Sep 20, 2013
Tracy Jones - Correspondent
Jacksonville Business Journal
As chief financial officer of one of Jacksonville's largest public agencies, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, Richard Rossi faces unique challenges that, once conquered, can improve the aviation industry for the city.
Rossi is an attorney, and he uses his knowledge to play an integral role in developing policy for the authority - resulting in gains for the agency.
As CFO, Rossi has reduced the authority's overall debt profile. He also negotiated several real estate transactions that translated to revenue increases for the authority, which equate to gains for the city.
"I appreciate and enjoy working in the pro-business environment of Jacksonville and North Florida," he said. "Business individuals in Jacksonville seek ways to make a project work rather than reasons they will not work."
As CFO for a public agency, Rossi faces many unique challenges not often encountered by CFOs in the private sector.
"A CFO in a public agency also faces the perception when dealing with third parties that the public agency should not make a profit," he said. "It requires a determined effort to advise that you are not going to 'do a deal' if it does not have an acceptable rate of return for the authority."
Rossi said one of his greatest accomplishments is being one of the founders of the Columbia County Public School Foundation, which recognizes and encourages success in the students of the county.
"Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have strong, caring mentors who challenged me to improve and grow," Rossi said. "It instilled in me a passion to help others in their education and expanding their knowledge and abilities."