Strategic Property Partners
Co-Chair, Transportation Working Group
Jeff Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2010, promising a comprehensive transformation of the franchise while pledging to make a significant positive impact in the Tampa Bay community. Upon acquiring the Lightning, Vinik, now 57, vowed to make the organization “world-class,” creating an unrivaled fan experience while putting together a team of which Tampa Bay sports fans would be proud, on and off the ice.
Six years later, the Lightning are recognized nationally as one of the top organizations in North American professional sports, having appeared in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Final three times (2011, 2015, 2016), advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. In executing his plan to bring a world class franchise to life in Tampa Bay, Vinik has invested more than $70 million in private funding into the publicly-owned Amalie Arena to create a guest-first facility recognized as one of the finest in the NHL. Additionally, under the umbrellas of the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, Vinik and his wife Penny have invested more than $20 million in Tampa Bay area charities through a variety of programs and donations, the most notable being the Lightning Community Heroes program.
The Lightning’s success under Vinik has coincided with the emergence of a development company, Strategic Property Partners (SPP), LLC and its plan to develop nearly 60 acres in downtown Tampa’s south core. SPP, a partnership between Vinik and Cascade Investment, LLC of Kirkland, Washington, is expecting to deliver approximately $3 billion in investment to reinvent the blocks surrounding Amalie Arena into a walkable 24-7 live, work play and stay wellness district. Construction of phase one is scheduled to begin in 2017 and it will include a School of Medicine for the University of South Florida, corporate office buildings, a hotel, residences, retail, restaurants, entertainment and improved infrastructure.
Vinik and Penny have served as the chairs of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball and Pavilion XXX, the signature gala for the Tampa Museum of Art. The family has also directly contributed to several local non-profits, including the Florida Aquarium, Tampa Museum of Art, the United Way of Suncoast, Metropolitan Ministries and Tampa Preparatory School. Vinik is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors, and he serves on the Boards of Directors for The Florida Council of 100, Enterprise Florida, and West Florida Health, a partnership between Tampa General Hospital and Florida Hospital. He was recently named a visiting faculty member in the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business.
After growing up in New Jersey and attending high school at Riverdale Country School in New York City, Vinik graduated from Duke University (1981) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Economics. He went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1985.
He and Penny reside in South Tampa and have four children: Danny, Jared, Kyra and Joshua.