Partner, Head of Strategic Development at Viola Group
Ambassador (ret.) S. Fitzgerald Haney (Fitz) joined Viola Group in late November 2017 as Partner and Head of Strategic Development. Fitz will focus on investor relations, client service and strategic development across the entire Group.
Most recently Fitz served as US ambassador to Costa Rica where he was charged with protecting U.S. citizens residing in and visiting the country; implementing U.S. foreign policy objectives; advancing U.S. commercial interests and expanding U.S.-Costa Rica ties.
Ambassador Haney earned a B.S. in International Economics and a M.S. with distinction in International Business and Diplomacy from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C., 1986-1991.
Ambassador Haney was born in Nashville, Tennessee and grew up outside of Chicago, in Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife, Rabbi Andrea Haney, have four children.
Prior to his ambassadorship, Fitz led the business development and client service efforts in EMEA for Pzena Investment Management, a $35B asset manager. His role as Partner and Head of Business Development and Client Service, EMEA, included:
Previously, Fitz worked in strategy, marketing and operations for a number of Fortune 100 US multinationals throughout Latin America including, Citibank, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. In these roles he gained extensive operational experience running organizations from 3 to 3,000 people; turn-around expertise in consumer goods, fast food and financial services businesses; and extensive M&A experience in the financial industry.
He began his tech investment career decades ago working as a Senior Associate for an Israeli seed stage VC.
THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT FITZ
Fitz speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and conversational French.
He participated in Dancing with the Stars in Costa Rica (season 4, 2017) and came in 2nd place (!!!)
He loves to mountain bike and ski, has visited 49 out of the 50 US states and approximately 90 countries
Fitz has served on a number of non-profit and community boards such as the Foundation of Jewish Culture (co-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer); the Englewood (NJ) Planning and Appropriations Boards; Ayecha, a resource organization for Jews of Color and as a Presidential appointed member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
He is also involved with Fundacion Ross – cancer support and research: “I lost my mom to lung cancer and watched my wife fight Stage III breast cancer.”
His family on his mom’s side can be traced back to the American Revolution; British Royalty and Ethiopia. On his dad’s side, Fitz is a 1st generation American.
He used to have excellent (“almost scary” memory) ability to recall obscure facts: “I probably could have been a Jeopardy champion.”
Fitz is inspired by: “My mom, my wife, my kids, Michelle Obama, and those who go beyond dreaming to action.”
A couple of the mantras Fitz lives by include “How many questions did you ask today?” and “Fear is the worst four-letter word”.
Fitz grew up Catholic and converted to Judaism in his late 20’s (on his own)