No matter where you come from and how hard it has been, you can be successful if you want to be.
George Tinsley Sr.’s road to success could be likened to that of a rags-to-riches story. His is a life story of faith, tenacity, education and a white-hot desire to succeed. George’s unyielding determination and strong work ethic are the true gifts that catapulted him to a lifetime of multiple careers, professional achievements, business success and meaningful contributions to improving the lives of others. George William Tinsley grew up in Smoketown, an inner-city neighborhood one mile southeast of downtown Louisville, Ky. Smoketown has been a historically black neighborhood since the Civil War and is the only neighborhood in the city that has had such a continuous presence.
Despite many obstacles, Tinsley capitalized on his athletic gifts and was recruited on scholarship to Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1966, and as a freshman, he led the team to the first of 3 Division II NCAA National Championships. He quickly earned the rep of being a ‘defensive demon’. and would take the Panthers on to 2 national titles in 1968 and 1969, for which he was twice named All-American, selected as an alternate to the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team, and would soon be drafted to the old American Basketball League to play for the Oaks, Washington Capitals, Miami Floridians, Kentucky Colonels and the New York Nets.
Tinsley was named Florida’s Minority Entrepreneur of the Year in 1989, Louisville Male High School Hall of Fame 1986, Smoketown Hall of Fame 1985, was named Winter Haven Businessman of the year in 2010. He has been inducted to the Kentucky Wesleyan Alumni Hall of Fame in 2005, the Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, the Kentucky Wesleyan College Athletic Hall of Fame Inaugural Class of 2013 and the National Small College Basketball Hall of Fame 2017. Tinsley also holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Kentucky Wesleyan in Humanities. In 2010 He had the distinction of being the first athlete & African American to give the commencement speech in the school’s history.
Tinsley has been involved in the Airport Concessions business for over 25 years. He first became a majority partner with HMSHost and operated the TGIFriday’s at the Tampa Airport. He then became a minority partner with HMSHost in the Miami Airport. He also became a minority partner with HMSHost at the Louisville Regional Airport, and a minority partner with HMSHost on Airside C development.