Felix Sabates - 1963
BIO & Picture from 40th Reunion
Felix Sabates arrived in this country, penniless and alone at the age of 16, and in the finest Horatio Alger tradition, he formed a network of highly successftil companies. His business accomplishments include being Chairman of TSC Group, a Charlotte, N. C. based Sales & Marketing Company, which he purchased in 1973 and which became one of the largest sales agencies in the country; Partner with Chip Ganassi owning the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team (formerly Sabco Racing), which fields two teams in the Nascar Winston Cup Circuit; Chairman of Trinity Yachts in New Orleans, LA, the number one builder of custom mega yachts in America and one of the top ten builders worldwide, President & CEO of FSS Holdings, Inc., a North Carolina based corporation with holdings in several U.S. and international companies. He was one of the original founders of The Charlotte Hornets, and owner of Charlotte Professional Sports Teams, Inc. which brought professional ice hockey to the Charlotte area in the form of the Charlotte Checkers, which is currently playing at the Cricket Arena under his ownership.
Mr. Sabates has been very active in civic and community affairs. He was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the N. S. State Banking Commission, on which he served two consecutive terms; he has served on the Governors’ 100 Advisory Committee, and on the Board of Directors for various organizations, including: University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Sports Commission, Belmont Abbey College, Mercy Hospital Board of Visitors, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and Charlotte Organizing Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors for Carolinas Healthcare Systems and Applica Corporation (Black & Decker). He has been a loyal supporter of and contributor to UINCC’s Athletic Foundation since its inception.
In addition to the Sabates Foundation which funds various charities, he has played a monumental role in the development of the Power & Motoryacht Rendezvous to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs. Because of his support to Belmont Abbey College, the school named its dining hail, the “Sabates Dining Center.”
Mr. Sabates has been married to Carolyn Peace Sabates for thirty-eight years. They reside in Charlotte and have three children and six grandchildren.
In the 1980’s, he started the first professional indoor soccer team and became one of the first investors in the World Football League. In 1988, he became one of the original owners of the local NBA franchise, the Charlotte Hornets, before selling his interest in 1991. In the early 1990’s, he established the Charlotte Professional Sports Teams, Inc., which brought the ECHL professional Ice Hockey team to Charlotte. Sabatcs’s Charlotte Checkers won the ECHL championship after competing in the ECHL for three years, after which he sold the team. He re-purchased the Charlotte Checkers, which are now playing under his ownership at the Cricket Arena.
In 1987, he purchased a Research and Development Nascar Racing Team and decided to make the transition to Winston Cup racing. It was here that his company, Sabco Racing, was born, which was one of the most visible and successful of all Winston Cup teams. His major sponsors included Bell South Corporation, Coca Cola Company, Texaco, Microsoft, Coor’s Brewing Company, Cingular Wireless, Target Stores and Goodyear Tire & Rubber, to name a few. In 2000, he announced his partnership with Chip Ganassi, who together own the new Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team, with Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray, and Casey Mears as Drivers. Sterling Marlin finished 3rd in Nascar Winston Cup points in 2001 and 8th in 2002.
Chairman of Trinity Yachts, New Orleans, Louisiana, the number one builder of Custom Mega Yachts in America and one of the top ten builders worldwide.
President & CEO of FSS Holdings, Inc., a North Carolina based corporation with holdings in several U.S. and international companies.
Civic & Business Appointments:
Received an Honorary Doctorate Degreee in Commercial Science from Elon University in Burlington, North Carolina.
Serves on the Board of Directors for Carolinas Healthcare Systems. Serves on the Board of Directors for UNC at Charlotte and has been an active supporter of UNC’s Athletic Department since its inception. Serves on the Board of Directors for Applica Corporation (Black & Decker).
Serves on the Board of Directors for Simpson Products.
Serves on the Board of Invencom Technologies.
Serves on the Board of Directors for Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
Has served on the following Boards:
Belmont Abbey College, Sacred Heart, Mercy Hospital Board of Visitors,