Last week, approximately 200 former NFL players convened in Orlando as part of the 2014 NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting – and two days of events sponsored by The Trust.  The Trust provides an ecosystem of support for former players, with an emphasis on overall health and successful transition from professional football.

On several different levels, I am touched and inspired by The Trust – and consider it a best-practice model for any U.S. or international players association – because, by member vote, it “looks ahead” and puts resources behind these former players as human beings first and players second.

When the roar of the crowd fades

Millions of us enjoy NFL games every year and many of us are deeply dedicated to our favorite teams and their individual players.  But when their careers are over, the rest of their life begins – and can sometimes involve serious and complicated challenges. The Trust puts this poetically in another way: Who are you when you take the helmet off?  If you haven’t caught wind of The Trust’s “#IAmMoreThanFootball” campaign, take a few moments to check it out.  It will remind you that our heroes are human.  And it will give you a sense of the spirit of this event and why I was so grateful to attend it.

A day of connection and sharing

It was a special honor for me to represent the Hillard Heintze team.  Our firm is a partner to The Trust.  Since 2009, we have supported the NFL Players Association with more than 1,300 investigations of individuals and corporations seeking to serve as either contract agents or financial advisors to current NFL players.  When the NFLPA decided to launch The Trust, it asked Hillard Heintze to support its mission. The Trust provides counsel to former players through a wellness plan across six primary pillars: Brain and Body Health, Career Transition and Development, Education and Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, and Personal Interaction.

How we provide value

Hillard Heintze supports The Trust’s mission with investigative due diligence services available to any former players that allow them to gain insight, assurance and confidence in the credentials, track-record and character of the individual or corporation in which they are considering investing their capital, influence or reputation. In serving The Trust, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with leading national firms and academic institutions such as Athletes’ Performance, Athlife, Babson College, Cleveland Clinic, Financial Finesse, Hillard Heintze, SCORETulane University and Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine and The University of North Carolina’s Brain and Body Health Program.

The Trust is a special organization

We support Fortune 1000 clients and public sector agencies that are defining new ways to protect and advance the interests of their people every day.  That’s not an ethic you find often or everywhere.  For us, The Trust has a special place in this circle.  Unlike employees of corporations and public sector agencies that show up for work every day, the former players of the NFL and the members of the Trust have done their time. They’ve already earned this assurance.


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