Life 101…Personally Speaking is an educational yet informal interview program hosted on the campus of Nova Southeastern University.
H. Wayne Huizenga is Chairman of Huizenga Holdings, Inc., a private money management firm, and is the sole or majority owner of several service businesses. He has numerous real estate interests throughout Florida that include office buildings, warehouses, shopping centers, marinas and underdeveloped real estate acreage.
Mr. Huizenga has had an unprecedented business career as an entrepreneur. He is the only person in America to be responsible for six companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and to have founded three Fortune 500 companies. He created Waste Management, Inc., the global leader in the waste industry, as well as the third largest U.S. waste disposal company, Republic Services. Additionally, he was the CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment, the global leader in video entertainment; and the founder of AutoNation, Inc., the country’s first and world’s largest public automotive dealership. He was also founder of Boca Resorts, Inc., an owner and operator of luxury resorts in South Florida, and co-founder of Extended Stay America, which operated in the lodging industry in many areas around the United States.
Mr. Huizenga was responsible for bringing Major League Baseball to South Florida in 1993, serving as Chairman of the Florida Marlins through 1998, and under his direction the Marlins won the World Series in 1997. He also brought the National Hockey League to South Florida, serving as Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Panthers for the first eight years (1993-2001) of that team’s existence, including the 1995-96 season when they reached the Stanley Cup finals. Mr. Huizenga owns the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and Dolphins Stadium.
Mr. Huizenga’s numerous entrepreneurial achievements were recognized by the Horatio Alger Association who presented him with their top honor, along with Henry Kissinger and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Business and academic groups have honored Mr. Huizenga seven times as “Entrepreneur of the Year.” In 2004 he received the Ernst & Young United States Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and in 2005 he was honored with the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
He is a five-time recipient of Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” and was named the “Business Leader of the Year” by Georgetown University’s Business School. Among Mr. Huizenga’s other awards are the Yale University’s Gordon Grand Fellow Award, the highest non-academic award bestowed by the school, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s International Entrepreneur of the Year. He is a member of Nova Southeastern University’s Board of Trustees and recently provided the resources to establish the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at the University. He has been inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater Miami Sports Hall of Champions and the Broward County Hall of Fame.
Mr. Huizenga’s community involvement has included membership in many civic organizations, including the Florida Council of 100, the Florida Council on Economic Education, the Salvation Army of Broward County and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County.
Mr. Huizenga (67) and wife, Marti, live in Fort Lauderdale. They have four children: Wayne, Jr., Ray, Scott and Pam and eight grandchildren.