Anderson and Williams, Companion Medalists, join Huizinga Jr. for American Free Enterprise Day, a PBAU Tradition
The words of a house painter have remained with H. Wayne Huizenga Jr., a South Florida businessman whose family’s business interests have included such giant names as the Miami Dolphins, the Florida Marlins, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation.
Upon receiving Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2011 American Free Enterprise Medal on Monday, Huizenga issued a challenge to the hundreds of students in attendance — a challenge similar to the one that the painter gave him more than a decade earlier.
“God has given you a platform here at school as a student, and in your business careers, as husbands, as wives, as mothers and fathers,” he said. “What will you do with your platform? Make it count. Show others that we are all going to serve somebody, but that in order to truly be free, we must serve the most loving and gracious master of all. Only then can we realize our God-given talents.”
Huizenga, president of Huizenga Holdings, Inc. and chairman of the board of the West Palm Beach-based super yacht facility Rybovich, spoke to the gathering of students, faculty and business leaders, including his famous father, H. Wayne Huizenga Sr., in the University’s Rubin Arena. Earlier in the program, U.S. Rep. Allen West led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Huizenga told the audience that it was in November 11 years ago that he gave his heart to Christ “and really began to achieve true freedom,” he said.
He said others began to notice a transformation in him. “This award today further validates and enforces that I am running the race, and that I am winning so far,” he said.
About six months after he came to know the Lord, he said, he had a life-changing encounter with a man named Eduardo who was working as a painter in his home. He said the man told him he’d had a dream that he wanted to share with him.
The man led Huizenga through a demonstration involving two quarters. When Huizinga held the quarters between his fingers and held them up to his eyes as instructed, he couldn’t see what was beyond them, he said. As long as you look past the money, you will be able see and hear Jesus clearly and, more importantly, he will be able to use you, he recalled the painter saying.
“God wants you to use your platform to influence the world for Him, and to share who He is with those who might not otherwise hear,” Huizenga said the man told him.
In addition to his business ventures, Huizenga is involved with such charitable organizations as the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County and the Christian Community Foundation of South Florida, an organization he founded.
PBA’s American Free Enterprise Day celebration honors those who are committed to such principles as hard work and service to others. Three other business leaders received companion medals during Monday’s ceremony:
Michael J. Bracci, president of Northern Trust for Palm Beach and Martin counties. He is responsible for all private banking and investment operations in the bank’s six offices.
Clay Williams and Robert Anderson, co-founders of Forte Interactive, a privately held web software development company that has served the nonprofit and business communities in South Florida for more than 12 years. Anderson is a graduate of PBA.
As the Chief Operating Officer of Forte Interactive, Slade leads marketing, operations, human resources, and product development, while overseeing a staff of Millennial employees.
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