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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 1, 2013) – Hundreds of collegiate men’s and women’s basketball coaches from Division I, Division II and Division III will gather in Charlotte this weekend for the fourth annual A STEP UP professional development symposium hosted by Felicia Hall Allen & Associates. A Step Up, specifically designed for college basketball assistant coaches will take place at the Marriott Charlotte City Center May 3-5. University of North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell will deliver the Legends Series opening keynote, sponsored by the NCAA, at the Legends Breakfast on Saturday, May 4 at 8 a.m. Hatchell, who will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September, earned her 900th victory on February 13 joining Hall of Fame coaches Pat Summit, Jody Conradt and C. Vivian Stringer as the only Division I women’s basketball coaches to reach that milestone. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and former Indiana head coach Bobby Knight are also members of the exclusive club.

Sessions on Saturday will also include a financial wellness presentation – Developing Your Financial Game plan – by Michael Brinkley, Vice President of Fifth Third Bank.

Johnson C. Smith University athletic director and head men’s basketball Steve Joyner will welcome coaches to Brayboy Gymnasium for the first event of A STEP UP:Charlotte2013 at 1 p.m. on Friday , an on-court basketball skills clinic facilitated by Karen Lange of the North Carolina Charlotte 49ers, University of Tennessee assistant Dean Lockwood, Brendan Suhr from the University of Central Florida and Mike Rhoades of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Athletic Administrators Judy Rose (UNCC) and Stan Wilcox (Duke University) will conclude the 3-day event on Sunday at 11 a.m.

[About the Symposium]

A Step Up (Athletic Symposium to Elevate Professionals & Uplift Performance) is a career building and professional development opportunity for college basketball assistant coaches, developed by the husband and wife team of Johnny and Felicia Allen. Its’ mission is to help assistant coaches gain knowledge, discover coaching insights and develop strategies, techniques and tactics to help them reach their full coaching potential. Each year Felicia Hall Allen & Associates chooses a different city to host the symposium. The first event was held in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year the symposium took place in Chicago. In 2012 the symposium was moved to Dallas, Texas and the symposium expanded to include men’s basketball assistant coaches.

About Felicia Hall Allen, J.D.

Felicia is President and CEO of Felicia Hall Allen & Associates a motivational speaking, training, consulting and sports management company. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, she earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Iowa where she played for Hall of Fame Coach, C. Vivian Stringer. At Iowa, Felicia was conferred two degrees, one in Elementary Education and the other a Juris Doctorate from The University of Iowa, College of Law. Allen is a former NIKE Manager of Women’s Basketball and Team Executive for the WNBA Charlotte Sting. She has served as a Consultant for the NCAA, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Black Coaches Association on a number of occasions. In addition to serving as an Organizational Development Consultant and Change Agent for several businesses, Felicia facilitates leadership development and team building trainings nationally for college sport teams. She also consults regularly on various projects with the NCAA, NFL and WBCA. Recognized as a community leader, Felicia was named one of the Charlotte Post’s People of Prominence, Charlotte Business Journal’s Top 40 Under-40 and has also been recognized as one of the “First Ladies of Charlotte” by A Child’s Place. Felicia currently serves as a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Felicia Hall Allen is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is currently, president of the Crown Jewels Chapter of The Links Incorporated. Felicia is married to Johnny Allen, CEO of the Allen Leadership Group. The Allens reside in Charlotte, NC.

About Johnny T. Allen

Johnny Allen is the President and CEO of The Allen Leadership Group LLC, which has three training divisions: Leadership Development Institute, Management Training Division, and Consulting Division. He also serves as the Lead Training Consultant of Felicia Hall Allen & Associates and Director of A STEP UP Symposium. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he holds certifications in “Teambuilding, Group Initiative and Leadership Development through Experiential Learning Activities” from Winthrop University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Johnny’s time and talent is dedicated to acquainting organizations with strategies that encourage “peak performance.” His engaging style, along with the soundness of his theories, has made him a highly sought-after speaker and trainer. He has been the featured keynote at a wide variety of national conferences, conventions and management retreats, reaching thousands of leaders across the nation. He is certified DISC System Training, Situational Leadership, Cultural and Generational Diversity Training.

