Former fortune 500 executive returns to Fort Pierce to inspire students and community

IRSC to host ‘Soaring: Turning Challenges into Success’ with Lee Rhyant on Sept. 22


The public is invited to join Lee E. Rhyant, former executive vice president and general manager for Lockheed-Martin Marietta and Fort Pierce native son, on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. for a community conversation in support of his new book, Soaring Eleven Guiding Principles on the Path from Segregation to Success, co-authored with Dr. Catherine Lewis.

The program will take place at the Kight Center for Emerging Technologies, Room V-110, on the Indian River State College Massey Campus, 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. The talk will be followed by a meet and greet and book signing with the authors. The event is free and open to the public.

A powerful underdog story, Soaring delivers practical leadership advice, business lessons, and tips for career and personal success mined from Rhyant’s 40 years as a corporate leader. Born into poverty in the postwar South, Rhyant was the fourth of eight children raised by a family of sharecroppers struggling to survive the last decades of segregation.

As a child, Lee’s family moved to Fort Pierce, and with help from his family, teachers, clergy, and local community, reached the executive ranks at General Motors, Rolls-Royce Aeronautics, and Lockheed-Martin. During “Soaring: Turning Challenges into Success,” Rhyant and co-author Dr. Catherine Lewis will share his guiding principles and tips for success to demonstrate the transformative power of perseverance.

“I’m cannot think of a better place to launch the publication of this book than in my hometown,” shares Lee Rhyant. “Fort Pierce shaped me into the person I am today, and my family and I owe so much to this community. Indian River State College helped change the trajectory of my life, and I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire and motivate a new generation to strive for success.”

The event at IRSC marks the launch of the book Soaring Eleven Guiding Principles on the Path from Segregation to Success (UGA Press, 2022).


More about Lee Rhyant

From 2000 to 2011, Rhyant served as Executive Vice President and General Manager for Lockheed-Martin Marietta. Since leaving the aerospace industry, Lee has been highly sought after as an executive coach and confidant to Fortune 500 executives across the industrial spectrum. He is the President and CEO of LER Solutions, an executive coaching firm in Atlanta, and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

About Dr. Catherine Lewis

Dr. Catherine Lewis is assistant vice president for Museums, Archives & Rare Books and professor of history at Kennesaw State University. She has curated more than 40 exhibitions around the nation and is the author, co-author, or co-editor of fifteen books.


Media interested in covering the event or seeking an advance interview with Lee Rhyant should contact Suzanne Seldes at [email protected] or 772-462-7265.


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