The Uncommon Friends Foundation recently added four prominent, community business leaders to its board of directors—Jarrett Eady, Gary Eskin, Susan Minaya, and Brian Rist.

Jarrett Eady is currently chairman of the Lee County Black History Society and a Director of Diversity and Inclusion and AVID District Director of Lee County Schools. He is a 2004 political science graduate of Florida State University and has served on various Southwest Florida boards and leadership positions, including the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board. He was selected as Lee County School District’s Social Studies Teacher of the Year for the 2008-2009 school year.

Gary Eskin, CEO of Eskin Business Solutions has 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur, trainer and business consultant. Eskin Business Solutions helps companies create, drive and maintain high performing corporate cultures with a proven, easy-to-use system that gets good results. He is also on the board of directors for the March of Dimes and has served on other boards of directors over the years.

Susan M. Minaya, M.Ed., CPLP, SHRM-CSP is COO and Chief Learning Strategist at Minaya Learning Global Solutions LLC, a company she founded with her husband, Dr. Guido Minaya. She has more than 25 years of learning and development experience as a corporate learning executive, strategic consultant, learning strategist, instructional designer, instructor, and technical writer. She has experience in the fields of education, telecommunications, manufacturing, media and entertainment, technology, financial services, insurance, and nonprofits.She is also on the board of directors for the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.

Brian Rist is Executive Chairman of The Smart Companies. Its largest subsidiary, Storm Smart, is the largest manufacturer and installer of hurricane protection and lifestyle products. Rist has held top community leadership posts in the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, Southwest Regional Manufacturer’s Association, Lee County’s Horizon Foundation, Cape Coral Council for Progress, and the International Hurricane Protection Association. Past awards and honors include the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award (2015), Horizon Foundation’s Industry Appreciation Award for Corporate Expansion (2007), Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies (2006-2009), and Cape Coral Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Business Partner of the Year (2017).

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, the Uncommon Friends Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 1993 and dedicated to lifelong character building among today’s youth and business leaders. Its mission is to promote character education in schools, business ethics in the workplace and historic preservation of the Burroughs Home and James Newton Archives. It is located at the historic, riverfront Burroughs Home & Gardens at 2505 First Street in downtown Fort Myers, Florida 33901. For more information about historic tours or garden weddings, please visit or contact Executive Director Jennifer Nelson at 239-337-9503.

Uncommon Friends Membership Meeting 2011
Business Ethics Luncheon 2012
2016 Scholarship Recipients
2019 Business Ethics Luncheon at FGCU
2019 Uncommon Evening: Pearls of Wisdom
Business Ethics Award Recipients
Champion Teachers
Historic Images
Honorary Lifetime Membership Winners
Royal Palm Yacht Club Ladies Visit Burroughs Home
Scholarship Recipients