The Naples 10: Jim Towey

Lush landscape, beautiful beaches and pristine settings—that’s what Naples is known for. What can be surprising is who might be lunching on the other side of the restaurant, or dropping by Wynn’s Market for a last-minute ingredient. Many of these notables chose Naples because of its quiet beauty and the ability to fly under the radar. We introduce 10 interesting, and possibly surprising, neighbors.


The New Boss

   Jim Towey  | President, Ave Maria University
Jim Towey - president Ave Maria University, Naples - photo cred: Vanessa Rogers

Jim Towey enjoys a challenge, which explains why he has taken on a new role in a new community—as president of Ave Maria University. He speaks frankly but confidently about his goal to grow the school’s enrollment, boost its financial sustainability and weave it deeper into Southwest Florida’s cultural fabric. “It’s every bit as challenging as anything I’ve ever undertaken,” says Towey, whose background melds politics (senior adviser to President George W. Bush, director of Health and Rehabilitative Services under Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles) and academia (past-president of Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania), among other endeavors, and he believes those experiences will be an asset. “Politics has the potential for quick change, where a university environment is often resistant to it,” he says. “We can blend the best of both.” A Jacksonville native, Towey says he has embraced his new surroundings from the start, whether spending time with his family exploring the local restaurant scene (“I’m a sucker for P.F. Chang’s”) or playing golf (“not well”) on area courses, and he hopes Ave Maria’s staff, faculty and students will pick up on his enthusiasm. “One of the exciting things about being here is, its size lets you get to know the people around you,” says Towey, who assumed his duties July 1. “I feel the same way I did in the West Wing—in the company of some very bright, very dedicated people.”

Facebook Comments