H. Lee Moffitt, Our 2019 Person of Vision

H. Lee Moffitt

H. Lee Moffitt

The Person of Vision Award has been presented annually since 1979 to honor an individual who has had profound impact on the Tampa Bay region or the State of Florida through true community leadership and vision.

Preserve Vision Florida is proud to announce that on February 11, 2019 it will honor H. Lee Moffitt as its 2019 Person of Vision and will also celebrate the life-saving work of Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.


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About H. Lee Moffitt

A native of Tampa, Lee has practiced law throughout his career while providing a decade of public service in the Florida legislature  championing and supporting initiatives that greatly benefited Florida’s residents. First elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1974, he was elected and served as Speaker of the House from 1982 until 1984 when he retired and returned to the practice of law. During his legislative career he passed constitutional resolutions that created a merit selection process for the Florida Appellate Judiciary and granting Floridians a right to privacy. Both constitutional amendments were approved by Florida voters. He also led the effort to pass the Water Quality and Assurance Act of 1983 and the Growth Management Act of 1985. A graduate of the University of South Florida (USF), he was the first USF alumnus to be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1976.

While a member of the house of representative, Moffitt spearheaded a project to build a cancer treatment center in Florida. He had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his left knee at age 29, for which he did a tumor resection. It was this experience, along with the death of friends, Joseph Lumia, Judy Barnett and George Edgecomb, that motivated Moffitt to lobby for a cancer treatment center in Tampa. He secured an initial $70 million via the Legislature for the commencement of the construction, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute officially opened on October 27, 1986, three years after its groundbreaking. Despite Moffitt’s objection, the Florida legislature voted to name the facility in his honor. In 2006 he was honored by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Annual Achievement Award for his commitment to combating cancer through the center he founded.[15] Since its founding the center has expanded its services and was designated an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2001.

Moffitt serves on the board of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and on the Board of M2Gen, a for-profit subsidiary of the Moffitt Cancer Center   His visionary leadership has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from BioFlorida, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Leadership Florida.  He has been presented an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Florida Board of Regents.

Truly, H. Lee Moffitt’s vision of the finest cancer treatment center for Florida’s residents and his ability to engage others in that vision has resulted in a renowned resource that has benefited thousands of Floridians and patients around the globe.

Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

The Mission of Moffitt Cancer Center is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. Its Vision is to transform cancer care through service, science and partnership

Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida.  Home of Florida’s largest clinical cancer research unit with more than 450 clinical trials, it receives more than 50 percent of all National Cancer Institute funding awarded to Florida institutions.  Over its years of operation, Moffitt Cancer Center has treated residents of all 67 Florida counties, every state in the United States, and 130 countries around the world. It impacts about 22 percent of cancer cases in Florida, and its economic impact on the state of Florida of nearly $2.1 billion, employing over 6,000 people.

The Center is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers nationwide and is a Top 10 nationally ranked cancer hospital, so designated by U.S. News & World Report since 1999.  It is the largest Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program east of Houston and south of Boston and conducts more than 425 transplants a year.  The recipient of more than $46 million grant funding for research, Moffitt has produced 14 start-ups, 49 U.S. patents and 127 licensing agreements.

Join us for the 2019 Person of Vision Award Dinner

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hilton Hotel, Downtown Tampa

6:15-7 p.m. General Reception

7-9 p.m. Dinner and Awards Program

Sponsor this event or purchase individual tickets

Get map to venue, Hilton Hotel, Downtown Tampa

2018 Person of Vision: Judith Lisi

Judith Lisi

Judith Lisi

Judith Lisi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, was honored as our 2018 Person of Vision on February 19, 2018 at the Tampa Airport Marriott.

Judith Lisi joined the Straz Center in 1992. Through her leadership, the Straz Center has significantly expanded its programming, established financial stability, retired an accumulated debt, and has met the goals of three five-year, long-range plans. Lisi’s arts management philosophy includes a belief in, and a commitment to, the community and to ensuring outreach, accessibility, and audience development for the entire community through multicultural and educational programming.

Lisi has directed more than 40 productions and has written six plays. She holds a Master’s Degree in theater and communication arts from St. Louis University and has done doctoral work in theater at the University of Minnesota. She studied opera at the Juilliard School of Music and with the Metropolitan Opera. Previously, as Executive Director of the prestigious Shubert Performing Arts Center in New Haven, Connecticut, the Shubert enjoyed artistic and financial success.

In May 2002, the League of American Theatres and Producers honored Lisi with the Samuel J. L’ Hommedieu Presenter of the Year Award for “bringing the magic of live theater to thousands of area residents through a variety of audience development and education programs.”

In January 2008, Lisi received the prestigious Patrick Hayes Award for Lifetime Achievement from ISPA, the International Society for the Performing Arts.

Preserve Vision Florida hosts the annual dinner to honor a person of vision who has had a profound impact on the region or state of Florida through true community leadership and vision.

Previous honorees have included Joseph W. Lopano, Chief Executive Officer of Tampa International Airport (2017); Tampa Maybor Bob Buckhorn (2016); Jeff and Penny Vinik (2015); Betty Castor and US Representative Kathy Castor (2014); and many other luminaries.