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Van Jakes Appointed to ADN Global Advisory Board


Kwabena Boateng


ATLANTA (May 22, 2020)— African Diaspora Nation President Kwabena Boateng today announced the appointment of Mr. Van Jakes - retired NFL cornerback for the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Serial Enterpreneur - as ADN's Global Advisory Board Chair for HBCU Africa Intercollegiate Sports Development. The appointment takes immediate effect.

In this new role, Van Jakes will oversee Inter-Collegiate Sports Development between HBCUs and African Institutions. Mr. Jake's role is expected to embody a convening force for stakeholders in all domains of sports development - both digital and physical.

Boateng notes that “Van Keith Jakes attended Kent State University from 1979-1983. He was a four-year starter as corner back and the captain of the football team during his senior year. He graduated from Kent State in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Van played with the Kansas City Chiefs during the 1983 and 1984 seasons. He joined the United States Football League (USFL) and played with the Jacksonville Bulls in 1985. After the demise of the USFL in 1985, he returned to the National Football League (NFL). In 1986, he began a three-year career with the New Orleans Saints. Van then played with the Green Bay Packers during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He retired from the NFL in 1991".

Van became a McDonald’s Owner Operator in August 1992 where he opened his first restaurant in Tampa, Florida. In May 1994, he sold his Tampa store for four stores in Atlanta, Georgia. In the summer of 1996 he acquired two additional stores. In 24 years Van has owned 14 McDonald’s locations. Most recently selling three McDonald’s restaurants in the Stone Mountain/Lithonia area of Dekalb County; Panola Road, Turner Hill Road, and Fairington Road. After selling his McDonald’s locations, Van has gone on to become certified a Denny’s, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Cowboy Chicken and Dunkin Donuts Franchisee. He opened 2 Denny’s locations in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in the early summer of 2016, and then opened 4 Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants from the late fall of 2016 to early January of 2018. Having retired in the fall of 2018, Van passed the torch to his wife Chrystal Jakes. In September 2018, the first of several Cowboy Chicken Restaurants opened in McDonough, GA. Chrystal Jakes, with the guidance and tutelage of Van, has opened additional Cowboy Chicken restaurants. Van continues to consult for the Cowboy Chicken restaurant project, and many other athletes, and restaurateurs.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to serve on the ADN Global Advisory Board in a role that allows me to contribute to some ground breaking work in Africa and African Diaspora sports development ", says Van Jakes.

“I have great respect and admiration for Van's versatility”, says Boateng.  His appointment is rather timely as the world grapples with the Coronavirus pandemic; the need for versatile and innovative leadership is more critical than it has been in the last 100 years. I am excited to now have Van's expertise and perspective on our team at ADN as we pivot and innovate within/without the African and African Diaspora sports domain. His winning mindset and record of transformative leadership are critical enablers for the impact we are resolved to make in sports and the human capital development space". 

African Diaspora Nation is an Atlanta based culturally responsible Pan Human Sustainable Development organization that has a priority focus on catalyzing human capital development in Africa and it's diaspora, and as such sees Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs), technology companies, NGOs and governments as priority partners of choice in delivering upon it's mandate.

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