President/CEO – Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, Inc.
The lady behind the broadcast legends
Cheryl DeLeonardis is the founder and CEO of Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, with offices in Hollywood, FL. She has created two national events since opening her business in 2004 and produces a major event annually during Super Bowl Weekend, Legends for Charity® –The Pat Summerall Award.
Pat Summerall, renowned as a football and broadcast legend, received a life-saving organ transplant in 2004, in Jacksonville, FL. He agreed to let DeLeonardis, a woman small business owner, create and produce the luncheon honoring him in that same town ten months later during Super Bowl XXXIX. Summerall was so impressed with DeLeonardis’ talent; he agreed to let her name the award in his honor, thereby creating a new tradition during Super Bowl weekend.
In seven years, she has become highly respected throughout the event and sports industries and has raised millions of dollars for charities with her production skills. She has enlisted top network sports executives to lend their name to the Legends for Charity® event. The year 2006 elevated her status in the event industry when she was awarded her first two National Telly Awards. She was also nominated as a ‘Rising Star in the Event Planning Industry’ by Event Solutions Magazine, and in June of that same year she successfully nominated Lesley Visser of CBS Sports to become the first woman honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2009 she was honored with the prestigious South Florida Influential Business Woman of the Year Award. In 2011 she was awarded her first Silver Telly bringing her total to seven National Telly Awards for her video and event productions. In 2011 she was honored as one of the 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County, Florida and was selected as a finalist for the Prestigious WISE Woman of the Year Award in New York City.
DeLeonardis produced her first national event in San Diego during the week of Super Bowl XXXVII. The event honored the late Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Hank Stram, for his victory in Super Bowl IV. The next day, Stram was selected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During the week of Super Bowl XXXVIII, her honoree was Don Shula, who currently holds the record as the coach with the most wins in NFL history. Shula was honored in the city of Houston, the site of his second Super Bowl Victory 30 years before.
Under her sole direction, The Legends for Charity has been elevated to a star-studded evening event held annually on the Thursday before Super Bowl Sunday. Her trusted management style has earned her the faith of the NFL who selects her event to be the only charitable event held annually at their Headquarters Hotel. Her top level production skills have produced the tributes of today’s leading broadcasters as the recipients of the prestigious Summerall Award. The 2014 honoree is Michael Strahan. Past honorees have included James Brown, Greg Gumbel, Jim Nantz, Chris Berman, Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels and Archie Manning. In 2010 she became the first woman to honor an entire network with the NFL ON FOX. During the 2013 event in New Orleans, she successfully secured all three Manning Brothers to present the Summerall Award to their father in their hometown during Super Bowl Week.
DeLeonardis recognizes the power that sports can mean for communities. Her ability to create and produce a high-end program filled with video tributes and guest speakers has proved to be second-to-none. Her sincere approach has garnered some of the top on-air talent from CBS Sports, FOX Sports, and ESPN, who agreed to donate their time to participate in the Legends event.
In 2008 she created her second National Program – Marching for Hope®. She single-handedly created a program specifically designed for College Marching Bands to dedicate one halftime performance each year to raise money for The ALS Association. In two short years the program has grown from 2 marching bands to 18 marching bands.
Since opening Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, in addition to the Legends for Charity Dinner she has also produced the following events:
- A Night of Hope benefiting The Pulmonary Hypertension Center of New York – where she honored three of the 1969 Miracle Mets, Art Shamsky, Ron Swoboda and Cleon Jones.
- An Evening with The Legends in New York City benefiting The NFL Alumni Association honoring the 1958 New York Football Giants and The Greatest Game Ever Played.
- The Tony Segreto Retirement Dinner benefiting Nova Southeastern University
- The Glenn Anderson Memorial Golf Tournament benefiting The ALS Association
- A Night in Roma – an Italian Festival creating a vision of New York’s famous Mulberry Street
In November 2011, while continuing to build her event production business, she became a partner in eCredentials and Thought Development, Inc., two technology companies. She serves as the Director of Image and Communication.
Her deep passion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a long history. Prior to opening her company, DeLeonardis spent several years in the airline industry. During that time, as a volunteer, she created and spearheaded efforts for an event in South Florida, the “Night of Miracles” that raised more than a million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.