Chairman, Republic Industries
Dutch American Heritage Award 1998 Recipient
Wayne Huizenga is Chairman of Republic Industries, Inc., a diversified service company. He is also Chairman of the company that owns the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, the Hyatt Pier 66 Resort and the Radisson Bahia Mar Resort and Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, Mr. Huizenga was Vice Chairman of the Board of Viacom, Inc. and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation. His personal investments include ownership of the National League’s Florida Marlins baseball team and the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and Pro Player Stadium (home of the Dolphins and the Marlins).
In January 1971, Mr. Huizenga co-founded Waste Management, Inc., which today is the world’s largest waste collection and disposal company. Mr. Huizenga directed his second company, Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, into a position of world leadership in its industry. In 1994 Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation was sold to Viacom for $8.5 billion.
Business and academic groups have honored him seven times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” including the 1995 award given by Success Magazine. He is a five time recipient of Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” and was named the 1993 “Business Leader of the Year” by Georgetown University’s Business School. Among his other awards are the Horatio Alger Award in 1992, and the Gordon Grand Fellow Award, the highest non-academic award the Yale University bestows. Mr. Huizenga also received the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel’s 1989 Excalibur Award for Business leadership. He was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame in 1991 and named Time-Billboard Magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1990 for his contributions to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Miami Sports Hall of Champions.
His community involvement honors include “Humanitarian of the Year” by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Greater Broward/Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives recognized him and his wife Marti as “Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year,” He was also honored by the Fort Lauderdale NAACP for his contributions to its programs.
Mr. Huizenga and his wife Marti live in Fort Lauderdale. They have four children: Wayne Jr., Ray, Scott, and Pam and three grandchildren, Savannah, Wayne III and Shelby. Mr. Huizenga’s great-grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Groningen, the Netherlands, in 1893. Recently Mr. Huizenga told his grandson what his grandfather told his father and his father told him:” Boy, you can do anything, you have Dutch genes in you!”