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Joseph V. Vittoria
Joseph V. Vittoria MBA ’59
Retired Chairman and CEO, Avis, Inc., Florida
In 1997, Joseph Vittoria founded Travel Services International, a new public company that changed the traditional distribution system in the travel industry.
From 1987 to 1997, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Avis, Inc. He was president and chief operation officer for the five years before that. While at Avis, he was responsible for creating the Avis Employee Stock Ownership Trust, the largest at that time and long considered a model for companies and governments evaluating employee-ownership programs.
His success at Avis led to his selection as the salaried and management representative to the board of the UAL Corporation for its initial four-year term in 1994, when it created its landmark ESOP. He now serves as chairman of the board of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., and is a director of Vectrix, Inc. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of Puradyn Filter Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Vittoria was born on Long Island in 1935 and holds a BS in civil engineering from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
He also holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Molloy College and doctor of business administration degree from Roger Williams University.
Mr. Vittoria served as an advisory director of the National Crime Prevention Council. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of missing children, he was asked to serve as a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Child Safety Partnership.
He is a former president of the Columbia Business School Alumni Association’s board of directors, and he was the founding chairman of the board of visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Language and Linguistics. His passion for sailing has inspired him to develop unusual sailboats.
He and his wife, Luciana, have four children.
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