New Women’s Basketball Promotional Video

Women’s Basketball Promotional Video 2013 from Felicia Hall Allen & Associates on Vimeo.

Comments from Past Speakers and Participants about A Step Up

Visit www.FeliciaHallAllen.com to Register for A STEP UP – CHARLOTTE 2013

Would you like to be considered one of the best in the business? Want to learn the strategies of some of top programs in the nation? Want a setting where you can network, share ideas, challenge and encourage your colleagues on and off the court? If your answer to these questions is YES, then you are ready to take A STEP UP this spring. Felicia Hall Allen & Associates will host its’ annual A Step Up Symposium at the downtown Marriott Hotel in Charlotte, NC on May 3-5.

A Step Up: Charlotte 2013 is a three-day career building and professional development event for collegiate basketball assistant coaches developed by the husband and wife team of Johnny and Felicia Allen. Its’ mission is to help assistant coaches gain knowledge, discover coaching insights and develop strategies, techniques and tactics to help them reach their full coaching potential.

This is the fourth year of A Step Up for women’s basketball coaches. Last year’s symposium was held in Dallas, Texas and featured legendary coaches Jody Conradt and Marsha Sharp, as well as many of today’s top collegiate head coaches and assistant coaches.

Here are a selection of comments from past speakers and participants about A Step Up:

Carol Owens, Associate Head Coach, University of Notre Dame (2011 Presenter): “I feel like the symposium is just an invaluable tool that we have right now in our game because it develops our assistant coaches not just to be head coaches but to be great assistant coaches and that’s ultimately what we want. I think that’s something that’s going to grow our game even further. I’m very thankful we have this now.”

Felicia Allen, Vic Schafer, Al Brown, Jody Conradt, Carol Owens, Bob Starkey, Johnny Allen (photo by Raye Pond Photography

Felicia Allen, Vic Schafer, Al Brown, Jody Conradt, Carol Owens, Bob Starkey, Johnny Allen (photo by Raye Pond Photography)

Bob Starkey, Assistant Coach, Texas A&M University (Yearly Presenter): “A Step Up was an amazing weekend. I was honored to be a presenter in two sessions but genuinely came back with more than I gave. Hats off to Felicia Hall Allen and her husband Johnny Allen for putting together something that help assistant coaches grow – and in effect, help us grow the game.”

Al Brown, Assistant Coach, Duke University (Yearly Presenter): “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such an outstanding event. Being involved with you and Johnny in this endeavor has been one of the most exciting and rewarding activities of my coaching career. The varied activities you provide give all an opportunity to be ACTIVELY involved. There is nothing like this in men’s or women’s basketball.”

Kia Damon, Assistant Coach, Penn State University (2010 Participant): “I walked away with a wealth of information. One of the things that separate A Step Up symposium for some of the ones I’ve attended in the past is the intimate setting. You get an opportunity to have question and answers with the presenters and just kind of have a continued dialogue, to get your questions answered and hear some of the concerns of your peers. I highly encourage anyone interested in becoming a better assistant coach to attend this symposium.”

Kyle Adams, Assistant Coach, Cheyney University (2011 Participant): “I really wanted to let you all know how much Dallas has impacted not just my career, but my life. Since returning, I have been speaking with others who attended A Step Up-Dallas, about how it has affected them. What really touches me about what you all are doing is the spirit of guidance and beneficence that you all operate in. In essence, YOU ARE COACHING COACHES!!!!!”

Danielle O’Banion, Head Coach, Kent State University (2010 Participant & 2011 Presenter): “I enjoyed the symposium in Chicago and realized that I couldn’t afford to miss another one. We share industry secrets and tips by some of the best professionals in our fields. It’s an opportunity for me to grow and you to grow.”

