News Column

NSU Announces 2013 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductees

March 19, 2013

Cindy Kent

What does a human resource expert, a jet mechanics whiz and a yacht builder have in common? They're Nova Southeastern University's next Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductees.

Thomas H. Shea, chief executive officer, Right Management -- Florida/Caribbean, Armando Leighton, Jr. CEO/Founder, CRS Jet Spares and Felix S. Sabates, Jr. chairman, Trinity Yachts, LLC will be honored at Nova Southeastern University's H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship's 2013 Hall of Fame ceremony, at an invitation only event April 24 at the Signature Grand in Davie.

The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, established in 1990, honors the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs who contributed to the growth of a phenomenal entrepreneurial business, and have also demonstrated a willingness to contribute time, effort and financial resources to programs and activities that enhance the quality of life.

Shea was a human resources executive 1979 when he decided to launch his own company to assist laid-off workers. With his wife, Maureen, they opened Florida's first outplacement firm, working out of their home. Within two years, Right Management approached Shea about a partnership.

Active in the community, Shea has developed programs like Booming VOICES, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Broward and serves on boards such as the Florida Council of Economic Education and the Broward Workshop.

Leighton, Jr. grew up in Hialeah, where he attended Miami-Dade North Community College. He began his aviation career at the age of 13 when a neighbor offered to let him work after school and during holidays at his aviation company. In 1982, Leighton established his own company, Corporate Rotable & Supply, Inc., out of his family garage. The company has had 43,000-square-foot facility in Fort Lauderdale since 1991, and additionally, serves international customers through offices and distribution centers in London, Singapore and Brazil.

Leighton has served on the board of: Gilda's Club South Florida, Jack & Jill Children's Center, Museum of Discovery & Science, Broward College/ Aviation School, Broward Workshop and more.

Sabates, Jr. was born in Cuba and came to the United States at age 16. His first job was selling cars in Charlotte, NC. He was recruited to work for Top Sales Company, where he eventually bought the company, growing the business to more than $6 billion in sales.

He branched out into the yacht business, and is co-owner of International Yacht Collection, with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Monaco, Newport, Palm Beach, Nassau and Sint Maarten. He most recently entered the automobile dealership business, earning the award for #1 Mercedes dealership in the nation by JD Power.

Sabates is involved in recreation and sports, including being involved in NASCAR as an owner, as one of the original owners of Charlotte Hornets, and currently as part owner in the Charlotte Bobcats. He started the first indoor soccer league and was one of the initial investors in the World Football League.

Sabate's philanthropic causes have included the Boys and Girls Club of South Florida. He also served on the North Carolina State Banking Commission for seven years as a commissioner.. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from both Elon University and UNC.



Source: (c)2013 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.