Our community lost a great leader and friend when Antonio “Tony” Fernandez passed away, at the age of 51, in November 2013.
Tony’s excellence in business was matched by his personal warmth, generosity, and tireless efforts to create a better community. Whether he was raising funds for UVA Hospital’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, donating food to the Louisa County Resource Council, or helping Piedmont Virginia Community College secure funds to increase their facilities and services, Tony touched the lives of everyone around him.
As the first general manager of Wal-Mart’s Gordonsville distribution center, Tony led his team consistently to excellence and earned Distribution Center of the Year honors in 2010. He led by personal example and by inspiring the best in his colleagues, who loved and respected him in return.
Tony served the community as a member of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, the American Heart Association, and many other organizations. In a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke, Chamber President Timothy Hulbert described Tony’s impact on the community:
Tony was a tremendous force for goodness and success, in life and in his profession. He embodied the very rare combination of strength, gentility, insight and determination…
…it is important that you know what a stellar citizen and representative of your company Tony was. Tony excelled at work, in this community and most importantly, life. We will miss his regular presence immensely, knowing however that his spirit lives on with us in our community.
Tony’s legacy in leadership was not shaped nor defined at the end of his road, but all along the way: by the moments he shared, the decisions he made, the courageous actions taken, and also by how he overcame obstacles throughout the many phases of his career.
We at Forward/Adelante are truly honored to celebrate Tony’s enduring legacy during our Spring 2015 event, Legacy in Leadership, on March 3. Please join us for a joyful evening of friendship, Cuban food and music, and learning from Tony’s example of leadership.