2017 ESF College & Medical Scholarship Awards Recipients

Epilepsy Services Foundation; Creating a Better Future and Environment For Persons Affected By Epilepsy

The Epilepsy Services Foundation has been selflessly serving the Tampa Bay community for 44 years by offering programs and services designed to increase the understanding of epilepsy, promoting dialogue between persons with epilepsy, families and others dealing with the impact of this medical condition and by raising funds to provide scholarships for kids and teens affected by this chronic medical condition.

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  Lightning Owner, Jeffrey Vinik

Mr. Vinik's Vision for Downtown Tampa

Born on March 22, 1959, everyone knew Jeffrey Vinik was going to be special, but I doubt they really knew just how incredible this New Jersey native would turn out to be.

Mr. Vinik took the financial industry by storm by becoming the most prominent mutual fund manager when he led Fidelity Magellan in the 1990s. He made millions of dollars by taking chances on depreciated assets and after turning 50, he decided he wanted to make a change. 

Jeffrey told his wife Penny he had made the decision to buy a hockey team. Although shocked, Penny supported her husband’s decision, then Mr. Vinik did what made him a wealthy man: He did research.

He read books on sports management, spoke to team owners around the country, met with N.H.L. Commissioner Mr. Bettman and even used Google to search “How to buy a hockey team.” When Jeff was ready in March 2010, he turned off the lights in his Boston office and became the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that had won a Stanley Cup but sadly also had a parade of owners. This time was going to be different. 

Shortly after Mr. Vinik’s purchase of the Lightning, he began acquiring property surrounding Amalie Arena, where his hockey team plays. The area, once industrial, is now mostly parking lots and downtown waterfront property, and Mr. Vinik has big plans for the 30-acre block. 

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