The Board

André Farr

André Farr:

André Farr is a 22-year entrepreneurial executive in the business of sports and entertainment. Mr. Farr first gained notoriety as the President and CEO of House of Blues Sports; and again as the Chairman and CEO of the Black Sports Agents Association (BSAA).

However, it didn’t start there. As a high school All-American football player André’s interest in entertainment surfaced. He was one of the first concert promoters for MC Hammer. When he accepted a football scholarship to UCLA he continued promoting concerts and special events on campus including a highly acclaimed Greek Show and Concert in Pauley Pavilion. Upon graduating from UCLA Mr. Farr’s passion for sports and entertainment led him to continue his mission to create opportunities between these distinct industries. He lent his writing and acting talents to the feature film, “THE Program”. He also worked briefly with Mel Farr Sr., who owned multiple auto dealerships and was highly renowned as one of the top African-American businessmen in the nation.

Next, Mr. Farr joined Stanley and Associates a sports management firm in Los Angeles where he produced an incredible Draft Party at the House of Blues for the Number 1 pick in the NFL – Keyshawn Johnson. After meeting with the founder of House of Blues, Isaac Tigrett, André became partner with House of Blues and majority owner of House of Blues Sports. While there Mr. Farr and his team produced many fascinating events including entertainment surrounding the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the last recorded performance of Tupac Shakur in Los Angeles.

After being invited by Rev. Jesse Jackson to attend a meeting of top black professionals in sport, André was elected Chairman of the Board for the Black Sports Agents Association. As a agent, Mr. Farr has guided the careers of several athletes including D’Marco Farr, a Super Bowl Champion with the St. Louis Rams as well as Alvin and Calvin Harrison, the Olympic Gold Medal twins. Under Mr. Farr’s direction and intense guidance, the BSAA membership has grown to over 3,700 of the world's top sports agents, lawyers, investment managers, marketing representatives and prominent executives. From the inception of the BSAA, Mr. Farr has sought to establish a higher standard of integrity for athletes and sports professionals; promote increased African-American and female representation among athletes; and create broader ventures with the professional leagues and franchises.

Linda Bernard

Linda Bernard, Esquire:

Linda received her undergraduate and law degrees from Wayne State University’s Monteith Honors College and Law School in Detroit in six years, and was the first African American Masters of Law (LL.M.) recipient from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

As managing partner of Linda D. Bernard and Associates, PLC in Detroit, MI, Linda argued and won three precedent setting cases in the Michigan Supreme Court. She is licensed in state and federal court in Michigan, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania; the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. International Court of Trade, and the U.S. Court of Claims.  Linda is an AAA arbitrator; mediator; Michigan Civil Rights Commission Hearings Referee; and Administrative Hearings Officer.

She served as: staff attorney for Ford Motor Co.; Supervising Assistant Corporation Counsel and founder of the Contracts and Business Law Division for the city of Detroit; General Counsel of the Massachusetts Port Authority; President, CEO and Chief Counsel, of Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services (WCNLS); Director of the Detroit Film Office; and as a Developer of Affordable Housing and Mixed Use Developments.  At WCNLS she increased revenues from $2M to $10M, customers from 6,000 to 50,000, created 17 new programs and law centers, managed millions of dollars, and hundreds of staff and volunteers.  Her work as a contracts expert, labor law specialist, strategic problem solver and negotiator changed the way business is done for one $2 billion dollar client.

Her commitment to public interest initiatives is second only to her passion for sports and entertainment.  In the late 1990’s she founded Detroit International Productions, Ltd., a music production company and DIP-STIK Music Publishing.  Initially focusing on the incredible amount of musical talent in the Motor City, she became equally committed to providing outstanding business and legal representation services to athletes, who are also frequently abused by the “business” of sports and entertainment.

James Sims

James Sims, Esquire:

James A. Sims, Jr. is a veteran sports attorney and agent and one of the premier NFL contract negotiators in the field of player representation. His Oakland, California based company, Sims Sports Management, and law firm, Law Offices of James A. Sims, Jr., have represented some of the highest paid and highest drafted players in the NFL, including, former All Pro running back and current television broadcaster James Anderson, All Pro defensive end Rob Burnett, All Pro defensive tackle La’Roi Glover, former 1st round picks, Takeo Spikes and Deltha O’Neal and former 2nd round pick Eugene Wilson.

