Donation from Little Greek President Nick Vojnovic Names Reception Area
By Keith Morelli
TAMPA (September 13, 2019) -- Nick Vojnovic is no stranger to the Muma College of Business. He is a member of the Executive Advisory Council, an Executive MBA graduate and occasional guest lecturer, and president of Little Greek Fresh Grill, a restaurant that often provides the grilled chicken or falafels or hummus that feeds the masses at the college.
Now, his generosity will be known to everyone who walks to class on the second floor of the grad wing. His donation resulted in the naming of the lounge area just outside the multi-purpose room, where students gather to study, sometimes eat and to, well, just lounge around.
“Nick Vojnovic, MBA ’12, Little Greek Fresh Grill Reception Suite” is now the name of that space. The words are etched in a translucent plaque on two of the southern-facing windows.
“I always said this area should be called Nick’s Nook,’” Vojnovic said in a short speech to a gathering of Muma College of Business Executive Advisory Council members and a DBA cohort, both of which had taken a coordinated break from their regular business to attend the naming event.
“All of you have been so supportive of me,” Vojnovic said. “For me, this is my way of giving back.”
Vojnovic served as president of Beef O’ Brady’s from the 1990s to 2010, when he left the corporation after an unprecedented period of growth. That’s when he enrolled in the Executive MBA program at USF.
“I think I was the only unemployed student in the class,” he said.
From there, he bought into a tiny restaurant named Little Greek and has grown the eatery to 40 locations including more than two dozen in Florida and the rest scattered in Texas, Kentucky, Ohio and Arkansas.
He constantly caters events at the Muma College of Business, often donating time, cash and in-kind services. A day before the naming ceremony, he was with his crew feeding – without charge – hundreds of students, faculty and staff at the fall Week of Welcome.
“He’s always there to help out,” said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem, who helped Vojnonic pull down the drapes to reveal the window etching.
Vojnovic is a former chair of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and recently was named Restaurateur of the Year in the association’s Hall of Fame. He is a regular voice on Fox Business with more than 10 appearances. He also has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal. He was the recipient of the Elliot Motivator of the Year Award, a Golden Chain Award and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
He graduated from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in 1981 and also serves as a board member of five start-up restaurant companies.