John H. Sykes, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and attended High Point College, Queens College and Rollins College. He was awarded both a Doctorate of Business Degree and Humane Letters Degree from the University of Tampa in May of 1998, and again from Pikeville College in 2001.
Mr. Sykes started Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated (Sykes) in Charlotte in 1977 as a small technical engineering firm with a handful of employees. In 1993, the company relocated its headquarters to Tampa, Florida. Today, Sykes is a global leader of providing customer management solutions and services to technology-enabled companies primarily within the technology, communications, and financial services markets. Sykes, employing more than 15,000 employees, operates 41 customer support centers and 5 e-commerce fulfillment centers throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Mr. Sykes has received much recognition for his business accomplishments throughout the years. He was named the 1996 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in statewide competition and the 1997 Innovator of the Year award by his industry peers, as well as the 1997 Citizen of the Year by the Tampa Police Department for his continued support. In 1998, Mr. Sykes was named Citizen of the Year by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers and he and his wife, Susan, were named as Persons of Vision by the Prevent Blindness Florida. Mr. Sykes was also inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame and was awarded the Florida Enterprise Medal by the Merchants Association in May 1998. In November 2001, Mr. Sykes received from the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise the Achievement against the Odds “Pharaoh” Award. In 2003, Mr. Sykes and his wife, Susan, were named Humanitarians of the Year by the Judeo Christian Clinic in Tampa, Florida.
Mr. Sykes is active in the Tampa Bay community and Sykes was the winner of the 1997 Blue Chip Awards for community service. He is a member of the United Way Million Dollar Roundtable, which is part of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Tampa. He is also the Chairman of the Florida Council on Education. John actively supports many philanthropic endeavors within the Tampa Bay community.