To have a successful organization, you have to have great people. When it comes to Florida Citrus Sports, having great volunteers is vital.
That’s where Rob Yacabucci comes in. A member of the organization’s Associate Board, Yacabucci has also taken on the responsibility of attracting and organizing volunteers.
Members are assigned to a list of volunteer options, but keeping them engaged is one of Yacabucci’s challenges.
“People just aren’t volunteering like they used to any more,” explains the assistant engineer at Lockheed Martin. “Some want to know what’s in it for them. So, one of the things we work with at FCS, is we give them the opportunity, that once their volunteer shift is over, they can come inside the venue, and actually take in the event that they are helping maintain.”
He also tells the volunteers that they are not just working for FCS, but that they are the face of Orlando for some of our guests, “which is a pretty neat thing.
“When you are doing the bowl games, you’ve got people coming from all over the country, depending on what teams you are playing at the event,” he said. “Plus, in the case of kids, it looks good on their resume.”
Florida Citrus Sports plays an integral role in bringing college football bowl games to Orlando each year. In fact, Orlando is the only city in the nation to host three bowl games in one year.
Yacabucci says that feat in itself is one of the primary reasons he is so involved.
“But the main reason I have stuck with them, is that they are an amazing group of people,” he said. “If you look at what they do, at the end of the year, we are the only city in the country that puts on two bowl games, and a parade in one week.”
A dedicated group of people is what Yacabucci also calls the team at Florida Citrus Sports.
“They work their butts off,” exclaims Yacabucci. “That’s why I try to help them out. Because every little piece of help, helps them pull the functions off.”
The nine-year member speaks highly of Florida Citrus Sports Chief Executive Officer Steve Hogan. He credits Hogan and his staff for creating excitement within the local community, spearheading the renovations of Camping World Stadium and the surrounding area.
“Steve Hogan is probably one of the hardest working men I’ve ever seen in leadership position,” says Yacabucci. “He has a vision. I tell you one thing, if Steve has a vision, he goes after it. I don’t care what anyone in the city says, the reason we got that stadium upgraded is because of him. “
Those upgrades helped lure in major sporting events, such as the NFL Pro Bowl.
“That thing is going to be huge,” said Yacabucci. “Everyone I’ve talked to who have come to the membership functions the last few months are psyched out of their minds about having it come here.”
He adds that it will elevate the tourism, and in turn, help revitalize the community.
“If we can upgrade that part of downtown… and [guests] see the area around the stadium, they won’t be turned off,” explains Yacabucci. “The guests will feel more comfortable. To me it’s very important. “
Helping the kids is also another reason Yacabucci is so passionate about being a member of Florida Citrus Sports. FCS has a kids’ camp in the summer, which helps keep the kids off the streets.
“If it has something that has to do with helping kids, then I’m all for it,” he said.
Creating memorable moments, affecting lives in a positive manner and improving the community sums up why Yacabucci spends so much time working with Florida Citrus Sports. His inspiration is the motivation of the people around him.
“Being able to work with that motivated group of people that has a very upbeat and positive attitude toward what they do. It’s contagious,” Yacabucci said.
It’s also rewarding, he said, after guests experience an event in the City Beautiful.
“When we have our guests that at the end of the game come up and tell us that they will definitely come back again next year,” Yacabucci said, “even if it’s not their team playing. It’s because they enjoy how they were treated by Florida Citrus Sports. It makes me feel good to know that I am a part of that recognition for our city.