Rist Family Foundation

Committed to improving our community

Invest In Education
Invest In Our Heroes
Invest In Community

An Investment in Community

The Rist Family Foundation was created to be a catalyst—one that will bring relevant, positive change for families of Southwest Florida. Created by longtime local business leader Brian Rist, The Rist Family Foundation is an extension of Brian’s personal philosophy that if you invest in the people who make up your community, those same people will, in turn, strengthen the community.

A History of Protecting The Community

Brian Rist has spent a lifetime protecting things. As the owner of local hurricane shutter manufacturer, Storm Smart, Brian has been in the business of protecting the homes of our area since 1996. The Rist Family Foundation is simply an evolution of this—from protecting homes, to helping some of the people who live in them.

Who We Help

The Rist Family Foundation invests in our community’s youth, through academic and educational initiatives, and our service men and women who have long supported our nation. Our belief is that we invest in the future through our youth, while rewarding the past service of our veterans in need.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If we don’t invest in our community, and help honest, productive people in need of it, we weaken as a community. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference for families of Southwest Florida.”

– Brian Rist, Founder

Gulfshore Life Magazine's 2022 Honoree

Brian Rist considers it humbling anytime his achievements as a business leader or philanthropist are recognized. His latest honor as one of Gulfshore Life Magazine’s 2022 Men & Women of the Year only reinforces his belief that giving back to a community, which has meant so much to him over the decades, is the only way to live.


  • Florida Gulf Coast University – School of Entrepreneurship
  • Florida Gulf Coast University – Runway Program
  • Florida Gulf Coast University – Newton Ethical Leadership Initiative
  • Florida SouthWestern State College – Respiratory Laboratory and Classroom
  • Lee County Public Schools
  • IMAG History & Science Center
  • Uncommon Friends Scholarship
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell – School of Business
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell – Rist Institute for Sustainability & Energy”
  • WGCU – At Home Learning TV