Phil Brodt
What Was Missing? FAU!

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Phil Brodt

"I knew something was missing when I first moved to Florida, but I did not know what it was. After watching some FAU baseball games and getting to know the people better, I realized that what I had been missing was the excitement of a university like FAU," reflected Phil Brodt.

Phil, who in the 1960s attended Ohio State University, appreciates the value of public, higher education. A growing University which provides educational advancement to large numbers of deserving students, FAU is just the kind of school Phil believes in supporting. “After hearing students talk about how they were able to attend FAU thanks to donations from members of the Horizon Society, I knew I wanted to give future students a chance to succeed at here as well,” said Phil.

The Columbus, Ohio native began wintering in Boca Raton in the early 1990s. Upon retirement in January of 2003, Phil said goodbye to Columbus and officially went from snowbird status to full time resident. A TRUE BLUE basketball follower in search of a team to cheer on, Phil turned to his "hometown" Owls for some fast-paced court action. He liked what he saw and before long he bonded with fellow FAU fans and joined the Owl Club. Although his introduction to FAU was through its athletics teams, Phil has come to appreciate FAU's full range of academic programs for both traditional and non-traditional students.

"I have met many wonderful people through FAU," said Phil. "I love to follow all the FAU sports teams, attend most football games, unless it conflicts with a Buckeye game, and I try not to miss the in-season Coach's breakfasts. But FAU is more than sports. It is a really neat university and I love the fact that it is growing like crazy."

Phil approaches each day with an easy-going openness that few people possess. This openness has rewarded him with enduring friendships and a series of unique and fulfilling career opportunities that serve as the foundation of Phil's accomplished professional life.

Coming from a musical family, Phil studied piano at an early age. It is not surprising that Phil's first job was as a musician. As a tenor and baritone saxophone player in a seven-piece Ohio-based group called the Carl Sally Band, Phil was part of an emerging musical movement that became known as rock and roll. In his close to four years of playing and touring the Midwest and East Coast with the Carl Sally Band, Phil came to know some of the musical legends of the 1960s — Joey Dee and the Starlighters and Chubby Checker, to name a few. The band did some recordings and was approached by Atlantic Records. An industry trailblazer, Carl Sally gained respect for forming one of the first racially integrated bands in the country. An engagement in New York took the group to "Small's Paradise." One of the most popular and longest running nightclubs in Harlem, Small's Paradise was a haven for jazz, rock ‘n' roll and disco acts.

After leaving the band and taking some courses at Ohio State University, Phil started his own pizza company. He sold his company three years later and once again, was ready for a new challenge. Phil was offered a position as a manufacturer's representative, and felt the field matched his interests and skills. His openness paid off. Phil found great success and before long began to build his own business around several lines of industrial products including conveyer belts, hydraulic equipment and heating appliances. Before selling his business, Phil had a thriving operation and a loyal following of customers. Although these days Phil is technically retired, he has been working part time for the past seven years as an airport greeter for a local transportation company. He enjoys meeting the travelers and coordinating the pick-up/drop-off schedules.

When not working, volunteering for the Owl Club, cheering on the FAU teams, or playing golf, Phil takes advantage of his close proximity to Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach for what is arguably the best water skiing course in the country. For the past 40 years Phil has competed as a water skier and two years ago won a national championship for his age category. Somehow, all of this is to be expected of Phil — a man who never stops experiencing everything life has to offer.

 

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