Fall Conversation with a CEO Guest: Vincent Jackson, Pro Football Player/Entrepreneur
By Keith Morelli
TAMPA (September 6, 2018) -- After 12 seasons cutting pass patterns in the NFL, including three Pro Bowls, Vincent Jackson's career as a pro-football player is in the rear-view mirror. Nowadays, he's an entrepreneur in Tampa, running a variety of businesses in his adopted hometown, where he played the last five years of his football career.
It turns out, the former career in pro sports held lots of lessons that have helped him succeed away from the gridiron.
"What an experience; so many highs and lows in that occupation," he said. "It was such a competitive and unforgiving business. But from it, I learned resiliency, patience and discipline.
"I've always had a strong work ethic and that proved to be my reliable foundation," he said. "No matter the circumstance, good ol' fashioned effort carried me through."
Jackson is scheduled to be the guest of honor at the next Conversation with a CEO, hosted by the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business, where he will talk about his career in football, the importance of an education and his transition into the C-suite. The event takes place from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Oct. 10 at the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning Simulations, 124 S. Franklin St., in downtown Tampa. To register for the event, click here.
Now a successful entrepreneur, Jackson has closed the door on the pro-athlete chapter of his life.
"I am happily done with football," he said. "I have no desire to put on the helmet and cleats again. I absolutely love the game and will always be a fan, but outside of a fun backyard game, you won't find me on a football field. I don't like the 'retired' terminology because my real career has just begun."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan-favorite made Tampa his home and, at the age of 33, earned a bachelor's degree in business management from USF in 2016. He owns several restaurants nationwide and ran two Orange Theory Fitness Studios in Tampa for about three years, selling them in 2016. The majority of his time is spent on his passion, running CTV Capital, a real estate and development company he co-founded in 2012, the year he started with the Bucs.
By the time he was done with football, he already had one foot into his new life.
"I planned for my transition years before it came. You just never know when that day will be, so I hedged my bets and invested my time into my education and professional acumen, so I was ready," he said. "I made a few modest investments in businesses early in my football career to create sources of passive income.
"I started the company I run now, CTV Capital, in 2012 knowing my passion was in development and real estate investments," he said. "I was fortunate to have something waiting for me to jump into when I finished football. It is tough to leave something you've done for 20-plus years of your life, but I was actually looking forward to this next phase and challenge."
As CEO of CTV Capital, Jackson is involved in acquisitions, operations, marketing and managing for growth and success. His vision and intuition have been instrumental in the expansion of the business.
"I just love what I do," he said. "I get to learn something new every day, hone my craft and meet amazing people. I enjoy improving my community and, on a micro level, providing people with an opportunity to fulfill their dreams, either through purchasing one of our homes or creating investment vehicles for them to achieve their goals."
Long before football took over his life, Jackson travelled the world. As a child of military serving parents, he moved around quite a bit including a three-year tour in Europe before his family settled in Colorado Springs, where he graduated fourth in his class at Widefield High School. Though he never had an opportunity to put deep roots down into places he has called home, his upbringing has instilled in him a desire to give back to the community of which he is a part.
He was named "Citizen of the Year" in 2017 by the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce and won the 2015 USAA National Salute to Service Award for his work with military families through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation.
"I come from a military background," he said. "Both my parents served, my dad for 21 years in the U.S. Army. It is a labor of love and an effort that is near and dear to my heart. I grew up with the challenges and experiences that military families go through, so I want to support these amazing men, women and families any way I can.
"Our foundation strives to strengthen the military family structure," he said. "We provide programs for the active-duty service members, resources for the spouses and an array of efforts supporting military children. We are successful because of the generosity of local businesses and volunteers who are the backbone of our team."
After his family moved to Colorado, Jackson excelled in academics and as an athlete. He won academic and athletic scholarships at the University of Northern Colorado where he studied business and played both football and basketball. After an All-American collegiate career, Jackson was drafted in 2005 by the San Diego Chargers, where he played seven seasons.
He then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 and played five seasons for the NFC South team. He was selected to three Pro Bowls and was a four-time "Man of The Year" nominee for the NFL honor that recognizes a player's volunteer and charity work as well as excellence on the field.
He now lives full time in Tampa with his wife, Lindsey, and three children, Carter, Amaya and Dominick.
"I knew I wanted to put roots down in Tampa after about six months living here," he said. "The right speed of life, wonderful people and all the amenities you could want. I still like to travel, but Tampa is home.
"It is a great time to experience and be a part of the growth Tampa is going through," he said. "Definitely, my favorite place."
To register for the event, click here.