Memorial service set for Wayne Huizenga

A memorial service for H. Wayne Huizenga will be held at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Center at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 29.

Huizenga died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Wayne was the only person in history to take six companies to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, lead three Fortune 500 companies and own three major league sports franchisees at the same time.

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cleveland Clinic of Florida Maroone Cancer Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, Junior Achievement of South Florida and/or the Nova Southeastern University H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Scholarship Fund.

(Related content: SFBW editor’s blog  about Huizenga’s death.)

Here is more information from an obituary released by AutoNation, one of the Fortune 500 companies that Huizenga had founded:

Wayne Huizenga, entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist and beloved patriarch of the Huizenga family has passed on to be with his Heavenly Father. He was 80 years old. Mr. Huizenga was a humble man who always wanted to simply be known as “Wayne.” Whether you were a Fortune 100 CEO or the valet at the front door, he treated everybody with the same respect and friendliness. As a long time Fort Lauderdale resident, he played a major role in the business and social growth of our community.

Wayne was born in the Chicago area on Dec. 29, 1937. He moved to Fort Lauderdale as a young man and attended high school at Pine Crest School. He fell in love with Fort Lauderdale and made it his permanent home, raising his family and building multiple businesses in the place he called “home.” He passed in his house on the New River surrounded by family after a decades long battle with cancer.

Wayne is survived by his four children; Wayne Jr., Pamela, Scott and Ray and his 11 grandchildren, Savannah, Tres, Gerritt, Ainsley, Jacob, Shelby, Chloe, Matthew, Hanah, Josh and Gabriella, his sister Bonnie, his niece Holly Bodenweber, his nephew Steven Hudson and his brother-in-law Whit Hudson. His beloved wife Marti pre-deceased him in January 2017.

Throughout his professional career Wayne never forgot his beloved Fort Lauderdale. He headquartered his companies there recruiting the best and brightest to join him and, in the process, created thousands of jobs. He actively engaged in community leadership and encouraged his employees to do so as well, and together with his wife Marti donated well over $150 million to local causes. Wayne was known for his quick sense of humor (he loved a good joke), infectious laugh, kindness to all and for his selflessness. He always wanted to make sure everyone had a good time.

Wayne began his remarkable business career with the purchase of a single garbage truck in 1962. He built a thriving business which lead to his co-founding Waste Management (WMI) in 1971. By 1981 WMI was the largest waste company in the world. He “retired” from WMI and soon formed what became Huizenga Holdings (HHI). Over the ensuing years he began purchasing a series of service companies in South Florida.

His next big venture, however, was Blockbuster which he discovered in 1987. He headquartered the company in Fort Lauderdale and over the next seven years he created thousands of jobs while growing the company from 19 stores to more than 3,700 in 11 countries. WMI and Blockbuster both became Fortune 500 companies listed on the NYSE.

After selling Blockbuster in 1994, and generating attractive returns for its shareholders, Wayne acquired control of Republic Waste Industries (which became Republic Services), a small regional garbage company in Atlanta Georgia, in 1995. He quickly relocated the company to Fort Lauderdale and grew it into the third largest waste disposal company in the U.S. In a 13-month period Wayne became chairman of four NYSE companies: Republic Services, AutoNation, Extended Stay America and the Florida Panthers (which later became Boca Resorts). During this same time, he was owner and chairman of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers.

Wayne’s achievements and generosity were widely recognized. He was honored by the Horatio Alger Association, named “World Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young and named “Man of the Centennial” for Fort Lauderdale’s 100thAnniversary, among many others. He also took the lead in creating the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. Wayne demonstrated that where innovation and leadership converge, it can be the spark for achievement in the global marketplace.


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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.