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Legatus Pulling Up Stakes in Ave Maria, Moving Back to Michigan

Tom Monaghan moved his Legatus organization to southwest Florida in 2005 as part of his focus on initiatives in the region including the town of Ave Maria, Ave Maria University and the Ave Maria School of Law. Now, he's moving Legatus back to its original home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be closer to where Mr. Monaghan is spending more of his time.

henley1aThe announcement of the move also coincides with the appointment of a new executive director for the 29-year-old organization, Stephen Henley (right).

Mr. Monaghan said in a statement on the Legatus website that he is personally paying the expense of moving the headquarters of the organization of Catholic executives that he founded 29 years ago. "With the transition in leadership, I plan to work closely with Stephen in both mentoring him as well as taking an active role in the continued growth of Legatus," Mr. Monaghan said. "It seemed important for both the executive director and the headquarters to be close to where I am."

The relocation back to Michigan is another in a series of moves by Mr. Monaghan that seem to be gradually disengaging him from the town he helped found and in which he retains a 50-percent interest with the Barron Collier Cos. He is rarely seen in town these days, apparently plays no role in the day-to-day operation of Ave Maria University and has closed a museum in the town center dedicated to the history of his career in business as well as the founding of Ave Maria University and the town.

Mr. Monaghan founded Legatus in 1987, when he still owned Domino's Pizza and the Detroit Tigers. He moved the Legatus headquarters to Naples, FL, in 2005, shortly after Ave Maria University opened its temporary campus in Naples and while planning was underway for the town of Ave Maria. When the town opened, Legatus established its headquarters in the Ave Maria town center in early 2008, becoming one of the first commercial real estate tenants.

Mr. Henley, the new executive director, is a Marine Corps veteran and graduate of Ave Maria University who has worked for the last three years as a regional director for Legatus, which has 5,000 members in 90 different chapters. Almost all chapters are in the United States, although there is one in Vancouver, Canada, and one in Dublin, Ireland.

He replaces John Hunt, who led Legatus for eight years and will take on a new role as "ambassador at large," in which he will "continue to visit and support chapters across the country as well as represent Legatus at key functions," according to the website statement.

There are seven employees at the Legatus headquarters staff in Ave Maria. The statement on the website says Mr. Monaghan and Legatus management are working with them to "ease the burden of the relocation to Michigan or personal transition if a relocation is not possible."

For more:

Click here for story on Legatus site 

Click here for October, 2015 column by Ave Herald Editor Patricia Sette "Where Have You Gone Tom Monaghan"


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