Florida Panthers Owner, Vincent Viola, was nominated by President-Elect, Donald J. Trump to become the Security of the Army on Monday.
Prior to establishing a successful business career, Viola, a 1977 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer and served in the 101st Airborne. The nomination is subject to confirmation of the United States Senate. He has continued to remain engaged with national security issues since completing his military service obligations.
Trump said, “I am proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our Secretary of the Army.”
The PEOTUS continued, “Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge.”
Viola, the founder and executive chairman of Virtu Financial bought the Panthers on September 27, 2013. During the 2015-2016 National Hockey League season, the Panthers established franchise records in wins with 47 and points of 103. They also made it to the postseason for the fifth time in the history of their franchise.
Panther’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Caldwell said, “We are honored and humbled to see Mr. Viola nominated as the Secretary of the Army. We could not be more proud for Vinnie and his dedication to our country.”
Viola has designated current team Vice Chairman and Alternate Governor, Douglas Cifu to take over the role of Chairman and Governor for Sunrise Sports and Entertainment. The move is subject to approval by the NHL Board of Governors.
In a statement the NHL said, “We proudly congratulate Vincent Viola on his nomination to this important position, which pending Senate approval, obviously will require his full-time attention. The club has assured us that the day-to-day operations of the Panthers’ franchise will not be affected by this development, and we will certainly work closely with the club to ensure that is the case.”
The league went on to say, “Mr. Viola and team ownership have further advised that they remain completely committed to South Florida and the Panthers’ fans.”
Following the Senate confirmation, as well as the approval of the Board of Governors, the Panthers will be placed into a trust to be run by members of the Viola family and Cifu.
President of Hockey Operations, Dale Tallon said, “Our hockey team has always been proud to be part of Mr. Viola’s legacy. We admire his dedication to his country and are excited to watch him pursue this new endeavor.”
Cifu added, “As Vinnie’s long-time business partner and friend, I am humbled I am humbled by the commitment to service he is demonstrating by accepting this great nomination. While we all miss his leadership and guidance day to day, his mentorship over these many years has prepared me to take on this humbling responsibility with the Panthers and the NHL and I look forward to continuing his legacy and vision once he is confirmed.”