Honorees: Gary and Nancy Chartrand

Recipients of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach's 2018 "Rock of the Community Award"

Ponte Vedra Beach residents Gary and Nancy Chartrand are among the First Coast's leading philanthropists.

As executive chairman of Acosta, Gary Chartrand oversees a company that employs more than 35,000 associates in 100 offices. He has been the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company's geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into a leading full-service sales and marketing company in the United States and Canada. For his efforts, Chartrand received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001, and was recognized as one of the 50 most powerful leaders in the grocery industry by Supermarket News from 2003 to 2009.

In April 2007, Chartrand led a community effort to help bring Teach for America to Jacksonville, making the River City only the second community in Florida to attract the education initiative. In June 2009, he and his wife, Nancy, also made a pledge gift to KIPP schools of Jacksonville to help bring the first KIPP school to Florida. In 2011, his passion for education and his business and leadership experience were recognized when Governor Rick Scott appointed him to the State Board of Education.

The author of "Unreasonable Leadership," Chartrand currently serves on the board of directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and City Year of Jacksonville, while also serving as chair of the board of the Jacksonville KIPP schools in Jacksonville and The Stem.2 Hub of Northeast Florida. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of Wounded Warrior Project, Catholic Charities, Guardian of Dreams Catholic schools and the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Nancy Chartrand has been driven by her devotion to her Catholic faith, her love of her family, her strong commitment to social justice and her passion for the betterment of our community. Nancy considers her greatest gifts to be her 3 granddaughters, Lyla and twins Hannah and Abby. She considers her greatest overall career accomplishment to be the formation of her family's foundation alongside her husband and their two children, Jeffrey and Meredith. The Chartrand Foundation focuses on education, reflecting Gary and Nancy's belief that a high-quality education is the most important step individuals can take toward achieving self-expression, personal freedom and financial independence. Over the past fifteen years, Gary and Nancy, along with the Chartrand Foundation, have awarded over $50 million in gifts and grants for the advancement of our community.  

Graduates of the University of New Hampshire, Gary and Nancy Chartrand are executive producers of a 90-minute documentary, "Messenger of Truth."