The 2009 Power 100: Business Profile

Lamell McMorris

Lamell McMorris

Lamell McMorris makes his move.

At first glance, Perennial Strategy Group founder Lamell McMorris, could be mistaken for just another high-powered lawyer and lobbyist that occupy the busy downtown blocks surrounding the White House. A closer look reveals a self-starter whose passion for justice, equality and empowerment has brought him to the negotiation table on behalf professional sports’ top unions and prominent Fortune 500 companies, turned him into a top sports and entertainment agent (a rarity in this town), and made him a rising star on the city’s rapidly changing social scene.

McMorris’ desire to effect change dates back to a city-wide walkout of Chicago schools he led as a teenager and has known no limits since – as a young entrepreneur, he started Perennial Strategy Group on his own in 2002. With just a telephone and a desk, he used his connections and networking to meet others and further the business. After a phone call from a friend who was an NBA referee, McMorris and Perennial were brought on as representation for the NBA Referees Unions and Perennial Sports and Entertainment was born.

Soon after, Perennial began bringing on athletes as clients as well, managing their day-to-day affairs. But, reverting back to his roots, McMorris wanted to work with goal-oriented professionals looking to achieve their personal dreams in addition to contributing to society – NFL players and Perennial clients Kris Jenkins and Leigh Torrence, for example, have started their own foundations with Perennial’s help. “In a business that has been overcome by recruiting scandals and the greed of athletes and agents,” he says, “Being a Perennial client is not about receiving the biggest paycheck possible, it is about leveraging success and creating a fulfilling life.”

That mix of work meets play-for-a-cause was evident when the Perennial family of businesses hosted “Party with a Purpose 2008” at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and during the inaugural when Perennial Sports and Entertainment hosted “Artists and Athletes for a Cause.” Held at the House of Sweden in Georgetown, Perennial made financial contributions to Ne-Yo’s Compound Foundation as well as the Carmelo Anthony foundation. Indeed, in a town of power players, McMorris is proving that the rules of the game can change just as fast as the players themselves.

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