In 1993, James Sims pioneered the negotiation process for rookies under the 1993 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. He was the first NFL sports attorney to negotiate a multi-million dollar contract for a 1st round draft pick under the constraints of the new NFL Rookie Salary Pool.

In addition to providing legal counsel and management services to professional athletes, Mr. Sims’ law firm represents clients in the areas of sports, entertainment, business, real estate, personal injury, labor and employment law. He also has served as legal counsel for several banks and financial institutions. Mr. Sims advises clients on the formation and structure of corporations, LLCs, partnerships, charitable foundations and other entities and has negotiated and drafted numerous business and sports related agreements.

Mr. Sims is a member of the California State Bar and has been a Certified National Football League Players Association Contract Advisor since 1988 and is also certified by the National Basketball Players Association. Mr. Sims is an Adjunct Professor of Law at John F. Kennedy Law School in Pleasant Hill, California. He is an annual speaker & lecturer at various professional events in area of sports law.

Bill Duffy

Bill Duffy:

Bill Duffy, President & CEO of BDA Sports, has been involved in professional sports representation for over twenty years. He has parlayed a successful career as a player, from college days at Santa Clara University, to being named the Denver Nuggets fourth pick in the 1982 NBA Draft, into a position as one of the most successful and respected Sports Agents in the industry.

BDA has represented over 100 professional athletes, including 22 first round draft picks, and the number one, two and four picks in 2002 (Yao Ming, Jay Williams and Drew Gooden) and the number one pick in the 1998 NBA Draft (Michael Olowokandi). Bill Duffy takes pride in providing his clients with high quality career management, as well as the tools and services necessary to enhance personal growth. He takes a unique approach with each client, by focusing on individual needs and long term career planning.

Bill was named the Black Sports Agents Association’s “Agent of the Year” in 1998 and 2001, and was recently named into both the Santa Clara University Sports Hall of Fame and as the first ever inductee of the Damien High School (La Verne, CA) Hall of Fame. Bill has been recognized for the past two years by Sports Illustrated in the top ten of the “50 Most Influential Minorities in Sport,” in Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s “20 Most Influential People: Agents,” as well as in Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Blacks in Sports.” Bill is also a regular guest on numerous national television programs, including “The LastWord with Jim Rome,” “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble,” ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and MSNBC’S “Abrams Report.” Under Bill’s leadership, BDA Sports was named the “Top Global Sports Agency” by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal.

Calvin Andrews

Calvin Andrews:

During Calvin’s career at Montana State University the program experienced unparalleled success. They won the Big Sky Conference in 1989 & 1990, played in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, and in 1991 participated in the NIT Tournament. Calvin closed out his career by being chosen for the prestigious “Golden Bobcat Scholar Athlete Award”, an award given to a deserving student for academic & athletic success.

Upon receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing, Calvin proceeded to move quickly into the corporate world. In 1990 he joined the Xerox Corporation and enjoyed an eleven-year career, where he developed valuable skills in relationship building, sales, problem solving, and creating & implementing sophisticated marketing strategies. In 1989, he co-founded Scholar Athletes, Inc. / Slam N Jam. This non-profit organization was formed to serve as an academic and athletic guidance program for student-athletes. It is now one of the largest youth athletic programs in the country.

Calvin’s experience in both the corporate world and in youth & college basketball has allowed him to develop a tremendous network of industry contacts throughout the country, as well as the business skills needed to be successful in sports management industry. Since joining BDA Sports Management in 2001, Calvin has become one of the top young agents in the industry; representing multiple top 5 picks, several 1st round picks, negotiate large shoe deals, and negotiating a NBA max contract.

Angelo Wright

Angelo Wright:

Mr. Wright is a graduate of San Jose State University with a degree in International Business and a minor in Economics. He has also pursued graduate work at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and studied Japanese at UC Berkeley.

His professional career has included sales, consulting, and strategic planning positions with Fortune 500 companies including Motorola Communications, United Airlines, Fujitsu America, IBM, and the US Navy.

Mr. Wright initially entered the sports agency field in 1988 by establishing endorsement opportunities for Bay Area athletes Tim McKyer, Don Griffin, and Roger Craig. He then established himself as a shrewd negotiator by landing several undrafted free agents opportunities with NFL teams. Within the past eight years, Mr. Wright has represented four first round draft picks and many other players who have been selected throughout the draft. He has represented numerous restricted and unrestricted veteran free agent players and multiple draft picks ranging from the first through the seventh rounds.