SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – As President-elect Donald Trump continues to fill his cabinet, a familiar name to South Florida sports fans has been added to the list.
It was announced by Trump on Monday that he will nominate Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola to serve as Secretary of the Army.
“I am proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our Secretary of the Army,” Trump said in a statement. “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. He is a man of outstanding work ethic, integrity, and strategic vision, with an exceptional ability to motivate others.”
Viola is a graduate of West Point and a veteran in the U.S. Army, trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and serving in the 101st Airborne Division.
“It is an honor to be nominated to serve our country,” Viola said.
He has also been very successful in business, founding multiple high-value companies including Virtu Financial.
In 2013 he successfully purchased the Panthers and has spearheaded the team’s turnaround from a listless franchise to a division champion.
“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,” said Panthers President and CEO Matthew Caldwell.
Viola has identified co-owner Doug Cifu to step into his role as Chairman and Governor of Sunrise Sports and Entertainment.
Cifu currently serves as Vice Chairman and Alternate Governor.
“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,” said President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon.
During the summer, Trump used the Florida Panthers’ Eastern Airlines 737 for his presidential campaign.