Today we’d like to introduce you to Geroge Rich.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a “Pompanoian”, born in the city of Pompano Beach, Florida… if you were on I-95 Interstate, I would shout “Exit-36”! Depending on which sociologist you ask, most would say I am a millennial. My adolescence was exposed to the negative effects of the Crack Epidemic of the ’80s and lived between my parents and grandmothers. So, it is safe to say that I have seen a lot and learned a lot. But one thing that has been consistent all my life is our family’s strong faith in God and commitment to a local church. I believe it is the God of my faith that has allowed me to navigate through life’s difficulties early on and remains my compass even today.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journey of an entrepreneur is never without challenges. Truth is, there is a lot that education and work experience will not teach—and you will only learn as you build that business “brick by brick”. After years of overseeing and managing workforce development and small business programs, I found myself at a crossroads of entering back into “corporate America” or to chart my own path. Well, I decided to take all of the knowledge learned and experience gained to invest that into starting my own consulting firm, Community Development & Benefits, LLC. But the invest didn’t stop there, it also took using our savings to keep things afloat and a whole lot of time spent away from my family. One truth that I had to accept is that entrepreneurs will work harder and put in many more hours for their own business than they put in for someone else’s. And as I stayed the course, failures and disappointments happened that set me back. Promising deals fell through. Payments were delayed. Partnerships and joint ventures dissipated because of irreconcilable disagreements. Thank God for my wife, Tasha, who has been very encouraging and supportive along the way. Having her in my life really softened some of the blows. Another challenge has been doing the above while pastoring P3 Church of Pompano Beach. My wife and I started the church in 2013 when we sensed a call to share Christ with the city and connect with people that have been looked over and left out by the prevailing church culture. Below marriage and being a father (Hi Samar & Jaiah! 😀), leading this group of people has been such fulfillment for me knowing that I’m following the will of God for my life.
Please tell us about Community Development & Benefits, LLC.
Started in September 2017, Community Development & Benefits, LLC was started as a faith-based, grassroots consulting firm with a passion to empower people to be a part of the economic, social and political change happening within their communities. CDB, LLC is often called upon to “build a bridge” between communities, governments, non-profits and private companies to overcome communication barriers and work towards shared goals. We provide services in the arena of Community Advocacy, Public-Private Partnerships, Local & Minority Business Programs, Community Benefit Agreements, and Small Business Development. I am known as a “connector” in South Florida, so I have taken that ability to build relationships across industries and platforms for the greater good. Some accomplishments include: ● Positioned CDB, LLC to be a co-developer for six (6) affordable single-family homes—which is countering the Broward County “affordable housing crisis” and helps families start to create generational wealth. ● Serves as a Consultant with the City of Pompano Beach to connect local, minority business to capital improvements and General Obligations Bond projects—over $200 million of activity combined. ● Developed a partnership with South Florida Bible College (www.SFBC.edu) to create a lunch-and-learn series that provides a “safe & sacred” space for pastors and faith leaders be retooled, refreshed and provided resources to continue servicing our communities at their maximum God-given potential. In the world of entrepreneurship, I have learned to not have a “rat race” mentality and resist the urge to compete. I believe God has uniquely gifted me to function in both corporate and faith environments, with the skills to merge the two without compromising one for the other.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Plan, plan and plan! Sounds sarcastic, but the reality is planning saves us time, money and effort. Specifically, planning your exit from a contract or partnership from the onset before you sacrifice more than you intended. Also, master your schedule. Everything and everyone that needs your time must be managed by a calendar. Without it, you will overwork yourself and overlook other people and things that matter the most.
Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so – who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
Much credit for who I have become goes to my mother, Frankie Rawls, who is the epitome of what it means to overcome much adversity. Both my father & step-father have been examples of work ethic, manhood and handling the responsibility that I use as a measuring stick when making hard decisions. In no particulate order, here are a few others that have been an inspiration and/or instruction on my journey of entrepreneurship: Pastor Gary McLamore, Joan Thompson, Beverly Sanders, Vicente Thrower, Frank Daniel, Sr. (RIP) and George A. Rich, Sr. (RIP). I am elated to be hosting my first conference: Think! Leadership Conference on January 17-18, 2020 at South Florida Bible College in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This is a 2-Day Christian leadership conference to #collaborate with you, #challenge you and #change the way you lead. There will be 4 General Sessions, 4 Tracks, 12 Breakout Sessions and 2 Luncheons. Go check out www.ThinkLeadershipConference.com for more information and to register! #TLC2020
- Website: www.CommunityBenefits.pro
- Phone: (954) 281-7748
- Email: George@CommunityBenefits.pro