Paterson native and NJIT alumnus, Vincent J. Naimoli, a successful businessman who went on to found the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, has now written his life story, Business, Baseball & Beyond.
Naimoli will be at NJIT on Dec. 3, 2009, from 10:45 a.m.- 12:45 p.m., in the Campus Center for an exclusive book signing. The public is invited to this special event for which the book’s purchase price has been discounted to $20 one book; $35 for two.
The privately-printed book (StarGroup International, 2009) recounts Naimoli’s life growing up in a poor Paterson neighborhood. Anyone who also rose from humble beginnings will smile reading about the author’s first job—an afternoon newspaper route for the former Paterson Evening Times, making three cents per customer a week.
Naimoli quickly moved beyond newspaper routes. Armed with mechanical engineering degrees from University of Notre Dame and NJIT as well as an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, he made his way to the top of the corporate business ladder through a string of top management engineering jobs. Around 1983, he stepped into a role that changed his life—ownership of his own company, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, a spin-off of Ohio-based Anchor Hocking Glass.
When he took over the company, it was in bad shape. But eventually by moving the company to Florida and gaining the help of dedicated employees, he turned it around and sold it several years later. The unbelievable success of the once-struggling Anchor Glass established Naimoli’s name as arguably one of the top turn-around specialists in the US. He spent the next few years working with his long-time friend--Newark’s own Ray Chambers of Wesray Capital Corporation—to shape up other failing organizations.
The book’s title, however, doesn’t derive from this corporate career. As any baseball fan knows, Vince Naimoli is the man who brought major league baseball to Tampa. How did this happen? In the mid-1990s, Naimoli stepped up to the plate to help Tampa resurrect their baseball stadium. With a real stadium, Naimoli was finally able to attract a team to the city. The eventual success of the Tampa Bay Rays was achieved, not only thanks to Naimoli’s corporate know-how, but what Naimoli calls his “never give up” philosophy. As fans know, the Bay Rays made it to the World Series two years ago.
At NJIT, Naimoli has participated in advisory groups and fund-raising initiatives. He is a member of the Board of Overseers. At NJIT’s 2009 commencement ceremony, the university conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. He received NJIT’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2007.
Naimoli has received community-service honors and is involved in many charitable projects, including a program to revive baseball in the inner cities and the establishment of the Tampa Bay Rays of Hope Foundation. He is also the recipient of the first Bridging the Bay Award (1996). Naimoli graduated from NJIT in 1962 with an MS in mechanical engineering. He also holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.