Tampa Bay Devil Rays chairman
Vincent J. Naimoli and Thomas Financial Group founder/CEO Rick Thomas received
the Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida Award at UT’s winter
Commencement on Dec. 17.
The C.H.I.E.F. Award is the highest honor
presented by the President’s Council of Independent Colleges and Universities of
Florida, the leadership of Florida independent higher education, and is bestowed
only upon distinguished individuals who represent the greatest support of
independent higher education in Florida. Previous award winners with ties to The
University of Tampa include the late Ross Parker, Gov. Bob Martinez, and Van and
A Notre Dame graduate who has held top positions at 11
corporations, Naimoli is best known as the person who secured Tampa Bay’s
long-awaited Major League Baseball franchise in 1995. A long-time supporter of
UT, he has served the University as trustee and chairman of the board. The
Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy in UT’s John H. Sykes College of
Business is named in his honor.
Thomas played on Coach Fran Curci’s 10-1
Spartan football team in 1970. He graduated in 1972, and has remained involved
with the University ever since. He is a past president of the National Alumni
Association, served on the board of trustees for more than two decades, and sits
on the advisory board of the Sykes College of Business. The Thomas Parking
Garage on the University campus is named in his honor.
information, contact the Office of Public Information at email@example.com
or (813) 253-6232.