SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Community leader Rick Fawley made an indelible impression on our community. Not only did he achieve career success through his business, Fawley Bryant Architects, Inc., he was also committed to helping others and working to improve lives through public service. The loss of Fawley in early September was a great shock to all who knew him and to the greater community in which he lived.
Fawley, a graduate of the Leadership Manatee program, served on numerous committees and boards in the community, including Goodwill Manasota (for 20 years), the Manatee Education Foundation, the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, Art Center Manatee, USF Brunch on the Bay and more. He was deeply engaged with local business and economic development efforts as well.
To honor Fawley and his late wife, Coni, who passed away earlier this year, Goodwill Manasota has created the “Rick and Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund.” Donations to this fund will help Goodwill team members who do not have their high school diploma to earn their GED.
A recent study at Goodwill Manasota found that 133 team members have no high school diploma, and that 435 employees have no post-secondary training. Through the Fawley Scholarship Fund, Goodwill team members will be able to take classes with a GED teacher at the workplace, while on the clock.
“Education is the gift that keeps on giving, just like the time we were privileged to spend with Rick – it was a gift,” said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “By earning their GED, our team members will be able to make more money, increase their job satisfaction, and have the possibility of attending college.”
Fawley’s longtime friend and business partner Mike Bryant gave an emotional speech during Goodwill’s recent Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner, at which Fawley was honored posthumously and Bryant accepted the honor in his stead. He stunned the dinner guests by announcing a $50,000 pledge to the scholarship fund; he brought a check from his 86-year-old mother as well.
“Rick loved being a part of this community,” Bryant said. “He hated rules – he loved to stir the pot. He would always say, ‘If you take a chance, if you defy convention, you can make a difference.’ Rick defied convention and he made a difference in this community, through his work and innumerable volunteer endeavors. He would be proud to know that his memory, and that of his beloved wife, Coni, is being honored in this way.”
“Last year we invested 17,000 hours of training and ongoing education in our employees while they were on the clock; education is one of the top four priorities addressed through our recently-launched IMPACT Initiative,” said Rosinsky. “Rick served on our board of directors for 20 years and even now, through the scholarship program, he will continue to positively impact the lives of our team members and well beyond, to the communities we serve.”
For more information or to donate to the Rick & Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund, call (941) 355-2721 or go to www.experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2014, Goodwill Manasota served more than 16,000 people, placed 680 people in jobs and assisted 520 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 39 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.