LEADERS TO WATCH
Treasure Coast business movers and shakers
contributing to regional growth
industry sectors. Understanding the important role leadership will
continue to play in the region, Treasure Coast Business has created
its first issue dedicated to leaders to watch as our communities and
marketplace continue to grow.
The region has a strong foundation of innovative and influential
leaders. If all those worthy of appearing in this article were included,
this issue would resemble a dictionary not a magazine. This article is
simply to provide a sampling of the hundreds of influential leaders
who work and lead every day along the Treasure Coast.
With the assistance of regional business organizations, a list was
created with the following eligibility requirements:
• Individuals must have been in business for five or more years
• Businesses and their owners must reside in the region
• No elected officials.
The individuals profiled in this segment serve as examples of the
different pathways to fostering a positive effect on the development
of our community, its residents and especially our youth.
PHILIP A. BUSCH
PRESIDENT OF SOUTHERN EAGLE DISTRIBUTING
With a long family history in the development and
sales of beverages, Philip A. Busch is a prominent
Treasure Coast business leader. As the president of
Southern Eagle Distributing and The Busch Family
Foundation, Busch has an impressive track record of
running a successful, family-owned business.
His strengths and expertise are in the acquisition, sales and marketing
of beverage brands. Some of the brands include Anheuser-Busch,
Constellation, Sailfish Brewing, Celsius, Essentia Water, a newly launched
spirit portfolio, and more than 60 other local and national suppliers.
Vision for the future is an important component for any business
owner, manager or aspiring entrepreneur. Whether it is a nonprofit,
for-profit, government, small or big business, the organization will
always require a vision for growth, expansion or innovation. The
mechanism that allows the organization to execute this vision is
leadership. From motivating and inspiring the team and community
to creating and organizing the tasks and work plan — leadership
plays a critical role.
So, what is good leadership?
The most common definition is the ability to inspire confidence
and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational
goals. An important element regarding leadership is that it
can be practiced to some extent even by those who do not hold or
are not assigned a formal leadership position.
The Treasure Coast region has begun to experience dynamic
growth and changes to the economic landscape. These marketplace
changes will require leadership at all levels and from all
WILLIAM ‘WILL’ ARMSTEAD
CEO, BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY
William “Will” Armstead was born and raised in
Brooklyn, New York, along with his seven brothers
and sisters. A veteran of the U.S. Army and Army
National Guard, he served 16 years that included
deployments during Operation Desert Storm and
Operation Enduring Freedom. He received more
than a dozen awards and medals for his outstanding leadership and
retired as a sergeant 1st class senior noncommissioned officer.
As a civilian, Armstead’s career soared as a regional general manager
for Aramark – a publicly held $16 billion worldwide food and
uniform services company. He successfully managed $26 million in
annual revenue in the Southeast division and increased revenue 12%
year after year.
His career continued to excel at A’viands, a privately owned $140
million services management company. As director of operations, he
managed $65 million in annual revenue at 126 locations in 26 states.
Armstead’s personal life mission is to serve people in need,
especially disadvantaged children. Even while working for large
corporations, he has always been a community-based leader, serving
multiple nonprofits including Big Brothers Big Sisters, PACE and Safe
Space. For eight years, he served on the Boys & Girls Club board and
also as board president. He also serves on Global Vision Citadel Ministries
and Alzheimer’s Community Care, just to name a few.
Although he is a busy executive, Armstead makes time for family.
He and wife, Rachel, have six sons and four daughters. They also are
foster parents, which is how they came to adopt brothers Nathyn and
Marcus in 2018. The family attends First Baptist Church of Lake Park
where he serves as a deacon.
In 2015, Armstead became chief executive officer of Boys & Girls
Clubs of St. Lucie County – a nonprofit organization that serves
more than 15,000 children yearly with 166 employees and an annual
budget of more than $5 million. He is clearly dedicated to the club’s
mission of helping children reach their full potential. His outgoing,
friendly manner attracts people who may have never experienced the
Boys & Girls Club. He believes that people sincerely want to help kids –
especially those who need it the most.
In his rare spare time, he enjoys fishing, golfing and quality family time.
His passion and strongest attributes are his compassion for people
and his ability to lead by example. He pushes people to be the best version
of themselves and he wants that more for others than for himself.
Whom on the Treasure Coast do you most admire and why?
One of the many people on the Treasure Coast that I admire most
is Elizabeth Barbella, CEO of The Community Foundation Martin – St.
Lucie. Under her leadership, the foundation has grown from a quiet
organization to a robust organization serving philanthropists and
nonprofits in Martin and St. Lucie counties. She’s a visionary leader, a
mentor and valued adviser.
If given $50,000 to start a new business, what type of business
would you start and why?
If given $50,000, I would open a day-care. There are not enough
day-care businesses on the Treasure Coast, which is a problem for
working families and their employers.
If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a
room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?
In 1991, I was stationed in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. I
remember vividly the first time I heard Lee Greenwood’s hit song, God
Bless the USA, blaring full blast over the loudspeakers on base. That
song gave me chill bumps then and still does today.