Chris Plonsky, Athletic Director, University of Texas (2011 Speaker): “The great thing that I am impressed with was every speaker really fostered the notion of developing young people. That is what coaching certainly is. Taking 17-23 year olds, developing them overtime, allowinIMG3232-Lg them the chance to play a sport, get an education and making sure they depart the university with a degree and to become a better citizen.”

Brandy Manning, Assistant Coach, University of Arizona (2011 Participant): “This has been an outstanding event. Really informative, insightful, had a lot of opportunities to listen to both fellow coaches and head coaches and administrators. I walked away with a wealth of information and I highly recommend this to my fellow colleagues. I will be back next year.”

Chelsea Newton, Assistant Coach, Rutgers University (2010/2011 Participant): “This is my second time attending the symposium. It’s full of information and there’s just so much I feel like I can go back and share with my staff. I’m just excited to grow.”

Joy Cheek, Assistant Coach, Duke University (2011 Participant): “After completing my first year of coaching you learn a lot on the job but I felt like I learned more than I ever could coming here. Felicia had great speakers, other great coaches to just learn from on the court, off the court, basketball, life balance, just everything you can get in these three days. I would definitely recommend anyone coaching, for one year or 15 years just to come and learn.”

Brett Fink, Assistant Coach, UCF (2011 Participant): “This weekend has been tremendous. If you are looking to refuel your soul in this game then this is the event to come to. Great people, great passion and you learn a lot, you meet a lot of great people. I can’t speak highly enough about this event – it really is A STEP UP!”

Register for A Step Up at: http://www.feliciahallallen.com/…

For more information contact Felicia Allen at fh@feliciahallallen.com or

(704) 968-1987

Follow us on twitter @AStepUpFHA @FHallAllen



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Felicia Hall Allen Addresses Student Athletes, NFL and College Athletic Administrators at Summit Sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Football League (NFL)

FHA_WORDPRESSNFL Engagement Insider – 2/17/13
CHARLOTTE, NC February 17, 2013 – The best way to teach leaders how to increase their impact on those they touch is to form a faculty of dynamic speakers who have already had a strong influence and can articulate their secrets of success to others.

With that purpose paramount, two of America’s top sports organizations teamed up this weekend to hear from experienced experts how to maximize the athletic and personal development of student-athletes and the transition into their professional lives.

Held in Charlotte, NC, the NFL-NCAA Life Skills Education and Professional Development Summit was a time for 75 league Player Engagement personnel and their college counterparts to discover synergies for developing best practices and categorizing available resources for those they serve.

“Collaboration is the key to the NFL and NCAA learning how to build trust with today’s student-athletes to maintain their mental and physical health,” according to NFL Player Engagement (NFLPE) Senior Vice President Troy Vincent. “We assembled an all-star faculty to teach our attendees how to best reach these young people.”

That star-studded faculty kicked off the event in style with Keynote Speaker Oliver Luck, Director of Athletics at West Virginia University, and former Mountaineer and NFL quarterback whose son Andrew was last year’s number one NFL pick.

“We immediately were told by attendees that we started off with a bang, which was good to hear since Oliver Luck is someone who has been on both sides of the NCAA and NFL, and is in the position to determine what this Engagement role will look like,” observed Ron Brewer, Assistant Director of Leadership Development for the NCAA.

Brewer, who opened the event by outlining its objectives, added that, “we designed the Summit so it would kick off that way, and then followed up with forceful speakers such as Felicia Hall Allen (President of Felicia Hall Allen and Associates), one of the most dynamic individual speakers that I have ever been around, and she truly challenged the group.”

Julie Dunn, Assistant Athletic Director for Career Enhancement and Employee Relations at Northwestern University, said, “I have been very impressed with the speakers they brought in, and they got our minds going as we take to heart their expertise that they share with us.”

