Andre Spivey, 39
Andre Spivey is an ideas guy.
As the owner of both Tampa Bay Fury basketball team and security firm SecNetX, among other roles, Spivey doesn’t stop. When he gets an idea, he runs with it.
After attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Spivey served in the United States Air Force for eight years. With a background in IT and technology, Spivey was ready to put his knowledge to use once his service ended. “I’ve always been a person who tinkers with things,” he says.
Out of the Air Force, Spivey founded a company called Live 2 Learn Differently Inc. The business developed educational apps for autistic children. His drive behind the company was close to his heart. “My son was on the spectrum and he learned through games,” Spivey says. “It helped him be more social.”
Spivey soon got another idea: a company that manages security for small businesses. With that, SecNetX was born. But the ideas don’t stop flowing there.
In 2019, Spivey brought a men’s professional basketball team to the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Fury is in the American Basketball Association, a new version of the original league after it merged with the NBA in 1976.
Spivey saw this as a chance to connect two different aspects of his life together: his love for both basketball and technology. “Any time I can take the opportunity to connect science and technology to sports,” he says, “I take it.”
One thing about Spivey is he learns all that he can when he gets an idea. Shortly after the Fury became a part of Tampa, Spivey was an intern for both the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers during back-to-back summers to learn all he could about running a professional basketball organization. The biggest takeaway was learning to listen to every single person in the organization.
“Everyone knows Steph Curry is important,” Spivey says, “but not everyone knows Susie or Mike who’s bringing the food down.”
Not every idea Spivey thinks of is a winner. That’s what his mentor and wife Joscelyn Spivey is there for. “She’s extremely good at keeping me grounded,” he says.
When the Fury’s ticket sales didn’t do very well the first season, for example, Joscelyn reminded him to keep the focus on the fans. “She humbles me.”
Growing up in a rough neighborhood, Spivey watched as his mom worked hard as a secretary for large corporations. That’s his motivation behind every idea.
“I have to get out of this neighborhood and get into these companies,” he remembers thinking. “Seeing where I was and never wanting to be there again.”
And now he has the motivation to prevent other children from having to go through that. “Starting companies and creating jobs is how you do that,” he says. “The world is open, if you view it as open.”
— Amanda Postma
Employer: Tampa Bay Fury Inc./Rooms To Go
Title: Owner of Tampa Bay Fury Inc./Incident Response Rooms To Go
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana
Years in the area: 11
Marital Status/Children: Married with three sons
Alma Mater/Degree: Morris Brown College/Organizational Management
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Nzuri Birth Village
Are you working from the company office, home office or hybrid? Hybrid
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Or the weirdest task you've ever been assigned? Flipping burgers at FatBurger, weirdest task was creating a burger with everything on it, no bun.
What's your top tip for being productive? Get sleep and think random thoughts.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Traveling and exploring space.
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Reading and walking
What's the most significant item on your life bucket list — and what's keeping you from completing it? Visiting space, technology, time and funding.
What's your favorite podcast? Swerve City Podcast
At what percentage on your phone do you start to get Low Battery Anxiety? 15
What are the top three apps used on your smartphone? Kindle, Gmail, Facebook
What books are you reading now? Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
What's your go-to music genre, band or act to be inspired? Hip hop, Tupac Shakur
Who would play you in the movie of your life? Daniel Kaluyaa
Where is your happy place? The ocean, or river
Describe yourself in three words: Calm, focused and weird
Who is your mentor for your career and why? Joscelyn Spivey, she is a taskmaster, versus my idealism.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? I have learned that although many are initially sold on an ideal, their commitment may waiver when plans are not clear over time. Continuous planning and re-adjusting the plans is necessary.