2022 Gridiron Gala Honorees

Marc Holliday
Chairman & CEO, SL Green Realty Corp.

Marc Holliday has served as the CEO since 2004 and became the Chairman of the Board as of January 2019. He has been with the company since 1998, when he joined as Chief Investment Officer. Holliday is frequently cited and interviewed by the nation’s leading media outlets regarding the commercial real estate marketplace and the future of New York City.

In the last year, Holliday has led SL Green through the historic opening of East Midtown’s skyline-defining tower One Vanderbilt, closed on a record-setting $3 billion refinancing of the now iconic building, signed nearly 1 million square feet of office leasing, and — importantly — created a non-profit foundation in partnership with Chef Daniel Boulud responding to the impacts of COVID-19 and the City’s growing food crisis, Food1st Foundation. With a dual mission of reopening restaurant kitchens across New York City and feeding frontline workers and New Yorkers in need, Food1st has prepared, packaged and delivered more than 700,000 meals across New York City, reopened dozens of restaurants and re-employed hundreds of restaurant workers.

A trustee and emeritus benefactor of Columbia University and a long-time supporter of Columbia’s real estate development program, he established the Holliday Professorship of Real Estate Development in 2008. Holliday was recently honored by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in 2017, receiving the Intrepid Salute Award in honor of his outstanding business and philanthropic achievements and his commitment to supporting programs for active service men and women and veterans. National Jewish Health in 2011 honored him with the Humanitarian Award and raised a record-breaking $3 million for the organization from members of New York City’s real estate and construction industries. Additionally, he has served on the Board of the New York Racing Association since 2014 and was elected as Chairman in December 2021. Holliday received a B.S. degree in business and finance from Lehigh University and an M.S. degree in real estate development from Columbia University.

Desiree Perez
CEO, Roc Nation

Desiree Perez, Roc Nation’s Chief Executive Officer since 2009, has been, besides for Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter himself, the person most responsible for realizing his ultimate vision of creating a business empire that spreads far beyond a record label, music publishing, and artist management agency—to become a company that both engages and employs his community. Perez has had her hand in every significant deal the company has made in the past decade, all while expanding Roc Nation’s verticals, leading partnerships and overseeing Roc Nation’s day-to-day operations.

But Perez’s truest passions are philanthropic, charitable and criminal justice reform efforts. Her work, with Team Roc, the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation, spans from fighting for the shut down of Parchman prison to helping individual families that have been affected by police violence to fighting to reform unjust systems across the country.

Saquon Barkley
Running Back, NY Giants

Running Back Saquon Barkley was drafted by the New York Giants as the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley has the greatest rookie season in Giants history, being named the Offensive Rookie of the Year, matching the achievement of wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in 2014. Since then, he started in all 44 games he played, totaling 2,937 rushing yards on 659 carries, 19 touchdowns, 190 receptions, and 8 scores. 

Barkley has established himself as a leader on the field and community through his work with the Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation, O’Shea Family Foundation, Gillette, and the Covenant House NJ. Through these endeavors, Barkley has helped provide youth experiencing homelessness with meals, experiences, and resources to excel on their athletic journey, academic, employment, and financial literacy. Barkley annually represents 22Q, a rare disease that his niece is battling, by wearing custom-designed cleats during the NFL’s annual ‘My Cause My Cleats.’ 

George Fant
Tackle, NY Jets

On the field, New York Jets offensive tackle George Fant has proven to be one of the Jets’ biggest difference makers, in part, due to his elite pass protection. As a sixth-year offensive lineman who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks (2016), Fant signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. With 57 starts in his 75 career games with both the Seahawks and Jets, has started at both left tackle and right tackle.  

Off the field, the Bowling Green, Kentucky native is making an even bigger difference through the Fant Foundation, founded by Fant and his wife, Chastity. The Fant Foundation’s mission is to strengthen, enrich and support today’s youth through special events, including the ‘Dream Big Camp,’ for school-aged children, a celebrity softball game, a turkey drive, financial wellness seminars, and much more. Most importantly, after Bowling Green was devastated by tornadoes last December, Fant raised over $30,000 to assist the victims and city in its initial recovery.  

