Rodney Rich – PYP Advisory Board Chairman
Rodney Rich, President of Rodney Rich and Company, an employee benefits firm which he founded in 1976, is the President of our initial Advisory Board for PYP. A graduate of FSU, he was a charter member of Pensacola Sertoma and Five Flags Rotary. He has served on the International Board of Sertoma, the advisory board of The Florida State University College of Business, and the board of Junior League of Pensacola. He was the inaugural president of the Gulf Coast chapter of the International Association of Financial Planners, and he served for eight years on the Santa Rosa Education Foundation. He previously served the community on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Chief Judges’s Task Force on Gangs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters board, Think First board, and he is a past-president of Temple Beth-El. Rodney currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Fiesta of Five Flags and is President of the Conquistadors.
He and his wife Kricket have a daughter, Rebekah, who is in graduate school, and a son, Chad, who is Vice President of Rodney Rich and Company.
Owner of Express Employment Professionals, Claire was born in Louisiana to a family of four girls and moved to Pensacola in 1979. An FSU College of Business graduate, Claire is married with four children–two sons and two daughters–and she describes herself as “born to serve others.” She is on the member programs and retention committee of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and she serves as the Pensacola Opera Guild President. Claire is also an Impact 100 member.
Over the past 20 years, Express Employment Professionals has been a corporate sponsor for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and has raised over $4,000,000. Each year, they host fundraisers for Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, our local CMN Hospital. A lifelong Episcopalian, Claire is a member of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church.
Cathy Laird is a native of St. Augustine, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. in Education. She is married to Gene Laird and they have two boys: Chad and Matt.
In 1990, Cathy was hired Executive Director of the Fiesta of Five Flags Association. After serving in this position for seventeen years, she worked for the Appleyard Agency as an Administrative Assistant and assisted with account coordination. In 2008, Cathy was hired as the Annual Fund Development Coordinator for Sacred Heart Foundation, where she coordinates events which raise funds for SH Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Her duties include working with volunteers to create giving societies such as 300 Hearts, whose funds support women’s and children’s services at Sacred Heart Health System, and Purple Heart Kids’ Gang, a group that is raising funds to build a new rooftop, healing garden, and renovated playrooms at SH Children’s Hospital.
Peter J. Nowak
Originally from New York via Louisiana, Mr. Peter J. Nowak, CEO of Nowak Enterprises, Inc. (NEI) has lived in Pensacola, Florida since 1989. NEI began with two McDonald’s restaurants and has expanded to six, all in Pensacola. NEI employs over 300 people. As a business owner, Mr. Nowak combines hard work with opportunity. As an entrepreneur, he finds unique solutions to common problems. Peter co-designed a unique system as a way of better communicating with NEI employees. Called L3, for Look, Listen, and Learn, his web-based tool provides a variety of messages to all NEI employees while they are at the stores’ hand-washing stations.
Most recently, Peter helped develop mobile communication software that allows organizations to apply basic text messaging to multi-tiered marketing and analytic applications. Because he is committed to helping the Pensacola area improve childhood literacy, Peter donated L3s and educational content to Escambia County’s Oakcrest Elementary School. First graders use L3 to reinforce spelling and vocabulary lessons. Peter is also involved in a pilot project with the county’s Early Learning Coalition. L3s and instructional content will be donated as a way to help four-year-olds prepare for school. Voluntary pre-K classroom teachers will use L3 to reinforce their curricula.
Curt Morse moved to Pensacola in 2004 and is the local owner of PODS, Portable on Demand Storage. He is also owner of the boutique boat building company Caribiana Sea Skiffs. Prior to moving to Pensacola, Curt and his family lived in Atlanta where he was a sales executive in the equine animal health industry for seventeen years.
As a community leader, Morse has exhibited his passion for Pensacola in his volunteer work with numerous organizations including Ronald McDonald House, the Pensacola Opera, Fiesta of Five Flags, and the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. As a business owner, he serves on both the Military Affairs and the National Operations committees for the PODS Franchise Owners Association. He is past president of the Pensacola High Growth Business Club, has served on the Board of Directors of Five Flags Rotary, and has numerous acknowledgments of achievement from local Chambers of Commerce and various national and regional publications.
John Pharr, Jr. of Pensacola is managing partner of John Pharr CPA, LLC, a Certified Public Accounting Firm. Pharr earned a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of West Florida. He currently focuses on business consulting and tax services for clients in the Panhandle region.
Pharr has over 11 years’ experience in the internet and technology business. He is the founder, president, and CEO of JP Micro Corporation, which is an internet development company. JP Micro was formed in 1999 and has successfully grown over the last eleven years. Pharr is also the founder, president, and CEO of Electronics Display Networks (EDN). EDN is a full-service solution provider of digital signage.
Pharr is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FLCPA), as well as a member of Seville Rotary Club.
Bill Wein has over 25 years of experience in building organizations providing human capital solutions. As co-founder and president of IMS ExpertServices, Mr. Wein has been the driving force behind the legal industry’s leading expert witness search firm. As a reflection of its success, IMS has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies for each of the past five years.
Mr. Wein formed IMS ExpertServices after co-founding two very successful search firms providing executive search, interim executive, and consulting services to its telecommunications, media, and technology clients. Through these firms, Mr. Wein built teams within some of the most successful companies in the world to include Time Warner, Philips Broadband, Comcast, AT&T, Sprint, Motorola, and Cox Communications. Previously, he held business development roles in two prestigious telecommunications firms: U.S. West and Jones Intercable.
Mr. Hosman is partner and COO of FS Advisors, Inc., which focuses on providing comprehensive financial solutions to Tribes regarding wealth management, benefits, and risk management. Before joining FS Advisors, Inc., he worked with O’Sullivan Creel Wealth Advisors, LLP and helped develop their Finance Division, leading a team of mortgage professionals that focused on commercial and residential lending. He also worked with a variety of clients providing wealth management services.
John graduated from the University of West Florida with a B.S. in Marketing as well as a Masters in Business Administration. During John’s time at the University of West Florida he was elected to two terms as the Student Body President and one term as the president of the Florida Student Association. He was also named as Florida’s College Student Leader of the Year runner-up.
John currently serves on five civic organization boards and is focused on giving back to his community. He is happily married to his wife, Kindra, and has a 7-year-old daughter, Kylah, and 5-year-old twins, Jordan and Jansen. John and his family are members at First Baptist Church. John was PYP’s first President and one of its founding members.