Emmanuel appears in the Top 100
Innovators & Entrepreneurs magazine
As a child, Emmanuel Glaze would peer through the fence of the Augusta National Golf Club to watch the sport’s greatest athletes compete in the Masters Tournament. Like so many kids from low-income families in Lincolnton, Georgia, the elite confines were forbidden to him, and Emmanuel yearned to see what was on the other side of the fence. His determination to do so and his passion for sports would drive him through a decades-long career as a football coach, TV host for the Next Level Sports and Entertainment Network, and the founder of two thriving media enterprises—The Crush Sports Network and OTV Media LLC. With CSN’s growing popularity as a highly respected network in Atlanta—over 10,000 listeners in just six years—and OTV’s swelling roster of guests across sports, business, and entertainment, Emmanuel’s status as a business leader and entrepreneur is well established. But with all his success, he was on a bigger mission—to use his experience to give youths the opportunities he never had.
In 2019, he founded Optimize The Vizion, a nonprofit dedicated to helping uplift kids across the Atlanta metro area by exposing them to the countless opportunities and possibilities the world can provide—all free of charge. With participation from the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia State Football, CBS, and a growing number of local and national businesses, leaders, and sports teams, nearly 20 youths from sixth to twelfth grade are seeing a vast horizon of possibilities for a brighter future. Through him, they see that dreams can indeed become a reality, and the “other side” of the fence is theirs for the taking.
We sat down with Emmanuel to learn more about his organization and his mission to lift up younger generations.
What inspired you to start Optimize the Vizion?
I had worked with youths for 18 years, and was a middle school football coach for 10. I had played sports in school and would go to Falcons games and see professionals working with the team on the sidelines. I thought, “Who are they? I want to be one of them.” In 2018, I was interviewing Tiger Woods at East Lake Golf Club after his Tour Championship victory. I noticed hardly any local kids there, and I knew that I could change this. I combined my coaching and sports radio experience to form the organization six months later.
Tell us a bit more about the organization.
We work with high school, college, and professional sports teams and programs, as well as businesses, to expose youths to the career possibilities that they might not otherwise know about. When they see the professionals behind the teams, they realize they don’t have to be a football player to work in sports. When they see the sound engineers at Patchwerk Recording Studios or meet the executives at the local news station, they realize they don’t have to be a rock star or TV celebrity to work in those fields. There is no charge to join or participate in the events. We handle food, tickets, and transportation.
What has the feedback been from students, parents, and businesses and teams?
It’s been phenomenal. The program was created for middle-schoolers, but the students asked that it include high school because of all the wonderful things we’ve been doing. The parents are so happy that they play a big part as chaperones and advocates, and the businesses and teams have enjoyed our students so much, we’ve worked with them on multiple occasions. The Falcons were so gracious, letting us speak with their marketing and advertising teams.
Why is it important for business and community leaders to lift up younger generations?
Because children really are our future, and if you show them people like us, successful people, you can show them what they can be. We have 16 students—“Vizionaries”—in our program, and if you can get 16 people to believe in themselves and a bright future, you hope that each one can affect 16 more, and then it will spread. As leaders, together, we can change lives one person at a time.
With two flourishing media companies, you are clearly a leader who has walked the walk. Tell us about The Crush Sports Network and OTV Media, LLC.
CSN is a sports talk network that I started seven years ago with my partner, Maceo Heard, Jr., and I’m also the co-host. I’m just ecstatic that it’s become so popular. OTV Media creates healthy, exciting conversations on sports, business, entertainment, etc., and airs on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Since starting in 2020, we’ve interviewed over 80 professionals from across the country. Each program is built to create a positive influence in the communities we serve.
Founder & CEO — Optimize The Vizion
LinkedIn: Emmanuel Glaze / Optimize The Vizion
Facebook: Emmanuel R Glaze/ Optimize The Vizion/ OTV Media Network/The Crush Sports Talk
Instagram: EGlazeOTV / OptimizeTheVizion / OTVMediaNetwork /The Crush Sports Talk