Brian Rist is the Executive Chairman and founder of The Smart Companies, of which Storm Smart is the largest subsidiary. Storm Smart is Florida’s largest manufacturer and installer of hurricane protection products and offers the most comprehensive product line in the industry. Licensed as a Certified General Contractor, Building Inspector, Aluminum Contractor, Mobile Home Installation Contractor, Lead Abatement Removal Contractor and Certified Hurricane Shelter Evaluator, Brian is widely recognized as an industry expert in developing innovative hurricane protection products.
For his efforts, Brian has won numerous awards including; the SBA’s 2009 “Small Businessman of the Year”, Business Observer’s 2013 “Entrepreneur of the Year” and FGCU’s Small Business Development Center’s 2017 “Advocate of the Year” and 2019 “Innovator of the Year”.
Since founding Storm Smart in 1996, Brian has been committed to customer service, product development, and community involvement. He has served as President of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, Cape Coral Council for Progress, and Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of such organizations as; Exterior Shade & Shutter Association, Lee County’s Horizon Council, Uncommon Friends Foundation, and the International Hurricane Protection Association.
Brian and his wife, Kim, are also longtime philanthropists donating millions of dollars back into the communities they call home. In 2020, Brian and Kim created the Rist Family Foundation to continue their efforts supporting local veterans and providing educational opportunities and resources to area students. Most recently, the foundation has donated to such organizations as Collier-Lee Honor Flight, Florida Gulf Coast University, Uncommon Friends Foundation, Valerie’s House, and many more.