Tampa business leader and philanthropist Jeff Vinik has already made friends at USF for his proposed plan to donate land near Channelside to the downtown medical school. In his lecture in the Muma College of Business Atrium on Thursday, he will give students some insight into his success.
Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Storm, plans to discuss three elements related to his career: sports, business and philanthropy.
According to Associate Professor and Associate Program Director Michael Mondello, the Muma College of Business hopes to build better relationships with high-profile executives in the business field, which Mondello said they believe Vinik is. Moez Limayem, dean of the Muma College of Business, will award Vinik with an honorary professor position.
The New Jersey native began his career in investing, averaging 17 percent annual returns in the 90s for the Fidelity Magellan Fund before founding Vinik Asset Management LP. Vinik left the investment industry in 2010 when he moved to Tampa to discover new opportunities.
Since then, the Duke University and Harvard Business School alumnus has contributed to Tampa’s Amalie Arena and the surrounding area significantly. He poured more than $60 million into the area shortly after purchasing the Lightning in 2011, according to an article in the Tampa Business Journal.
Vinik emphasizes the role of the community in building the city of Tampa. Vinik has pledged $10 million to local charities through the Lightning Community Hero program, according to an article by the New York Times. The Community Hero program highlights a local hero and donates “$50,000 to a non-profit charity of his or her choice,” according to the Tampa Bay Lightning website.
Vinik’s latest vision is a rejuvenation of Tampa’s Channelside district. The proposed expansion includes “nearly three million square feet with three new office and hotel towers, USF’s medical school, 500 residential units and 5,000 additional parking spaces,” according to a press release.
The now sold-out crowd will consist of students, faculty and business leaders from within the community. The lecture will begin at 3:30 p.m.