Tony Mozeak, a 2011 Francis Marion University (FMU) alumnus, now reaches out to
his community as executive director of the Community Lifeline Development (CLD).
Based in Marion, S.C., CLD is a non-profit organization that promotes the
development of youth through financial literacy, reading, writing and mathematics
With degrees in both marketing and finance from FMU, Mozeak is in a position that
allows him to be involved in several aspects of community service at once.
“I’m able to work on the board (financial/governing) and get out into the community
and raise awareness,” Mozeak said.
As a student, Mozeak felt the drive to become a financial advisor, but when all is said
and done, he sees himself within the role of an education advocate who can help spread
the power of education through community involvement.
Mozeak first attended FMU in 1995 with a track and field athletic scholarship. He
was placed on academic probation and eventually dismissed in 1998 for poor grades. He
then attended Florence-Darlington Technical College and obtained an associate’s degree
in marketing in 2001.
After working several marketing jobs, he returned to FMU in 2009 and earned two
bachelor’s degrees in only two years.
“College is basically a training ground or a laboratory,” Mozeak said. “It’s the best
place to experiment with any idea you might have. Plus, you have tremendous resources
at your fingertips. It’s a very powerful tool.”
Success, Mozeak also said, isn’t about what others can do for you, but what you can
do for yourself. Mozeak said that many people allow themselves to be held back because
of the bureaucracy and politics that come with interviewing, job hunting, etc.
Outside of his professional life, Mozeak is a devoted member of the Door of Hope
Christian Church in Marion, S.C. and proud husband and father of two children.
“Don’t let it consume you because at the end of the day, when dealing with human
nature, there is always a political aspect because they are people … people have
perceptions, biases and prejudices,” Mozeak said. “But if you can get done what needs to
be done, you can always work through that.”
While studying at FMU, Mozeak was able to attend numerous conferences and work
sessions that allowed him to make professional contacts and strengthen his trade skills.
Attending similar events that are related to your future profession is something that can
and will benefit each and every student, Mozeak said.
“What happens many times with students is they may do well in the classroom but
they don’t have the intangibles or the necessary social skills, and they find themselves in
trouble,” Mozeak said. “These conferences help with all of those things.”
A big difference in a person’s career success is knowing who you are as an individual
and presenting yourself as authentic, Mozeak said.
“It’s not a cookie cutter situation … not only do they [students] need to be proficient
in the classroom, they also need to put in the work outside of the classroom,” Mozeak
said. “They need the exposure and experience that comes from hard work.”
The road to success isn’t always going to be an easy one, Mozeak added, but if you’re
willing to put in the work and put yourself out there it will pay off.