Nakia Sanford is a former professional basketball player who is passionate about giving back to her community. Her mission is to give young people the tools they need to live mentally, emotionally and physically healthy lives through her non-profit programs. As a money management coach, her mission is to impact generations of families by teaching financial literacy.
Her devotion grew from being able to relate to the struggles of growing up in poverty. Living in public housing in Decatur, Ga., she experienced first-hand what a lack of information, opportunity and direction looks like. Therefore, everyday of her life, she pursues a dream of helping other people elevate their situation financially and creating legacies in their families.
As an athlete, she learned leadership and work ethic. She has transferred her lessons of integrity and teamwork into her new profession. In business, she will help train an army of informed, capable, educated entrepreneurs one family at a time. She believes our country has become a slave to debt as part of our social DNA. She believes it must stop if we are to save the dwindling working class in our country and has sought out to do so by enabling people with education, empowerment and financial freedom.
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A pioneer and trailblazer Khalia Collier, is the owner & general manager of St. Louis’ own women’s professional basketball team, the St. Louis Surge. Khalia has taken on the challenge of building the first sustainable women’s franchise in St. Louis. Her team is going into its fifth season; finishing as National Champions in 2014 and second in the nation this past season. Khalia Collier is a recent recipient of 30 under 30, Glamor Missouri Woman of the year awardee and as a prestigious Jack Buck Awardee for her community impact.
Through this journey, she has maximized corporate and organizational relationships, developed supporter and donor programs, as well as positioned the organization for eminent growth.
A St. Louis native with a deep commitment to the city, Collier is an entrepreneur dedicated to her franchise. She is a strong believer that St. Louis can support a women’s franchise, and is working hard to see her vision through. Delving into sports management, she has taken on the task of re-branding the face of women’s athletics through the St. Louis Surge. Collier has developed a strategic business model partnering with prominent executives, corporations and non-profits to build the Surge brand and develop new initiatives, while encompassing the community. Instilling the notion that all Surge players are leaders and mentors in the community, Collier has personally represented the Surge organization through her personal community service work and by giving back to youth and providing a platform for women’s athletics.
With a history in basketball, Collier began playing at the age of five and continued into her high school and collegiate career. Collier was a Division I recruit in high school and later attended Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri where she was a shooting guard for two years. She finished her basketball career at Missouri Baptist University. Collier obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Missouri Baptist University and currently works for the St. Louis Surge full-time as St. Louis Surge Owner and General Manager.
Collier values leadership, hard work, education, excellence and sportsmanship, all reasons she believes the Surge will succeed as both an organization and a professional team. When asked why she took over ownership of the St. Louis Surge, Collier stated, “Now is the time for St. Louis to build the platform and lead the evolution of women’s sports through creative, innovative, and strategic processes.”