For most people, the thought of living off $100 for an entire year sounds impossible, but for Joe, this was his reality when he arrived on campus in 1969 with $100 in his pocket. Learning to budget and make ends meet provided a valuable lesson that he has applied throughout his career.
Caruso earned his bachelor of science in 1973 and his master’s degree in 1976 He began his career with a decade of hands-on financing and growth in the banking industry. In 1984, he founded Omnifirst Capital, a successful private investment firm focused on opportunities in the telecommunications, health care technology, and entertainment industries. With a career based on relationship development and coalition building, Joe is the managing partner in nine companies. He is involved in every aspect of a client’s business, including arranging appropriate debt and equity funds, mergers and acquisitions, and other consulting and advisory strategies that create solutions for the company’s $4.5 billion portfolio of impact investments.
As the co-founder and owner of the Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team, the Double-A Affiliate of the twenty-seven- time World Champion New York Yankees, Joe is also immersed in revenue growth and strategic planning for the company. The Trenton Thunder has been recognized multiple times by the baseball industry for marketing and business practice excellence and boasts nearly 400 players who have moved up to Major League Baseball.
Never losing his Panther pride, Joe established the Joseph Caruso Family Scholarship in 2007. The scholarship fund was created to give students the opportunity to continue their pursuits in business and become successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Through this scholarship, Joe fosters real-life lessons for students to see themselves as the CEO of their lives and career, while learning the important skills of network building and collaboration.
Joe credits his membership in Pi Kappa Alpha as another transformational life event. He remains an active Pike brother, spearheading the capital campaign to build a new Zeta Sigma house in Palm Bay, Florida.
Caruso was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.