Faces in business: Tony Aksentis

September 4, 2013 


Title: Operations and Facility Manager

Company: Sarasota Coastal Academy

What was the best business advice you ever received?

Plan to work long hours especially the first year. We started this nonprofit private school, specializing in education for students with special needs, such as children with Down syndrome, children with Autism and children with learning disabilities.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

I wouldn't change a thing because I am right where I am supposed to be. I was a career pilot in the military but always wanted to build my own business. With a lot of help we started this special needs school. Without a doubt I'd say this profession has the most rewarding payback.

What's the biggest risk you have taken in your career?

The biggest risk was finding a location and starting the school. After looking at some tiny ranch homes, we found a larger space right at the Manatee-Sarasota county line. We knew we bit off a little more than we could chew but I knew in my heart that the families dropping children off at our school would be happy to see the space and the security it offered. Having the perfect facility was worth the risk.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you start?

I would explore my own state, Florida. As a pilot in the military I have been all over the globe.

-- Angie Monroe

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