There’s a quote that ‘you never really know the true impact you have on others’. This quote hits my heart with both a profound sadness and also the overwhelming feeling of tremendous gratitude as I contemplate and give thanks for one of the most respected, most beloved and most cherished leaders I have had the privilege of calling friend. David Pizzo was the type of person that was often quiet. Don’t get me wrong…he was an incredible speaker and would not hesitate to share a meaningful perspective or a kind word. He didn’t really need to talk though, as he led with his heart and his actions. Over his esteemed and inspiring career, David has made more change and done more good in a single lifetime than most would do in a hundred years. When I met David, I was instantly drawn to his sincerity and his immense ability to connect with others, and also connect others to one-another – he was that connective tissue and that steady pulse that made important things work. He introduced me to so many amazing people and organizations, and through those friendships and partnerships, I am so proud and deeply thankful for the work we were able to do together, and will still do, in his honor.
Many don’t know, but David immediately stepped in when GTE Financial began our Student Scholarship Program, to help provide hope and opportunity to young leaders that give back in big ways. He co-chaired the Scholarship Judging Committee for 11 years alongside Rhea Law—and together, in 2024, we will reach our $1 Million Milestone in Awarded Student Scholarships. This program would not have been possible without the outstanding contributions and dedication of David. He was not the type of person to just sign up for a day…he signed up for years and he gave freely of his time, energy and talent to ensure impactful endeavors thrived. He loved students, Tampa Bay, and servant leadership, and he never blinked at volunteering, even though he had an extremely busy schedule. I will also never forget the evening I saw him recognized at the TBBW Apogee Awards, which is a unique award ceremony that honors pioneers, movers-and-shakers in the Tampa Bay community—he more than deserved every accolade, every compliment and every moment of appreciation.
David will be missed by countless individuals and organizations…some of which, may never have met him in person. Going back to my original quote, David will influence generations to come—his generosity will never be forgotten. David was a first-class mentor, friend and a committed family man that will forever live through his philanthropic endeavors and significant contributions in healthcare and wellness.
Starting in 2024, GTE will be dedicating a new financial scholarship award in David’s name that embraces his spirit of giving, his community leadership and his beautiful heart.
Thank you David. We love you and will miss you.
Brian Best | GTE Financial President & CEO