The birth of pro football began in Pittsburgh on November 2, 1892, when the Allegheny Athletic Association football team defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club at Recreation Park on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
William “Pudge” Heffelfinger, a three-time Yale All-America guard in 1889, 1890 and 1891 became the first professional football when he was paid $500.00 to play the game. Today, it is appropriately referred to as “pro football’s birth certificate”.
Pro Football Alumni, LLC is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city where the game of American professional football began. Pro Football Alumni, LLC provides access to the community of pro football alumni nationwide with a creative menu of both traditional and custom-designed corporate, personal and non-profit event opportunities.
Todd Kalis is an eight-year veteran of the National Football League, having played in over 100 games during his career with the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.
It was during Todd’s rookie season in 1988 with the Minnesota Vikings that he first began making appearances for both corporate and nonprofit events. Throughout his pro football career and even after retirement from the league, Todd enjoyed speaking about his personal journey to becoming a professional football player as well as the many stories that he experienced on the field, in the locker room and on the sideline.
In the late 1990’s Todd began his career in sales and business development. He soon realized that his experience from playing football would differentiate him from his competition and build an immediate bond with his customers. It also clearly illustrated to Todd why businesses have always had an interest in securing pro football talent to enhance any meeting or company event.
In June of 2000, Todd became youngest president of a local chapter of the NFL Alumni, when he was just thirty-five years old. In July of 2001, he launched his first Charity Golf Classic golf tournament. The event was not only the most successful NFL Alumni Pittsburgh chapter golf event, netting $202,000.00 for the United Way of Allegheny County, but it also was the most successful NFL Alumni chapter golf event ever, dating back to the first chapter tournament in 1979. Between the years of 2001-2016 the Pittsburgh chapter golf tournament produced over $2.4 million net for charity, and was recognized as the most successful NFL charity golf classic in the country.
In 2002 Todd became the youngest member of the Board of Directors of the NFL Alumni National Office, and in 2003 the youngest Vice Chairman of the Board Directors and Chairman of the Board of Chapter Presidents of the NFL Alumni.
In 2005, Todd launched the Pittsburgh chapter’s first Klays for Kids sporting clays team challenge charity event. Due to its success, it also quickly gained the recognition as being the NFL Alumni’s most successful sporting clays event in the country.
For the past 16 years Todd has hosted the local NFL Alumni golf event and has built relationships with numerous Hall of Fame, Steeler and other pro football alums from around the country.
In 2002 and 2003 Todd co-hosted a cable TV talk show with John Fedko on Monday nights called the Steelers Huddle. It was a live and allowed viewers to call in and ask a current Pittsburgh Steeler questions about the most recent game they had just played in. It allowed Todd an opportunity to build relationships with the then current roster of Pittsburgh Steeler football players.
Celebrity Speakers & Talent
In 2007 Todd established Celebrity Speakers and Talent LLC. It was originally created to help organize and coordinate his own speaking and appearance opportunities but eventually grew to include other pro football alumni. Events included everything from charity events to corporate keynote speaking. Some of the players that were secured for events included Franco Harris, Mel Blount, Rocky Bleier, Andy Russell, Merril Hoge, Chris Hoke, and Robin Cole.
In 2010 Todd co-authored the book Pigskin Dreams – The People, Places and Events that Forged the Character of the NFL’s Greatest Players with Dr. Stephen Below. The book is a collection of stories based on personal interviews conducted by Todd highlighting the early influences that helped develop the character of some of the greatest Pro Football Hall of Fame football players. Bobby Bell, Mel Blount, Dick Butkus, Larry Csonka, Len Dawson, Dan Dierdorf, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Franco Harris, Deacon Jones, Leroy Kelly, Paul Krause, Howie Long, Anthony Munoz, Ozzie Newsome, Merlin Olsen, Mel Renfro, Mike Singletary, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Kellen Winslow and Steve Young. Foreword by Don Shula; additional support provided by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Garth Brooks, Art Rooney II, Bob Costas and then H.J. Heinz Company CEO Bill Johnson.
Pro Football Alumni
Pro Football Alumni has evolved from Todd’s personal experience as a pro football alumnus, celebrity speaker, booking agent, television co-host, philanthropist and author. Our goal is to provide every client access to their favorite pro football alumni to create a memory that will last a lifetime!