Additionally, the Summit educated attendees through the use of Case Studies and Breakout Sessions, including “Inside the Locker Room” sessions with the likes of former Pittsburgh Steeler Willie Parker and San Diego Charger Jacques Cesaire, who talked about current issues they and their teammates face.

Brewer shared, “The goal of the Summit was to bring these two groups of professionals together since they both touch the athletes, so that as they go from college to the NFL we can both be aware of what the other is seeing. Ultimately, it’s a great opportunity for the two groups to meet each other and discuss what’s working, what the hot topics are, and where they need help and assistance.”

For questions regarding the Professional Development Summit contact Ron Brewer at (317) 917.6970.


The NFL-NCAA Life Skills Education and Professional Development Summit is a partnership between the NFL and the NCAA focused on identifying and outlining the synergies that exist between NFL Player Engagement Directors and intercollegiate Athletics Professionals. The Summit is designed to provide relevant, effective, and practical training and professional development opportunities to enhance the ability of Athletics Professionals to serve student-athletes in the areas of life skills and student-athlete development. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to enhance student-athletes’ personal growth based upon their needs and how the NFL and NCAA can work collaboratively on student-athlete programming and resources.

About Felicia Hall Allen, J.D.
Felicia Hall Allen, CEO of Felicia Hall Allen & Associates, brings unique depth to specialties of leadership, team building, organizational development, executive coaching, and sports management. Currently, Felicia represents college coaches in more than a dozen NCAA Division I Conferences and was recently voted onto the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa, College of Law and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar. Felicia and her husband Johnny Allen reside in Charlotte, NC. For additional background information on Felicia visit http://www.feliciahallallen.com.

To contact her regarding interviews or speaking engagements call 704.968.1987.

A STEP UP – Women’s Basketball Promo Video

A Step Up – Women’s Basketball Promo Video from Felicia Hall Allen & Associates on Vimeo.

A Step Up – Charlotte 2013 – Host Hotel & Host City

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Click on Link to Visit Charlotte – http://www.charlottesgotalot.com

The Charlotte, North Carolina region is composed of 16 counties, including four counties in South Carolina, with the city of Charlotte serving as the hub. Located in the heart of the Southeast, Charlotte lies within the southern Piedmont of North Carolina, along the state’s border with South Carolina. Charlotte is the largest and most accessible city between Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas. Due to its mid-Atlantic location, getting to Charlotte is easy from anywhere in the country or the world, hence its nickname “the International Gateway to the South.”

Click on Image to Visit Charlotte Marriott

Situated in the heart of downtown, the Charlotte Marriott City Center boasts completely overhauled wired and wireless Internet connections. As one of the premier hotels in Charlotte, discover spacious rooms with 37″ LCD TVs, upgraded bathrooms,signature furnishings, and plush bedding. This Charlotte, NC hotel is located in the business district near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Bank of America Stadium, Time Warner Cable Arena, museums and Charlotte’s finest restaurants and bars. Enjoy fine dining at our Charlotte hotel’s Savannah Red Restaurant and Wine Bar, relax at Cutter’s Cigar Bar, or stop by Champion’s Sports Bar & Restaurant to catch a game. Our Charlotte hotel is a favorite convention and wedding location among downtown Charlotte hotels, with 20,000 square feet of meeting space and an elegant, newly renovated, Grand Ballroom that seats up to 1,200 guests for a memorable event.

A Step Up Dallas 2012 Symposium RECAP

The positive feedback from those in Dallas via evaluations, tweets, emails, personal handwritten notes, phone calls and Facebook messages has been OVERWHELMINGLY positive.  The presenters held nothing back.  They were informative, engaging, honest, transparent and accessible.  Thank you.  Our  Coaching Legends, Jody Conradt and Marsha Sharp passionately shared from the heart  and inspired  all in attendance to take A STEP UP to do more, be more and expect more of themselves and the game.

