Fort Worth, TX

ECi Software Solutions (, a leader in industry-specific information technology solutions, today announced that former Philadelphia Eagles football player and the inspiration behind the award-winning Disney® film “Invincible,” Vince Papale, a.k.a. “The Oldest Rookie,” will be this year’s Connect Conference Keynote Speaker.

Vince Papale’s inspirational journey from humble working class beginnings and troubled home life to successful professional athlete and businessman to cancer survivor is a story that has inspired all audiences.  It is the story behind the film “Invincible,” starring Mark Wahlberg. Papale's professional football career began with the Aston Green Knights of the semi-pro Seaboard Football League. At that time, Papale was a teacher at Interboro High school and was coaching the junior varsity football team when he successfully tried out for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League as a wide receiver. His performance with the Bell earned him a meeting in 1976 with head coach Dick Vermeil of the Philadelphia Eagles and eventually a private workout.  Papale, at 6-feet 2-inches and 195 pounds, made the team, becoming, at age 30, the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL to play without the benefit of college football experience. He went on to play wide receiver and special teams for the Eagles from 1976 through 1979. He was voted Special Teams Captain by his teammates and "Man of the Year" by the Eagles in 1978 for his many charitable activities. Eagles fans have also dubbed Vince as the most outstanding special teams player in franchise history.

A cancer survivor, Vince was the 2007 recipient of the Lombardi Symbol of Caring Award for making extraordinary strides in encouraging cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. He continues to be a highly sought-after speaker on issues concerning cancer awareness and prevention.

“We are truly honored to have Vince Papale as our Keynote for Connect 2013,” said Ron Books, President and CEO of ECi Software Solutions. “His message of pursuing a personal dream fits perfectly with ECi’s mission of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of independent business owners. We are certain he will be an inspiration to everyone who attends the conference.”

The ECi Connect Conference 2013 will take place in Dallas, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion, September 24–26. The conference provides attendees intense training, access to technology vendors, and a chance to network with their peers. To learn more about Connect 2013, please visit the website.