PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Damon Olinto, President and CEO of the Jacksonville division of Synovus Bank and active member of the First Coast community, is the newly appointed "Blue Coat" for THE PLAYERS Championship. Olinto joins the four existing vice chairs who, along with 2013 Tournament Chairman Robert Davis, lead the 2,000-plus volunteer force of the event.
The volunteer leadership for THE PLAYERS 2013 includes: Davis; First Vice Chair Andy Baggs; and Vice Chairs Brian Franco, Michele McManamon, Kevin English and Olinto.
"On behalf of the volunteer leadership, I want to congratulate and welcome Damon to the team," said Davis. "Giving back is the reason all of us -- all 2,000-plus volunteers -- are involved in THE PLAYERS, and Damon has illustrated his love for the tournament, community and charity throughout his life. He's been a vital part of THE PLAYERS team and our community for many years, and I have no doubt that he will make an immediate, positive impact on this event's success as part of the leadership team. The future of THE PLAYERS is very bright, indeed."
"It is a privilege to join the volunteer leadership team for THE PLAYERS Championship," said Olinto. "THE PLAYERS provides us with a tremendous opportunity to give back to our community with our time and talents. This region is blessed to have some of the most dedicated volunteers in the country. I am honored to be able to work alongside this team to present one of golf's premier championship events, and at the same time, support numerous charitable organizations in our area."
Olinto, who was born and raised in Jacksonville, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. After earning his degree in banking and finance from the University of North Florida, Olinto returned to Bishop Kenny to teach mathematics and served as the head baseball coach from 1983-87.
Olinto's accomplished career in banking in Jacksonville includes positions at Florida National Bank/First Union, where he was a banking officer from 1987-1990; Enterprise National Bank/Compass Bank, where he was vice president and department manager of commercial real estate and business banking divisions (1990-99); and CNB National Bank, where he served as senior vice president (1999-2003).
In October 2003, Olinto moved to his current position with Synovus Bank, helping to form the first de novo bank in the Synovus system. He oversaw branch acquisition, staffing and strategic development of the bank's growth in the Jacksonville market. Under his direction, Synovus Bank of Jacksonville became one of the fastest-growing banks in the nation and reached profitability in its second year of operation. His current responsibilities include managing the company's commercial and retail banking team, as well as business development, credit underwriting, loan operations and loan review.
Olinto, who lists his interests as "golf, coaching children's sports, golf, family, golf, reading and golf," served on THE PLAYERS banking committee as one of his first roles with the event in 1986. He was assistant chair of facilities patrol in 2009, chairman of the Patriots' Outpost in 2010 and chairman of VIP parking in 2012.
Olinto is a member of the Shands Jacksonville President's Panel, serves on the San Jose Catholic Advisory School Board, is a Deerwood Rotary Club member, a member of the Diocese of St. Augustine Board of Education and is chairman of the University of North Florida COEHS. In addition to his work with THE PLAYERS, Olinto volunteers with HabiJax, Paint the Town, American Heart Association and Builder's Care. He and his oldest son coach a 14-and-under traveling baseball team, the Jacksonville Ospreys.
A new Blue Coat is named each year as the most recent tournament chair (Curtis Hazel) joins the "Red Coats," past tournament chairs of THE PLAYERS who continue to support the event through volunteering each year for the tournament, continued support of area charities and serving as a face of the event in the community. They also serve as stewards of the volunteer leadership by selecting the new Blue Coat each year.
Olinto and his wife, Janet, live in Jacksonville and have three children -- Damon Jr. (28), Katie (23) and Sean (14).