- August 15, 2015
FORT MYERS — President and CEO of The Smart Companies Brian Rist was named 2017 Small Business Advocate of the Year by The Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The Small Business Advocate of the Year award recognizes a business owner who volunteers his or her time and resources to inspire and mentor other small business owners in Southwest Florida, according to a press release. It also acknowledges a business owner for involvement in charitable organizations and community giving.
The Smart Companies is based in Fort Myers and includes Storm Smart, a manufacturer and installer of hurricane protection products. Storm Smart was ranked No. 178 by revenue on the Business Observer's 2016 Gulf Coast 500 list.
Rist supports Golisano Children's Hospital and Harry Chapin Food Bank. He is the president of the Southwest Florida Regional Manufacturers Association, chair of the Cape Coral Council for Progress and leader of the Continuous Systemic Improvement Committee for Lee County Schools. He is a board member for the Exterior Shade & Shutter Association, Lee County Horizon Council and Good Wheels.