Ronnie Rice

by Terry Watson | November 15th, 2019
Ronnie Rice (Photo by Apollo Wonex)

Ronnie Rice (Photo by Apollo Wonex)

Greenville, SC resident Ronnie Rice wears many hats. He is a husband, father, entrepreneur, and Human Resource Professional. He holds a M.A. in Management and Leadership from Webster University George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology. Additionally he is a published author, and his work ‘When Phoenix Rise: Life lessons for effective leadership®’ is available Amazon and Barnes and Noble for purchase.

Ronnie’s book was largely inspired by a cousin who asked him, “How did you get out of the Southside of Waukegan, Illinois when so many others you grew up with did not? How did you make it with so much adversity and negative distractions all around you? In essence, his cousin wanted to know what made Ronnie different. “I attempted to answer his questions by sharing my life’s journey, the good, bad, and otherwise choices that helped shape me as a person as well as how it all helped me meander my way through corporate America to a level of success that I am proud of today,” he says.

Ronnie is also the founder of R2 Enterprises, LLC. Pronounced “R squared” his company specializes in offering Motivational Speaking services. He is also a developer of an after-school program entitled, ‘The Raising Corne® Program Seminars,’ which is recognized as one of the longest running programs in the state of South Carolina’s Low-country. Ronnie is also the designer of his own t-shirt apparel brand named R.I.S.E. ® (Reach In-Side for Excellence) Motivational Wear that currently offers two designs available for purchase on Amazon. Rice expects four more designs to be available by the approach of the new year.

Ronnie initially started R2 Enterprises LLC in 2002 after leaving a 17 year career in corporate America at Abbott Labs. His first project was the after-school program, and then motivational speaking. He served as a member the NCAA Speakers Registry for a few years and spoke to students and student-athletes at various colleges and universities. “For a long time, I envisioned having my own apparel brand similar to a Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, versus making t-shirts for others. Of course, it’s much more difficult to penetrate the apparel industry the way that I am trying to do it, but I really wanted to have my own brand with my motivational slogans,” he says. “I look forward to the day when I will see a stranger donning one of my tees. Even better, seeing a star athlete or entertainer wearing my apparel providing me with great free marketing would be a huge plus.”

What Ronnie says he loves most about what he does is the ability to influence others to move from Point A to Point B in their lives, or in their careers. “I am often overwhelmed from the feedback many give to me on how I made a difference in their career trajectory, or their decision to avoid negative pitfalls of life by making better-informed choices from something I may have said. I have a passion for assessing challenges and for motivating change in order to improve the process, whether in business or in society,” he says.

Ronnie says he is inspired by his wife, his family, Altruism, and people. He is also moved by the actions of individuals such as Robert E. Smith who recently donated millions of dollars to pay off the school debt of many young men attending Morehouse College Atlanta. “In spite of all the evil that takes place in the world, I am still encouraged by and believe the human spirit of most people will prevail over evil. I find inspirations in individuals who change our world including Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Reginald F. Lewis, OPRAH, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Bezos, Alex Zuckerberg, Muhammad Ali, and Colin Kapernick. These are the risk takers who provide an intoxicating approach to not being afraid to “think-outside-the-box’ in order to move the needle forward,” says Ronnie.

He also finds inspiration in millennials. “They are revolutionary in their thinking and what is occurring in society and in business across the country today is a phenomenon. They offer a refreshing approach to business because they are not afraid to challenge the status-quo and they are making sure their voices will be heard. They all inspire me daily and confirm there is still reason to believe in the progression forward of the human race,” he says.

Some of the challenges that Ronnie has faced in business are the struggles of maintaining a small business during the 2008 recession. With real-estate and having one of my properties being located in Atlanta, GA. I did not have a mentor to help navigate me through the areas of business and for unforeseen challenges,” he says.

When asked if he would change anything about his journey, Ronnie shares a few points. “I would like to have a judicial system that lived up to and honored the image of what “Lady Justice” represents, where justice is truly blind to power, corruption, and negative influence. We need more effective internal controls in government and big business as well as measurable external ‘checks and balances’ to ensure we do not repeat another Enron, economic meltdown or Bernie Madoff-type situation in this country,” he says.

In the future, Ronnie shares that he would like to occupy a position in leadership that would allow him to have more autonomy to use his work experience, education, and creativity to better influence an organizations’ culture. This is something Ronnie describes similar to what Matthew McConaughey did for his alma mater, the University of Texas by offering an acting class in an effort to bridge the gap between education and the workforce to help ease the transition from school to the real world. “I would like to propose a life-skills class using my book to interested colleges to be incorporated into its curriculum as an elective. One day when I retire, my ultimate goal is to make my money work while I sleep,” he says.

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