Contact: Lindsay Hyman
James M. Seneff Jr. Named 2010 Horatio Alger Award Recipient
CNL Financial Group, Inc. Founder and CEO to be Inducted April 2010 in Washington, D.C. for Overcoming Adversity
WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 –The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that James M. Seneff Jr., CNL Financial Group, Inc. founder and CEO, will receive the 2010 Horatio Alger Award in recognition of his personal and professional success despite humble and challenging beginnings.
Seneff will be formally inducted into the association when he accepts the Horatio Alger Award on April 9, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Current and past recipients of the award have overcome great adversity to achieve admirable accomplishments, to serve as examples of achieving the American Dream, and to offer countless hours and resources to help others in need.
“We are delighted to induct these individuals into the Horatio Alger Association and to honor their stories of success in the face of significant struggle,” said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. “We believe that adversity builds character, and James Seneff’s story is no exception. Seneff’s life story of strength, resolve and achievement is commendable, and he will help continue our mission of helping other young people achieve similar success.”
Seneff was born in 1946 in Gary, Indiana. His father, a World War II bomber pilot, worked first as a steelworker, and later in construction. At the age of seven, Seneff began helping his father with his construction projects, adopting a strong work ethic from a young age.
In 1968, Seneff graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in business. That same year, he was drafted into the Army and served for two years in Washington, D.C. and Vietnam. During his last days in Vietnam, he drafted a 50-year business plan that he still follows today – nearly 40 years later. In 1973, after settling in Orlando, Florida, Seneff launched CNL Financial Group with a $5,000 loan from his father. His office was a windowless room that consisted of a card table with a folding chair, a telephone and a typewriter. Over the course of 35 years, Seneff built CNL into a global company. Since then, CNL has formed or acquired companies with more than $23 billion in assets focused in retail, restaurant, hospitality, lifestyle, and retirement sectors, making CNL one of the nation’s largest, privately held investment, real estate services and development companies.
Through CNL and his own philanthropic efforts, Seneff has impacted millions of lives through significant financial support of education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Seneff also volunteers countless hours of time to a number of organizations.
Seneff will be honored among 10 other remarkable individuals who will receive the 2010 award for their hard work, self-reliance and perseverance:
- Albert T. Annexstad, Chairman, Federated Insurance Companies
- William Alfred Cook, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cook Group Incorporated
- Tommy Ray Franks, Former Commander-in-Chief, US Central Command, and Chairman, Franks & Associates
- Joseph M. “Jody” Grant, Partner and Senior Advisor, BankCap Partners, and Chairman Emeritus, Texas Capital Bank
- Jenard M. Gross, President, Gross Investments
- Lawrence Mead Higby, CEO (Retired), Vice Chairman and Advisor, Apria Healthcare Group Inc.
- Richard D. Holland, Philanthropist and Chairman (Retired), Rollheiser Holland Kahler Advertising
- Alan B. Miller, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.
- Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State, US Department of State, and Provost, Stanford University
- Earl W. Stafford Sr., Chief Executive Officer, The Wentworth Group LLC, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Stafford Foundation, Inc.
In addition, the 2010 Norman Vincent Peale Award will be presented to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. The Norman Vincent Peale Award is annually conferred on an association member who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions to society, who has been an active participant in the association, and who continues to exhibit courage, tenacity and integrity in the face of great challenges. The award is named in honor of Dr. Peale, who was an outstanding leader of the association for more than 40 years.
The 2010 members will receive their awards at the 2010 Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies April 8-10, 2010. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations in some of the nation’s most historic buildings. The Horatio Alger National Scholars, remarkable high school seniors who have excelled despite adversity, also will be formally honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger Members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.org/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program, state scholarship rpograms, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $70 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2009 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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