When it comes to business, John Rivers is a renaissance man.
Retiring as president of a $1.5 billion dollar company, Rivers left a career of twenty years in healthcare to follow a lifelong dream of owning a restaurant. In 2009 Rivers opened his first concept, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, that quickly became one of the fastest growing restaurants in the southeast. With thirteen locations in Florida and one soon to open in Atlanta, the success and popularity of his 4 Rivers Smokehouse and his second concept, the Southern-inspired COOP, have garnered national recognition. Nation’s Restaurant News, the industry’s lead trade publication, recognized 4 Rivers as one of their top five breakout brands. Restaurant Business named John as one of the Power 20 Leaders in the restaurant industry, Orlando Magazine included him among Orlando’s “50 Most Powerful, 15 to Watch” and in 2013, he was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Rivers will be the speaker at the 11th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on May 4th at the Apopka Community Center/VFW, at 519 S. Central Avenue.
The Prayer Breakfast is hosted by the Apopka Christian Ministerial Alliance and is held each year on the first Thursday of May in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer.
Rivers has twice been honored to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City and has enjoyed participating at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival for the last six consecutive years. He has appeared on numerous television shows and has been featured in national publications including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Zagat, USA Today, Cigar Aficionado, Business Insider, Cooking Light Magazine, and Paula Deen Magazine. John also authored his first book, “The Southern Cowboy Cookbook,” that has enjoyed success at Barnes & Noble, Costco, and Amazon.
A graduate of Florida State University College of Business, where he serves on the Board of Governors, Rivers chairs the 4R Foundation and serves on the boards of numerous school and community charity organizations. He is the co-founder of two annual charity festivals: “Cows ‘n Cabs” in Winter Park and “Pink & Swine” in Tallahassee, and lives in Winter Park with his wife Monica and two children, Jared and Cameron.
Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased before the event. Tickets are available at The Apopka Chief /The Planter, 400 N. Park Avenue, and the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, 180 E. Main Street.
Table sponsorships packages are available. For more information on sponsorship packages, contact Jackie Trefcer at The Apopka Chief and The Planter at 407-886-2777 or Pastor Darrell Morgan, ministerial alliance president, at 407-886-7427.