Chris Canty

Chris Canty is the co-host of ESPN Radio’s recently announced afternoon drive show Canty & Carlin (debuting April 25) – alongside Chris Carlin. Most recently, Canty hosted Canty & Golic Jr. in the same timeslot on ESPN Radio (2021-22). Prior to his national show, Canty appeared on DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, teaming with Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg on weekdays from 5-8 a.m. ET.
Canty is a Super Bowl-champion defensive tackle. He spent 11 years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens (2013-15), New York Giants (2009-12) and Dallas Cowboys (2005-08). He was a member of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI Championship team. 
 

Canty is the founder of The Chris Canty Foundation. Operating in New York City, the foundation is dedicated to enhancing the total development of youth in our communities by utilizing the platform of sports to affect positive change in the lives of children through mentoring and educational programs. 

Canty graduated from the University of Virginia in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies. 

Tina Cervasio

Tina Cervasio joined WNYW-FOX 5 in January 2018 as the Lead Sports Anchor and Reporter serving both Good Day New York and the Evening Newscasts. Cervasio is also the Host of the Weekly Sports Show “Sports Xtra” every Sunday night at 10:30 where she conducts exclusive interviews, presents feature length stories, as well as highlights, and major news from both the greater New York metropolitan area and around the sports world. During the NFL season, Cervasio is a co-host on “Giants Kickoff”, a weekly New York Giants Pregame show. Cervasio had been with FOX 5 as a fill-in sports anchor and reporter since 2009.  

Cervasio is also currently a college football sideline reporter and host at CBS Sports Network, where she broadcasts all Army West Point home football games on the sidelines of historic Michie Stadium, and is one of the co-host on the all-female panel of the groundbreaking studio show “We Need To Talk”. For Westwood One Radio, Cervasio has been the sideline reporter on the nationally broadcast Army/Navy Football Game since 2020.  

The broadcast veteran is a seven-time New York Emmy Award Winner as part of the New York Knicks Broadcasts on MSG Networks where Cervasio worked from 2008 to 2017. During that time at MSG, Cervasio was also the pregame and halftime host of the New York Red Bulls broadcasts as well as serving as the in-game and postgame reporter. In 2015, Cervasio became the first female lead, talk radio host, at SiruisXM NBA Radio.  

Over her career, Cervasio has worked as a play-by-play announcer for the Olympic Games with Westwood One Radio, as a sideline reporter for the NFL on FOX and NBA on TNT and as the Field Reporter for the Boston Red Sox on the New England Sports Network (NESN).  

As a University of Maryland graduate, Cervasio was honored in 2014 with the “Distinguished Terrapin Award” by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism for “Excellence in Journalism.” Other awards include the Nutley, New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2011, joining Martha Stewart and the late Senator Frank Lautenberg.  

Cervasio also has a heart for charities. In 2008, 2009 and 2013 she ran the New York City Marathon for the Garden of Dreams Foundation. She works with EDGE, formerly Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, serves on the fundraising committee for the Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation / David Diehl Golf Invitational, and serves as emcee for several fundraisers each year, including United Way of New York. Cervasio is an active member of Women in Sports and Events.  

Cervasio resides in New Jersey with her husband, Kevin McKearney.  

Becca Hannah

Hailing from Boston, MA, 24-year-old singer/songwriter Becca Hannah brings an authentic, quirky rasp into her ethereal vocals. Her soulful, jazzy sound is heavily influenced by various artists such as Amy Winehouse and Corrine Bailey Rae. Becca has been an artist from a young age. She finds writing songs to be the most organic way to articulate and express her rawest emotions and keep herself grounded – It is clear that she finds solstice in her music.  

BECOME A SPONSOR
GRIDIRON LEADERSHIP