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Rotary Happenings: Rotary International classification talks take place for new members

By Staff | Mar 28, 2018

First 7 a.m. meeting since the time change and a few of us were still feeling it. Having to wake up before dawn you would think attendance would be down but Rotarians did roll in, although not as pulled-together as usual. The exceptions were Rotarians Richard Green, looking dapper with his cuff-linked shirt, and Holli Martin, looking oh-so smartly-dressed in her trendy professional attire.

Although that is not unusual for the two, they might have stepped it up just a notch as they were the morning program with their Rotary International classification talks. When a person joins, they are asked to choose a classification-professional sector they would like to represent. Rotary International encourages diversity amongst members, bringing varied backgrounds, professional experiences and life experiences to projects and programming within the spectrum of Rotary’s founding principles.

Business broker Richard Green was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. At the ripe old age of 15, with absolutely no money, he had the gumption to approach a local clock and watch company and got them to let him buy watches on spec for resale. The watch business went extremely well for this junior salesperson and eventually he was able to open his own market store, running the business for the next 15 years, all this while still pursuing his education.

He calls himself lucky because this was the beginning of the computer kids generation. Green studied business and computer science at college and at 24, founded Printext, supplying laser printers to the corporate market in central London. He ran the business for 10 years, building it to 60 employees and an annual revenue of over $5 million. At the same time, Green bought half-ownership in a computer manufacturer, Olympian Computers, moving the struggling business from financial difficulty to profitability in three months.

As 2000 was approaching, complication in computer manufacturing had Green turning the business toward developing computer software, Integrated Document Technology, another multi-million dollar company. He sold the company 12 years later to a major NASDAQ listed United States corporation. For the next four years, Green enjoyed being a business consultant before following his lifelong dream of moving to America – he had visited Miami in high school on a Rotary Group Study Exchange Program.

Green bought a property management company in Orlando under the E2 Treaty Investor Visa Program. Eventually realizing that this type of business was not his cup of tea, he sold it and moved to Sanibel with his soon-to-be-wife Elsie, who sold real estate in Orlando and now sells residential real estate on Sanibel. Green couldn’t stand still for very long and, at first, he thought he would become a residential Realtor himself, but he was drawn to the entrepreneurial characteristics of becoming a business broker.

Green joined Corporate Investment Business Brokers in July and is well on his way toward having a great 2018. His experience with buying and selling businesses and his ability to share the knowledge holds him in good standing on both sides of a buying and selling transactions.

Martin has an outstanding career as operations manager and commercial insurance account executive for Heidrick & Co. on Sanibel, is the wife of Martin Design Studio founder Larry Martin, the mother of two teenage boys and is an active member of the community. During college, Martin was going in the direction of pursuing a career in political science, but her interest gravitated toward mass communications and public relations.

After college, Martin worked in the marketing field and had a stint as executive director of the Highland Chamber of Commerce. Eventually, it was time to open her own advertising and marketing business, Hype Creative in Highland, Illinois. Ultimately, time for another change. She sold her company, her husband sold his farm and the couple moved to Sanibel for the good life – a beach bum’s life.

Before even arriving on Sanibel, Martin called about a job on Sanibel as administrative receptionist for Heidrick & Co., hoping it wasn’t going to be too demanding of her time. That didn’t even last till the end of the phone call. She was hired for a full-time position as the staff manager. Five years later, she became the commercial account manager along with being staff manager. A couple of years ago, Chris Heidrick was developing a new business dealing with flood insurance. Martin joined the effort and is now vice president of Trusted Flood Insurance Brokerage, along with continuing her other duties.

For information about the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary. The club meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, at 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel; visitors are always welcome to attend.