Join other CEOs and business leaders in Northwest Florida who are building great businesses for a greater purpose.

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It can be lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be.

We know leaders limit their potential when they lead from isolation. But, when surrounded by trusted advisors with a common goal and a biblical worldview, they can maximize performance and energize cultures. With faith as the foundation, this powerful group of peers meet in an exclusive, confidential forums to have their questions answered and their answers questioned.

Chairs

Business Forum Leaders in the Northwest Florida Area

RICKY HARPER

Ricky has been blessed with a diverse career in many roles and leadership positions. After a four-year stint in the…

RICKY HARPER

Ricky has been blessed with a diverse career in many roles and leadership positions. After a four-year stint in the US army, he began his career at GE Healthcare as an engineer working on MRI systems. A few years later Ricky began learning leadership when he accepted the role of lead engineer for the Jacksonville FL team. Fifteen years later Ricky moved into the role of Area Director for the South West Georgia territory of GE Healthcare. After three successful years in that role he was tasked with assuming leadership of GE Healthcare’s North Florida/South Georgia region. His territory, then the smallest in the southeast zone was realigned and overnight became the largest, stretching from St Augustine FL to Macon GA. In this role Ricky became six Sigma certified and studied lean methodology. In the next nine years his teams were recognized for financial and operational excellence by receiving GE’s coveted ‘Omega Society’ award four times. Ricky retired from GE in 2009 and began consulting in the Tallahassee area, where he had the opportunity to work with nearly half of the state’s government agencies on various projects, usually in management and leadership development. In 2011 he was given the opportunity to become the Director of Florida’s Division of Corporations where he worked for Florida’s Secretary of State. In that role Ricky was tasked with instilling a ‘private sector mentality’ at the division and finding solutions for a new trend in corporate crime known as Business Identity Theft. Florida business owners now benefit from the work he and his team accomplished in understanding and developing protocols to protect them from that little-understood but devastating crime. In 2013 Ricky stepped away from public sector work and formed Business Shield Inc. which provided more comprehensive identity theft solutions for Florida business owners. In addition to becoming an entrepreneur, Ricky returned to consulting and in 2016 he first heard about the C12 Group while attending a seminar on Christian life in the workplace. In 2017, After a time of prayer and reflection, he answered the call to become a full-time C12 chair serving the Florida Panhandle. Ricky is a believer in leading with a servant’s heart and has a passion for marketplace ministry. Ricky and his wife, Gail, live in Tallahassee, FL. They have two sons and one grandson. Both of his sons share their father’s love of God and all things mechanical. In his free time, Ricky builds and races sports cars in the Tire Rack Champcar series at tracks across the Southeast.

JEFF CERNY

Jeff has over 40 years of professional work and 10 years as a graduate level professor with Florida Tech University….

JEFF CERNY

Jeff has over 40 years of professional work and 10 years as a graduate level professor with Florida Tech University. More importantly, for over 30 years he has professed Jesus Christ though lifelong and expanding learning experiences by the grace of God.

His government service includes military service as a Commander of an Army Field Artillery unit and training in Airborne, Ranger, and Pathfinder operations. His government research work was at the Army Aviation and Missile R&D Engineering Center and the Army Night Vision Lab as a general engineer. His related industrial work was at Booz Allen Hamilton as an Associate, at the University of Alabama Huntsville as a Research Scientist, at General Dynamics as a Director of Special Projects, and at Textron Defense Systems as Director of Advanced Programs.

He is a graduate of West Point, the Army Production Engineering Intern Program, Texas A&M-Texarkana University, Nova Southeastern University, and the Air War College Seminar Program.

He has founded and has led a Homeschool Academy in Alabama for over 20 years. The academy has successfully graduated over 300 students and impacted several families in their journeys.

He has been blessed with four grown children from his first wife of 33 years who died of brain cancer in 2008. He was remarried in 2011 to Robin, an Army veteran also, who has three grown children for a blended family of seven grown children and nineteen grandchildren. Robin and Jeff live in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. They serve as Elders for a growing church and continue to fulfill the Lord’s Kingdom purpose in their lives and those they touch.

“C12 is everything I was looking for and more of what I didn’t know I needed. My peers challenge me in my blind spots, love me in hard times, and encourage me to glorify God in the way I lead my team. It’s a home for business leaders.”

Brittany Zeller, founder and director of Tiny Feet Early Intervention / South Carolina C12 member

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