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Local philanthropist, Brian Rist, shared his philanthropy lessons during the final luncheon of the 2022 season for The Planned Giving Council of Lee County at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. Fifty professionals from the development and estate planning industry attended the luncheon, including representatives from nonprofits, attorneys, CPAs, and wealth advisors.

Rist is the former Executive Chairman of The Smart Companies, of which Storm Smart is the largest subsidiary. After 26 years of growing Storm Smart to be the largest manufacturer of storm protection products in the United States and being a businessman, Brian began to focus on giving back. He is a philanthropist, giving to local colleges and universities, helping with food banks during the holidays, sponsoring many charity events, and giving to veteran organizations. He is a true leader, giving his time and money to the community he has called home for nearly a quarter-century.

One attendee shared, "Brian’s philanthropic lessons provided insight into why most donors support nonprofits – when you give for the right reason, with the right heart, it comes back to you.”

Rist said, “It was a special honor to speak at the May meeting of the Planned Giving Council. I have the good fortune to speak at several events but to speak to a group of champions who have such dedication in helping nonprofits, and who work toward making the world a better place is admirable. It was energizing to be in a room full of such dynamic professionals.”

Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida sponsored the event. Founded in 1981, the mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida (CAC) is to provide a coordinated response to child victims of abuse and neglect; and improve the lives of at-risk children and their families through prevention services.

About The Planned Giving Council of Lee County, Inc.: The Planned Giving Council of Lee County, Inc. (PGC) provides programs presented by expert speakers, symposiums, networking and guidance to professionals involved in all aspects of charitable giving. PGC members are committed to better serving their donors and clients by helping them to make charitable gifts that are well-planned both financially and philanthropically. The PGC strives to engage all constituents in the charitable gift planning process: planned giving and major gifts professionals, nonprofit managers and trustees, financial and estate planners, trust managers and administrators.

For more information about future educational lunches and sponsorship opportunities, please visit:

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