Rick Tonkinson, a renowned a certified financial planner and a Charter Life Underwriter who has been featured in several national publications as an expert in his field, is one who shares the holiday spirit year round as a mentor, philanthropist and civic leader.
A Pinecrest resident, Tonkinson works with his wife of 32 years, Margarita, and son, Steven, in their family business, Rick Tonkinson & Associates in Coral Gables.
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance in 1976, Tonkinson’s first job was as a Peace Corps volunteer. He moved to Miami in 1981, held a variety of jobs until he eventually got into banking as a trust officer. At the same time, he attended school at night earning a Master of Business Administration in 1984 and a Master of Public Administration in 1985 with a specialization in budgets and cash flow at the University of Miami.
While working at the bank, Tonkinson realized that the quality of advice and service was based on the balance of the customer’s account. The minimum balance was so high that working class people, like his family and friends, did not qualify; so he went back to night school once again and became a Certified Financial Planner in 1991 and Chartered Life Underwriter in 1993.
Since 1991, Tonkinson has been dedicated to helping employees of FPL and BellSouth, as well as police officers and teachers, plan for retirement. He has been a volunteer instructor for finance for Small Business Administration workshops through SCORE. He has served on the board of directors for the Children’s Home Society and the Florida Endowment Fund for Education. He is a past president of the Miami Rotary Club. He also serves on the University of Miami Citizen Board.
Tonkinson and his wife are trustees of the Rick Tonkinson and Family Charitable Fund. Through that fund and personally, the Tonkinsons support a myriad of local and national charitable organizations. They are Double Diamond major donors of the Rotary Foundation, bronze level donors to the Performing Arts Center, benefactors to the Florida Grand Opera, fellows at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, members of the Vision Society at Bascom Palmer and members of the University of Miami President’s Circle and Founders Society and serve on the board of the Community Foundation of Pinecrest.
A man who sets personal goals and passes those on to his son, Tomlinson and his son celebrated their 50th and 25th birthdays by climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.