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UT Alumnus and Motion Picture Leader Says Values and Leadership Are Key

Published: November 02, 2009

Paul B. Heth is credited for revitalizing Russian cinema although the University of Tampa alumnus said it was just circumstance that lead to opportunity.

“I wasn’t the best student but I did like going to the movies,” said Heth ‘90, general director of Rising Star Media and chairman and CEO of Soquel Ventures.

Heth will speak Nov. 2 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at UT’s Reeves Theater in the Vaughn Center along with Shari E. Redstone, president of National Amusements Inc., a Massachusetts-based theater chain, and vice chair of the board of directors of Viacom and CBS Corp.

Heth and Redstone co-founded CineBridge Ventures in the U.S., building next generation multiplexes, and Rising Star Media, which invests in the expanding Russian motion picture and theatrical exhibition sector. The business partners will speak on “Media in the New Global Marketplace.”

Heth said the leadership development, values and global perspective he received from UT’s professors made a real impact on him, and through circumstance and hard work, he has become a leader in the motion picture exhibition, production and media sector in Russia and the U.S. for the last 15 years.

“I appreciated being around other people who got you thinking outside of your own little life,” said Heth, a history major, who enjoyed having professors from Chile and Europe who “broadened my horizons and thinking. I got a good foundation of values and leadership.”

Heth worked with the men’s basketball team as manager and student assistant and was in ROTC. He later served as an enlisted soldier and then an officer in the U.S. Army.

As a UT student he was exposed to Hungary while working on a business project and because of it, his path lead him to Russia where “circumstance lead to opportunity,” Heth said.

Coming back to his alma matter, Heth said he wants students to know that values and leadership development are the best things to learn as an undergraduate.

“My message to students is to stand by your convictions. There is always an opportunity,” Heth said. “With a good knowledge base, you can go after whatever you want if you have the conviction and effort.”

The presentation is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. John Wilson, co-anchor of the WTVT-Fox 13 news and producer of the Emmy-winning weekly commentary “My View,” will moderate. A reception will follow the presentation.


By Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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