The University of South Florida today announced a $10.6 million gift and celebrated the grand opening of a new center, which will benefit all students in the Muma College of Business and ultimately businesses in the Tampa Bay area.
The gift from Arnold F. “Arnie” and Lauren Bellini to the USF Foundation creates and staffs the Bellini Center for Talent Development, housed adjacent to the WUSF Public Media building on the Tampa campus. It’s intended to further increase job placements for USF graduates while providing Tampa Bay businesses with a talent pipeline of employees uniquely prepared to meet their needs through a three-year-plus certification program.
“The Bellinis’ vision will provide our business students with a unique professional development program, one that can serve as a national model,” said USF President Rhea Law. “We are grateful for this very generous gift, which will benefit our students, business partners and the entire USF community for generations to come.”
Beginning in their first year, students will work through a progressive program designed to increase internships and post-graduation job placement. Unlike other career-development programs, the Bellini Center will rely on business executives to lead workshops addressing the hard and soft skills they want to see in future employees, from writing refined resumés to exhibiting professionalism. Numerous experiential opportunities include one-day internships and practice interviews with real-world business leaders.
The Bellinis are USF alumni and their son, Peter, is a USF MBA student. Arnie Bellini earned an MBA in 1982 and Lauren Bellini is a 1991 marketing graduate. An entrepreneurial pioneer, Arnie and his brother David co-founded ConnectWise Inc., a Tampa IT support business, in 1982. Over four decades, they defined, scaled and revolutionized the technology industry’s $213 billion managed service segment, selling the business in 2019. Today, Arnie is CEO of Bellini Capital.
“The biggest challenge in business is finding, attracting and keeping great talent,” said Arnie Bellini. “The ‘go’ button for business growth has been pushed in Florida, specifically in the Tampa Bay area, and now we can promise employers a talent pipeline that will meet all their needs.”
The 9,000-square-foot space has been reimagined as a vibrant state-of-the-art business hub. The Bellini Center features an open concept, with seminar and conference rooms, as well as student workspaces designed to stimulate creativity and innovation
“The Bellini Center is revolutionary, a space and program dedicated to both student and business success,” said Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business. “Thanks to the Bellinis, from their first year in college, our students will be career-focused and guided by a team of advisors who help them chart their course and gain the internships they need to achieve their goals.”
Through their gift, the Bellinis help USF take its commitment to students and the Tampa Bay business community to the next level, said Jay Stroman, USF Foundation CEO.
“The Bellini Center will be a game changer that benefits the entire region for years to come. We’re grateful to the Bellinis for bringing their vision to life at USF.”
Some aspects of the program are expected to launch immediately. Others will be implemented throughout the year.