The positive energy at the Symposium was contagious and left us all wanting more.  If you were not there you will want to purchase a Symposium Notebook.  See more below.

Thank you to the NCAA, Monica Paul and J.D. Wood with Visit Dallas and Nels Hawkins, Basketball Travelers, Inc. for your support.

We are already planning for A STEP UP 2013.  Hope to see you there!  Stay connected via twitter @AStepUpFHA or @Fhallallen.

Our Best this Championship Season!

Johnny & Felicia Allen

Women’s Basketball Assistant Coaches & Directors of Basketball Operations Symposium – Featured Keynote Speakers


A Step Up Dallas 2012 Collaboration

Hear from Sabrina Gregory (UNCC) – Kate Senger (Duke) – Nicole Woods (Stetson) – Timothy Valentine (Elon) – Sarah Smoak (Duke) – Brittany Parker (Niagara) – Ronald Hughey – Danielle O’Banion (Memphis) – Kia Damon (Penn State) – Grant Fausset (Texas Tech)

“Just had a really good opportunity to collaborate with my peers and also assistant coaches and listening to other head coaches and assistant coaches on how they go about doing their jobs”.

Kate Senger is the Director of Basketball Operations at Duke University.

Connect with Coach Senger on LinkedIn  (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kate-senger/a/461/4b2).

“I walked away with a wealth of information.”

Coach Kia Damon is an Assistant Coach for the Penn State Lady Lions. Connect with Coach Damon on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kia-damon/14/121/67a).

“I didn’t realize I was lacking a little fire in my heart, but it was definitely rekindled last year after the weekend.”


Coach Maren Walseth is an Assistant Coach with the Penn State Lady Lions. Connect with Coach Walseth on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maren-walseth/1/59b/138).

“For one weekend, we are all on the same team exchanging ideas and practices to make each other better.”


Coach Sarah Smoak is the Director of Recruiting Operations and Assistant Director of Women’s Basketball Operations for Duke University. Connect with Coach Smoak on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/SSmoak) and on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sarah-smoak/21/b1a/a20).

It doesn’t matter if you are a young coach or an older coach, there’s never an opportunity where we can’t stop growing and stop learning.”

Coach Jan Jensen is the Associate Head Coach at the University of Iowa. Follow Coach Jensen on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/goiowa).

“One thing that I tell my coaches is, “You are only as good as the people around you.” Therefore, why not improve yourself while helping your career and ultimately others?”

Coach Sytia Messer

I was very honored when Felicia asked me to speak at, “A Step Up Dallas 2012”. I believe this symposium will help to improve the careers of assistant coaches and I feel blessed to be a part of it. One thing that I tell my coaches is, “You are only as good as the people around you.”  Therefore, why not improve yourself while helping your career and ultimately others?
Last year, one of my assistant coaches, Coretta Brown, attended the symposium in Chicago. She had nothing but great things to say about the experience. She came back and shared the knowledge she had obtained while she was there. I could tell she had learned some great things that would be of value to her in her career as well as to our basketball program.
This is a great opportunity to learn from other coaches and schools. Also, this symposium is a way to form contacts and develop friendships with coaches in many different areas.  In my opinion, the keys to being a successful coach is continued self assessment, in order to identify your strengths and weaknesses,  surrounding yourself with others who possess the characteristics for which you are weak in, and then seeking every opportunity to  grow and learn from others.   In turn, it helps to improve the coach, a team and the lives of student athletes. I fell very blessed to be a part of the symposium this year!


Coach Sytia Messer is the Head Coach for the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Follow Coach Messer on Twitter (Twitter.com/CoachMesser).

“If opportunity knocks for you to improve your overall performance as a basketball coach, would you answer it?”


Ronald Hughey is an Assistant Coach for the University of Texas Longhorns.

“This is a symposium that caters to the needs of every level.”


