Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.59.36 PMEach month, we are taking one of our board members and letting you know a few things that are not in their profiles.

As Treasurer, Rick chairs the Finance Committee and ensures fiscal integrity and responsibility.  Rick approves the proposed budgets of each board committee and prepares the annual budget for recommendation to the Executive Committee and the Board.  For a complete list of his responsibilities, take a look at the Operating Guidelines found on the GNL Documents page.

Give us a brief summary of your background, where you grew up, how you got to Naples, how long in GNL, etc.

As a first year baby boomer, I spent my “formative” years growing up in Long Island, NY, where I attended college, worked in Manhattan, married and started our family.  Trained as an accountant, I went on to become a CPA before heading into the real estate industry.   When the opportunity arose to relocate to Connecticut and further my real estate career, we picked-up with our three year and six month old daughters and started the next phase of our lives.

For the past 38 years, I have been on the shoreline of Connecticut, raising our family and co-founding our real estate investment company.  Both Pat, my wife of 44 years (shown right), and I took up skiing and sailing with our very young daughters.  After our youngest left for college, Pat and I tried golf.  We loved it!  Golf vacations took us to Naples and we knew that was where we wanted to retire.  I’m still working, but living in Naples in the winter months and on the shoreline of Connecticut in the summer, which provides us with two wonderful places to live, work and play.

How did you find out about GNL?

Once in Naples, a dear friend from Connecticut, Anne Hale, invited me to apply to the Masters Class.  At first I felt I could not commit the time, but then realized I could procrastinate and use work as an excuse or I could start and really immerse myself in what has become a truly great part of my life.

How has GNL helped you become involved in the community?

I loved being part of the Supreme Class XVI.  GNL did more than it advertised.  It opened the world of Naples and Collier County, exposed the fullness of the experiences one could encounter and opened my eyes to the opportunities of involvement with so many wonderful organizations.  Through GNL, I have become involved in volunteer work at the REVS museum, having been sponsored to join the REVS group by fellow GNL member Pete Chehayl.

Good friends and GNL members John Levy and Steve Weisberg invited me to join with them in the Naples Men’s Discussion Group where I now serve on the executive committee.  Following their lead, I now work as a mentor in the Champions for Learning program.  Dear friend Tom Lear, who I sponsored for GNL, brought me onto the board of the Founders Fund as treasurer to work with the organization to continue their good work providing college scholarships for deserving Collier County graduates.  I was recently elected to the board of the Club Pelican Bay where I serve as treasurer, chairman of the finance committee and serve with fellow GNL member Fred Luconi on the building and design committee.  And I now serve as Treasurer on the GNL Board.

A critical part of membership in GNL is to remain involved in the organization.  Our ability to do the good work we do and to attract and retain the wonderful members happens only when we also serve GNL.  Our organization isn’t a school we attend then move on, but rather a valuable organization that continues to give to the community and does so only with our collective efforts to sustain that mission.

What’s one thing we don’t know about you?

The one thing that comes to mind is that my educational path from high school, and my then passion, was to attend art school and become an automobile designer.  Having completed many art and design classes in my high school years, I designed and built a scale model for the Fisher Body Craftsman Guild (remember Body by Fisher on all General Motors cars) for which I was given an award at the state level but after starting at a design, art and architecture college, I realized it wasn’t to be.  Now the bigger unanswered question is how you get from Art to Accounting.  Well, that’s probably another story you probably don’t know.

What would you like to see GNL do in the future?

As birthdays come, one is often asked if this is the “big one” and as GNL is at a “big one” (20th Anniversary), it only seems right to ask about the future.  Accountants use historical data to forecast future results, so I might as well make mine.

Historically we educate, expose and provoke critical thinking through our Masters Class.  We grow by virtue of adding forty some odd members each year and increase in member count until the time when ads equal drops.  We’re close to hitting probable complete absorption giving GNL a critical mass of several hundred engaging and engaged members who give back to GNL and the community–each to his/her own specific interest.

Our future really lies in staying relevant, current and forward looking in the Master Class program and even more significantly to the ACE program.  We all should never stop learning.  Some years ago the final Calvin and Hobbs comic strip ended with the message that each day is like a new clean blanket of snow–a fresh start and that we should go out and explore!

I believe that GNL provides all of us that new clean blanket of snow that we can go out into and explore.