Dolphins Tom Garfinkel receives promotion from Stephen Ross
By Brian Miller
In 2013 Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was made one of his best hires of his young ownership career. He hired Tom Garfinkel to run his football’s daily operations.
Former CEO Mike Dee was heading out of Miami after a short stint as the teams executive officer. Dee was heading to San Diego to work with the Padres. Tom Garfinkel was leaving the Padres and Ross hired him pretty quickly. It was a smart move.
Dee was instrumental in getting the stadium renovations project off the ground but he couldn’t get the financial backing with Ross and as he left there was still concern that it would get completed at all. It was a task that Garfinkel was left with to complete. It was Ross’ baby, get the stadium up to a higher standard.
With Garfinkel at the helm the Dolphins moved through the muddy waters and together with Ross the renovations became a reality and Garfinkel oversaw the entire project.
I’ve had the privilege and yes it is a privilege, to have met and spoken with Mr. Garfinkel throughout his career with the Dolphins so it is an absolute joy to report that Garfinkel is now one of the teams Vice Chairman’s. A position he now shares with others including Don Shula.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who was the first to break the news, Garfinkel was offered unknown jobs outside of the Dolphins but it was Ross’ quick decision to promote Tom Garfkinkel and keep him in Miami.
Since 2013 Tom has met with all of us who run Dolphins web sites. At an event dubbed Web Weekend, he has taken time out of his schedule to answer our questions and actually take our suggestions and even advice at times. That is the type of CEO Mr. Garfinkel is. Last year he took time away to talk with me for an article in my Dolphins preview guide last year.
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There are a lot of things that Tom has said over the years but one has stood out more than any because it spoke of the type of person he is and would become with the Dolphins.
In his first season with Miami at the above mentioned event, he was asked a wide variety of questions by us hack-bloggers and while he answered them the best he could after being on the job for only a short period of time, one response that was given a few times struck a chord with those in the room.
Tom Garfinkel simply answered some questions with a clear “I don’t know”.
There is nothing hidden with Garfinkel. He doesn’t try to hide anything and he tells it to you the way he sees it when he can. In that first year a lot of what was being asked he had no answer for and rather than try to give some off the cuff answer that may have not made sense, he was not afraid to say, “I don’t know”.
That may seem a bit simple and even a copout but a year later some of those questions were asked again, and guess what? He answered them with knowledge showing that the questions being asked were important enough to him to find answers. It was and is impressive.
While Garfinkel is his own person he reminds me of the late Bryan Wiedmeier who served as the long time President and CEO of the team. Bryan was very outgoing and there was nothing fake about him in any way. Even after finding out he had what would be terminal cancer, Mr. Wiedmeier took time to call during a Web Weekend event just to say hello to us all. People who he made an effort to know. It is with the highest respect and compliment that I compare the two.
From all of us here at PhinPhanatic.com, my Phinatics.com page that is still sitting collecting dust, and my family who have met him on several occasions, congratulations on your promotion. The Dolphins, Stephen Ross, once again made a very good decision for his team and its future.