Lee Stapleton Installed as Orange Bowl Committee President and Chair
Lee Stapleton was recently installed as the Orange Bowl Committee's 77th President and Chair for 2015. Stapleton's year as President marks an exciting time in post season college football for South Florida.
On December 31, 2015, as part of the new post season college football system, the Orange Bowl Committee will host a national College Football Playoff Semifinal game, where two of the top four ranked college teams in the nation will face off, with the winner playing in the National Championship Game.
Stapleton has been a member of the Orange Bowl Committee since 2002. She is the third woman to be elected President of the Committee in the organization's history.
An experienced trial lawyer, in her professional life, she is a litigation Partner at Baker & McKenzie. Formerly, Stapleton worked as a reporter and as a federal prosecutor who served as the Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Of the Orange Bowl hosting a semifinal for the first time, Stapleton remarked, "This is a year of change. We are in an exciting new era with the College Football Playoff. The Orange Bowl Committee will maintain all of our wonderful and historic traditions, while adapting to the new playoff system.”
The Orange Bowl Committee is a 360-member organization with an 81-year history in South Florida. The Committee began in 1935 as a vehicle to promote tourism and economic development, and to showcase the South Florida community, an early example of sports tourism.
Throughout its history, the Orange Bowl Committee has hosted powerhouse post-season college football matchups including 19 games featuring national champions.
"Football and youth athletics are our DNA, but we are doing things for and with the community throughout the year," Stapleton said. As part of her duties as President, Stapleton will be at the helm of the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, a mentoring program for South Florida middle school students, and oversee the completion of the Orange Bowl's third legacy project, renovations to Ives Estates Park in Miami.
"As the community has grown, the Orange Bowl Committee has grown with it," Stapleton said. "We are constantly looking for new and meaningful ways to promote our mission of youth and sports and to continue to showcase South Florida."
Stapleton endeavors to start a girls' sports initiative during her time as President. "Being involved with team sports teaches not just an athletic skill, but leadership and responsibility as well," Stapleton said.
The President of Orange Bowl has a broad mandate and range of responsibilities. Stapleton will not only oversee the many youth athletic programs, such as the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, which impacts 16,000 young athletes, but she will interface with the University Presidents and Athletic Directors, ESPN management, and the College Football Playoff leadership.
"Lee brings energy, vision and leadership to every project she's involved with," said Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO of the national accounting firm of Morrison, Brown, Argiz and Farra, and a former President of the Orange Bowl Committee.
Stapleton is consistently ranked among South Florida Legal Guide's "Top Lawyers" and Florida Trend's "Legal Elite," and was recently selected by her peers in inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. She is also listed as a "Super Lawyer" by Florida Super Lawyers. Stapleton is a long-time adjunct professor in the University of Miami's Litigation Skills program and a member of Baptist Outpatient Services and Baptist Hospital Health Enterprises Boards. She also serves as an editor and contributor to the American Bar Association's Litigation Journal.
"It is a tremendous honor to have been elected President of this wonderful organization. Throughout my tenure as President, I will strive to make the community and member experience with the Orange Bowl Committee meaningful and memorable," said Stapleton.
Stapleton succeeds Luis Boué as President and Chair of the Orange Bowl. Michael Chavies moves into Stapleton’s previous role as President-Elect and Chair-Elect and will serve as the 78th President and Chair during the 2016-2017 year. Donald Slesnick will serve as First Vice-Chair and will become President and Chair in 2017-2018. Eric Poms enters his tenth year as the Chief Executive Officer and marks his 23rd year with the Orange Bowl Committee.
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