MANATEE -- For a change, John Vita’s got nothing going on after work this week.
No coaching. No mentoring. No digging post holes. Nothing.
“June and July are my slow months,” Vita said.
Compared to the rest of the year, that’s extremely unusual for the financial advisor and first vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
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Between working with the Manatee Wildcats, Manatee High School Key Club, the YMCA and you name it, there is no down time for Vita, who topped 1,200 volunteer hours last year.
“Community service is my hobby,” said the married father of two. “I love it.”
Which is why Vita was one of 10 recipients of the 31st Annual Registered Rep. Altruism Awards. Sponsored by a financial services industry magazine, it salutes successful financial advisors, who are committed to improving their community.
The award follows up the Volunteer of the Year Award Vita received from his firm last spring.
“It’s nice people know you’re working hard and acknowledge how important what you do really is,” said Vita, 45. “I just pass it on, try to get more people involved in helping the community.”
Just a sampling of his involvement includes:
n Manatee High School Key Club advisor.
n Manatee Wildcats administrator and coach.
n President MHS alumni club.
n Board member at the YMCA, Chamber of Commerce and St. Joseph Catholic School.
n Kiwanis Club of Bradenton.
“One of the most active people in the community,” accountant Byron Shinn said of Vita.
“He’s so supportive of the kids, gives of his time, his experience,” said Charlie Mills, MHS Key Club’s faculty adviser. “No one could be more deserving of recognition.”
Vita was instrumental in the Key Club’s “Project Makeover,” helping raise funds and finding the professionals to donate their services for renovating a rundown Bradenton home last December.
He got his hands dirty on the project, too.
“There’s a need for organizations of this type, teaching kids skills and leadership abilities, that’s what I’m most passionate about,” Vita said.
He and wife Tompei have two children, Reese and April.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.