financial professional with an expertise in portfolio allocation and business development. He previously worked 4 years in the financial industry with a family office and wealth management firm. He is a graduate of Texas A&M Univesity-Commerce with a B.A. in business and M.B.A in finance from Mississippi State University. Jay has a passion for empowering athletes with the fundamentals of finance and business.

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Charles Gaston

Relationship Manager

  • Fiff Instagram

Charles is a 2017 graduate from The University Of Saint Francis. After graduating with a BA in Sociology, he joined the United States Army and spent five years as a Supply Specialist. Charles is also a Co-owner & Investor with CEV Collection, where he runs all operations. His passion is helping athletes become entrepreneurs & developing them to be able to run their businesses one day.

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Payton Johnson

Client Relations Specialist 

  • Payton Johnson
  • Payton LinkedIN

Payton Johnson is a 2021 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington with a BA in Sports Media Management and Creative Advertising Strategies. As a Client Relations Specialist, Payton leverages her passion for marketing and advertising to ensure each RISE client reaches their full entrepreneurial goals.


Kayla DeVoss

Director of Operations

  • Kayla DeVoss Instagram
  • Kayla DeVoss LinkedIn

Having served 8 years in the sports business industry, Kayla possesses a unique & experienced skill-set in administration. With a BA in Sports Management from Bethel College and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Huntington University, Kayla is dedicated to providing the best business support to the RISE Sports Advisors team and their clients. Through focusing on her strengths of structure, efficiency, and support, Kayla is passionate to help RISE and their clients be successful.


Christy Paddock

Senior Business Analyst

  • Christy Paddock LinkedIn

Christy is an experienced and seasoned finance professional. She graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana State University, is a licensed CPA and holds a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation.  Christy works with several not-for-profit organizations, is a member of the Indiana CPA Society, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and is currently a board member of the INCPAS Diversity Council.    

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