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Palm Beach Atlantic University will present its American Free Enterprise Medal to Leo A. Vecellio, Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Vecellio Group, Inc., a privately held company in its fourth generation of family-owned leadership, with substantial highway, mining and petroleum operations throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states and beyond.
The medal ceremony is set for 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in the Rubin Arena of the Greene Complex for Sports & Recreation, 1100 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. The ceremony is free and open="open" to the public. For more information, call (561) 803-2025.
Leo A. Vecellio, Jr. grew up in the family business, founded in 1938 by his father, grandfather and uncle as road contractor Vecellio & Grogan. He joined the company in 1973 after earning degrees in civil engineering and construction management from Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and gaining four years of international project management experience as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Vecellio was instrumental in the company’s continued growth and expansion into new markets and industries, especially in Florida, transforming the already successful business into the large-scale, multi-faceted operations of today. The Vecellio Group’s extensive construction operations place it among America’s Top 400 contractors and among the Top 50 in transportation construction, as ranked by Engineering News-Record.
Interstate work alone has included over 1,000 miles of new or upgraded highway lanes, in contracts exceeding $1.1 billion through 2014, as well as extensive road construction, site preparation and asphalt paving work for states, local municipalities and the private sector.
The Vecellio Group also owns and operates one of the largest limestone mining sites in the country and, through its energy division, owns and operates petroleum terminals in multiple states, with more than 2.2 million barrels of total capacity.
While this growth and diversification are a testament to Vecellio’s business acumen, his influence and leadership extend well into numerous industry and charitable organizations as well.
In West Virginia, Vecellio was a founder and first president of the Flexible Pavements Council, and is active in the state’s Contractors Association. He is also a founder of Floridians for Better Transportation and serves on Florida’s “Council of 100.” He is active in the Florida Transportation Builders Association and, since 1998, among the leadership team of its national counterpart, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
Over the years, Vecellio has been honored with inclusion in Virginia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni and its Academy of Engineering Excellence, Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, and the West Virginia Academy of Civil Engineers.
The FTBA inducted Vecellio into its Hall of Fame in 2012, a year that also saw him receive ARTBA’s Nello L. Teer, Jr. Award for his outstanding contributions to both the association and the industry.
In 2013, Vecellio received the ARTBA Award, the association’s highest honor, for his many decades of service to the industry. Bestowed upon governors, senators, representatives, secretaries of transportation and other private-sector leaders over the years, the ARTBA Award also recognized the Vecellio Group’s support of the association’s “Transportation Makes America Work” advocacy campaign, along with many other industry and charitable activities.
For Vecellio and his wife, Kathryn, philanthropy has always been close to the heart. The Vecellio Family Foundation, established in 1973, has provided more than $3 million in college scholarships, while supporting many other educational, civic and charitable causes.
The couple’s two sons, Christopher and Michael, joined the Group in 2002 after completing their graduate studies. Vecellio has guided their growth as the fourth generation of family-owned leadership, positioning the Group for many more years of success.
American Free Enterprise Day is a tradition at Palm Beach Atlantic since the first celebration took place in 1984. Previous medal recipients include Arthur L. Williams, Jr., A.L. Williams & Associates, 2014; Tim Gannon, a co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc., 2013; Brian P. Burns, BF Enterprises Inc., 2012; H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr., Huizenga Holdings, Inc., 2011; Edward M. Kobel, DeBartolo Development, LLC, 2010; John D. MacArthur, insurance and real estate entrepreneur, 2009; John M. Gregory, SJ Strategic Investments, LLC, 2008; Karl H. Watson, CEMEX, 2007; Stuart W. Epperson, Salem Communications Corporation, 2004; Sam Moore, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2003; Joseph R. Gregory, Kingsway LLC, 2002; Lester J. Woerner, Woerner Holdings, Inc, 2001; Rich DeVos, 2000, Orlando Magic; John J. Brogan, 1999; Thomas R. Pledger, Dycom Industries, 1998; Carl DeSantis, Rexall Sundown, Inc., 1997; Lowell “Bud” Paxson, Paxson Communications Corp., 1996; Richard S. Johnson, Johnson Investment Group, 1995; David Mahoney, Charles A. Dana Foundation, 1994; William G. Lassiter, Jr., W.G. Lassiter Co., Inc., 1993; Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., The Dreyfoos Group, 1992; S. Bradford “Skeet” Rymer, Jr., Magic Chef, 1991; S. Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A, 1990; Stewart Morris, Stewart Information Services Corp. and the Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, 1989; Frederick M. Supper, Alexander Proudfoot Co., 1988; Henry J. Rolfs, Downtown/Uptown West Palm Beach, 1987; Theodore R. Johnson, United Parcel Service, 1986; Marshall E. Rinker, Sr., Rinker Materials Corp., 1985; and Sir John M. Templeton, Templeton World Funds Ltd., 1984.
Bank of America is a sponsor of this year’s American Free Enterprise Day.
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses, middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail banking offices and approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 18 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.