The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council will recognize business and academic excellence during the 50th anniversary Pacemaker Awards Friday, April 19, at the Inverness Country Club.
The 2013 recipient of the Business Pacemaker Award is Joseph D. Napoli, president/general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club and Toledo Walleye Hockey Club.
“Joseph Napoli’s highly successful career, community involvement and outstanding leadership make him the ideal business professional to receive this year’s Pacemaker Award,” said Dr. Thomas Sharkey, interim dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation. “The Toledo Mud Hens are recognized around the world, and Joe’s generosity and personal involvement in various projects, such as Great Lakes Center for Autism and the Boys Scouts of America, produce meaningful results in our own community.”
Sharkey added, “From Stephen Stranahan to Robert Savage, Harold McMaster to Richard P. Anderson, the recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a who’s who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region. As the college’s highest honor, the Pacemaker Award recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community and the University.”
Marianne Ballas, winner of the 2011 Business Pacemaker Award, said, “Winning the Pacemaker Award is a great honor, and I am very proud to be a part of the history of this prestigious award. Previous awardees are some of the most successful and admired business people in our region.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Napoli graduated from St. John’s University in New York City. Upon graduation, he joined Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust in the Big Apple. After a brief career in banking, Joe’s 20-year career in sports began in Canton, Ohio, with the Canton Indians, the Double-A club of the Cleveland Indians. In the early 1990s, he moved to Toledo to work for the Mud Hens before spending several years working for the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Tigers.
Napoli returned to Toledo to develop Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo, and later he became part of the development team for the Toledo Walleye and Huntington Center. The Hens and Walleye have been recognized and awarded for organizational excellence by Minor League Baseball and the ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League), respectively.
He serves the community on the boards of ProMedica Health System, Toledo Children’s Hospital and the Toledo Symphony. He and his wife, Annette, are raising their five children in Toledo.
Academic Excellence Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service, and leadership.
The 2013 student Pacemakers are: Applied Organizational Technology — Stacie Novelli; Accounting — Cassandra Wenman and Tracy Lester; Finance — Zachary Buckland and Derrick Jones; Information Operations Technology Management — Timothy Schloz and Jeffrey Williams; Marketing and International Business — Kelsea Kiene and Sarah Hess; Management — Alvin Fletcher Jr. and Emily Henzler; MBA — Nicholas Fasciana; PhD — Prashanth Anekal; and Dean’s Office — Paige Stiriz.