Karessa and Stuart Lasher have donated $1.4 million to Berkeley Preparatory School to advance the institution’s initiatives in financial literacy education.
As a result of this contribution, the Tampa school is establishing the Lasher Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Studies. This center aims to enhance the existing offerings provided by the Lasher Business Institute, which is an intensive one-year elective program designed for juniors and seniors. The Lasher Business Institute focuses on imparting knowledge about business, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.
“The Lasher Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Studies will help ensure that all Berkeley students will have significant opportunities to participate in meaningful financial education, which includes not only exposure to such core business skills as finance, accounting, marketing, and management but also a deep dive into the innovation economy and the entrepreneurial skill set and process,” Headmaster Joseph Seivold said in a statement.
Stuart Lasher, the founder and CEO of Quantum Capital Partners Inc. based in Tampa, leads investments in various sectors, including restaurants, retail, software communications, and other businesses across the Southeast. Between September 2010 and July 2012, he served as the CEO and board chairman of Lifestyle Family Fitness, overseeing the sale of all gyms to Lifetime Fitness and LA Fitness during his tenure.
Quantum Capital Partners was also among the initial backers for Fitlife Foods, a Tampa-based prepared meal brand, before being succeeded by the Patel siblings.
The Lashers, who are parents to two Berkeley graduates and a current senior, have played a significant role in supporting education and business initiatives at Berkeley Preparatory School.
“More than seven years ago, the headmaster and I started discussing the possibility of offering foundational finance courses for Berkeley juniors and seniors,” Stuart said. “Finance and business have been such an important part of my life and I have always stressed to my children, and I will instill the same in my grandchildren, the importance of developing financial and business skills. It gives me immense pride to feel that I have played a small part in the financial education of so many students.”
Carlo DiNota, presently serving as the director of the Lasher Business Institute, will continue to lead the expanded program.
Berkeley Prep holds the prestigious position of being ranked as the No. 1 private school in Tampa Bay and the No. 1 Christian high school across the entire state of Florida, as recognized by Niche.