2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Robert Griffith, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Robert Griffith

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

Age: 52

“Retired NFL All-Pro, record breaker and holder of global multi sector distributor of assets.”

Highly skilled technical scientific-based founder.

Hometown: San Diego, California

Family Members:

Father:           Stephen Griffith

Mother:         Virginia R. Griffith

Brothers:       Keith Griffith and Michael Griffith

Sisters:           Katrina Leonce and Angela Martin

Fun fact about yourself: I collect antiques and have several rare African and European pieces that are priceless.

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.S.  Electrical Engineering, San Diego State University

Where are you currently working?

Managing Director, Purple 24 Fund (Minority Owned Global Project Fund)

CO/Founder, XOOX Licensing Company, Official NFL Licensee

CEO/Founder, WEFENSE Wellness (Holistic Alternative to Medicine)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

The Robert Griffith Foundation

In 1998, Robert Griffith founded the Robert Griffith Foundation with a simple purpose… To provide college scholarships to underprivileged high school seniors.  To date the Foundation has 36 graduates from colleges across the U.S. (San Diego State University, Michigan, Tulane, Stanford, West Point, Minnesota). The Foundation also provides a comprehensive array of youth development programs to empower its participants including mentoring, educational enrichment, organized sports and arts as well as cultural activities.

Robert Griffith also initiated the Viking Challenge which targets K-6th graders and challenges them in five areas of success: Responsibility, Non-Violence, Academic Improvement, Drug Abstinence and Alcohol Abstinence.

Merging Vets and Players

Merging Vets and Players (MVP) is a program designed to address challenges that many combat veterans and professional athletes face when transitioning their service / professional life towards a new mission in their civilian life. MVP creates an environment where they can share each other’s strength and experience, supporting each other in building fulfilling lives of service and strength. We work on what is between the ears and behind the rib cage. Through weekly physical fitness and peer-to-peer support sessions, MVP provides the foundation for vets and players to be empowered and live their best lives.

Investor / Board Member


CityTwig is a big data firm located in Newport Beach, CA.  We build proprietary AI and software that empowers organizations to efficiently integrate data, decisions and operations.


Databank.me is a blockchain company that employs a platform rewarding members with cryptocurrencies through a gamification scheme for aggregating their data and paving the way towards a universal basic data income. We are on a mission to empower people to take ownership of their data to create a better life.

Kensho Tech Labs

The Kensho team applies a sophisticated set of technological, blockchain, networking, governmental, energy and security skills that are crucial for executing a scalable software while leveraging blockchain technology to our profitable advantage.


CenSyn’s PenEEG ™and proprietary cloud software work together to enable 30-second EEG recordings. The hardware contains sensors to pick up electrical activity in the brain viewed in the CynSyn scope iOS app. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms allow for field diagnosis and long-term, time-based brain health tracking and management.


FantaZ is a dynamic new global E-Commerce platform that brings together three huge industries: technology, gaming and social networking through a unique blend of product promotion and profit potential. Focusing initially on the monetization of the exploding online gaming market and interactive esports industry, this social skill-game platform empowers its participants to play in legal cash tournaments. In the process, they directly benefit from their promotional efforts through a referral bonus program. FantaZ’s robust platform combines the best online skill games across all major platforms with a wide selection of casual interactive games. FantaZ is creating an outstanding online community by providing an unprecedented opportunity for participants around the world to compete for cash prizes and earn money by inviting their friends to PLAY, PROMOTE and PROFIT.

EndoCanna Health

EndoCanna Health Inc. located in Los Angeles, California has developed proprietary (EndoDNA ™) test kits and DNA Endocannabinoid genetic reports which analyze SNP’s, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, pronounced “SNIPS”, in DNA to detect biological similarities or differences among people. These SNPs identify and correlate the most up-to-date research for specific genotypes among Endocanna and customers.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2004 Browns Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2000 Pro Bowl
  • All-Pro 1998, 1999
  • 2000 Minnesota Vikings Man of the Year
  • 1999 Ed Block Courage Award
  • 1999 NFLPA Unsung Hero Award
  • 1998-2000 All Madden Team Selection
  • NFL Special Effort Award
  • Four time Viking Purple Helmet Defensive Player of the Year Award
  • Mount Miguel High School Hall of Fame

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The highlight for me is the EMBA Elective Course – Jesuit History and Leadership Culture – held in Spain. I am a proud member of Cohort 19! The strength, versatility and comprehensive ability of this group showed me how special we are. Getting to know personally my cohort (teammates) during our journey of retracing the Trek of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuits, was incredible, inspiring, and life-changing.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Professionally, it is hard to beat making the NFL in 1994 as an undrafted rookie.  After all of the hard work earning it every step of the way was extremely rewarding, vindicating and fulfilling. Changed me and my family’s life forever.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Sertan Kabadayi (Professor of Marketing) is my most compelling and favorite professor.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Director Francis Petit is the sole reason why I selected the Gabelli School of Business. He was hands-down the most compassionate and motivating factor for me to attend. Francis Petit is the Director of the EMBA and also serves as Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Partnerships at the Gabelli School of Business.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Significant teamwork! I have been a team captain in the NFL for 13 years leading men into battle against the world’s best for sport. I have never been a member of a group of women and men so diverse, motivated, skilled and determined to achieve success than my EMBA Cohort. It has been a life-changing experience that I will embrace forever.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Seek a growth mindset and open your eyes to what is unseen and possible. There lies the magic of elevating your inner person within your career and work-life balance to achieve ultimate satisfaction.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? I would say the mindset. It takes 22-23 months to change the way you think and your trajectory for your career and family growth. The myth is that this is not attainable to change/grow with an advanced degree in today’s climate. You don’t need it to make more money for your family, etc. It is exactly what is needed to “level up” to the demand of the changing world.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not engaging even more with my Cohort! I am a connector by nature, but being from California and the reception I received from the New York filled Cohort was nothing short of stellar. Building off the connectivity expressed is something that now it is over I wish I would have lent into even more. Making sure that I am an access point and resource to every single member is very important.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is a hard question to answer. The bond that I believe all members have has been absolutely amazing! I will have to say my classmates Mark Lofton and Julian Boddy, along with the most awesome Talonya Geary are most coveted.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? Work/life balance was the key factor. I could not lend myself to committing to a full-time program. As an entrepreneur of a couple of companies, I had to delegate time to make sure business was not declining.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Manage people more effectively for excellence and learn the necessary traits I am lacking to succeed in my professional entrepreneurial endeavors.

What made Robert such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Robert Griffith has overachieved during his athletic career.  He was a “walk on” football player at San Diego State. He was an undrafted NFL rookie who not only played in the NFL for thirteen seasons but also achieved much success.  He is a household name especially in the Minnesota area. Yet, with this as a background, he was just “another student” in our EMBA. His focus, along with his Cohort’s focus, was not his past and his professional NFL career. More specifically, it was about the present moment within the EMBA including the team projects, presentations and deliverables. As a member of his Cohort Robert made everyone better by his hard work, effort and positive spirit. Thank you, Robert!!”

Francis Petit, EdD
Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Partnerships
Fordham University
Gabelli School of Business


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