Josh Keys is an Assistant Coach for the Stetson University Lady Hatters. Follow Josh on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JoshKeys).

“This conference was very beneficial to me because it allowed me to get with other professionals in the field and share ideas.”


Grant Fausset is the Director of Basketball Operations for the Texas Tech University Lady Raiders. Follow Grant on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/gfausset) and connect with him on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/grant-fausset/9/284/905).


“I enjoyed Chicago, and realize now that I cannot afford to miss another one!”

Coach Danielle O’Banion is the Associate Head Coach of the University of Memphis Lady Tigers. Follow her on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/DJObanion) and connect with her on LinkedIn (http://www.LinkedIn.com/pub/danielle-o-banion/14/a97/31a).

A Special Message from Felicia and Johnny Allen on A STEP UP 2012!



Assistant Coaches/Director of Basketball Operations Symposium Agenda
April 27 – 29, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

1:30pm – 4:30 pm                On Court Skills Development Clinic

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm              Welcome & Legend’s Keynote Address

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm              Networking Reception

Saturday, April 28, 2012

8:00 am – 9:20 am              Legend’s Breakfast

9:30 am – Noon                   Professional Development Concurrent Sessions

Noon – 1:30 pm                   Lunch on your own

1:30 pm – 5:30 pm              Concurrent Sessions

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm              Round Table Discussion

Sunday, April 29, 2012

7:30 am – 8:20 am              Christian Fellowship

8:30 am – Noon                   Professional Development Sessions

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm          Closing

A STEP UP 2012 will be held in……….



College coaches to take ‘A Step Up’ in the Lone Star state, April 27-29

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 25, 2011) – Felicia Hall Allen & Associates announced today that the city of Dallas (Texas) has been selected as the site for the 2012 Assistant Basketball Coaches Symposium, A Step Up (Athletic Symposium to Elevate & Uplift Professionals).The Symposium, to be conducted April 27 – April 29, is expected to bring together hundreds of assistant basketball coaches, as well as current and former head coaches and athletic administrators from all divisions of basketball around the country.

“Dallas has a great reputation for its southern hospitality,” said Felicia Hall Allen, CEO of Felicia Hall Allen & Associates. In recent years the city of Dallas has played host to some of our biggest championship level collegiate and professional sporting events. With that in mind, we believe that Dallas will be a great fit for all coaches pursuing championship level success on the sidelines and wanting to take A Step Up in their careers”.

“Each year the committee chooses a new and exciting city to host the symposium in an effort to create an opportunity for coaches across the nation to gain professional development, elevate their performance and expand their knowledge of the game,” said Johnny Allen, the symposium’s director.  The first symposium was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. Last year the three-day event moved to Chicago, where over 200 coaches and directors of basketball operations convened in the windy-city for an uplifting, thought-provoking weekend.

Monica Paul, director of sports marketing of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that the A Step Up symposium is a natural fit for Dallas – one of America’s best sports cities. “In addition to the 2009 NBA All-Star weekend and Super Bowl XLV, the city also recently hosted a successful NCAA Division I Women’s Regional, and we’re preparing to bid on future Big 12 women’s basketball conference tournaments and a future NCAA women’s Final Four.

“Coaches who attend A Step Up will enjoy Dallas’ rich sports history as well as some of the nation’s finest entertainment, arts, dining and shopping.”

Allen, a former NIKE Manager for women’s basketball and Team Executive in the WNBA, created the A Step Up in collaboration with her husband Johnny as a career building and professional development opportunity for women’s basketball coaches. Their mission was simple: to help assistant coaches gain knowledge, discover coaching insights and develop strategies, techniques and tactics to help them reach their full coaching potential.

For more information on A Step Up, log on to www.feliciahallallen.com

Contact: Felicia Hall Allen at fh@feliciahallallen.com  

(704) 968-1987



2011 A STEP UP: CHICAGO, a set on Flickr.

A recap of a GREAT weekend!