In 2004, John Rivers channeled his will to serve others into a cooking fundraiser to support a young girl battling cancer. Recognizing the impact his cooking had on his community, John, along with friends, family and a growing team of volunteers, decided to continue the barbecue ministry for any person or cause that needed support–schools, churches, charities, civic organizations, and anyone in distress. Over the years, this compassionate outreach outgrew John’s garage, and in 2009 he opened his first restaurant, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, with a pledge to preserve the barbecue ministry’s values. Since then, 4 Rivers has expanded its focus on community support to 14 locations throughout Florida and one in Georgia.
In 2015, the 4R Restaurant Group established the 4R Foundation Inc. to ensure the continuation and enhancement of its
charitable efforts. We are proud to host and participate in events that bring awareness and support to impactful issues benefitting respective charities such as Cows ‘N Cabs in Winter Park, Florida, as well as its sister event, Pink & Swine, in Tallahassee, Florida. Apart from fundraising events and community gatherings, we continue to serve others by welcoming informal requests for grant distributions for child development and education, critical needs and social services, and catastrophic injuries and illnesses. Our latest initiative is The 4Roots Farm and Agriculture Center, which is dedicated to fostering a healthier and more economically vibrant regional food system. John believes in the power of collaborating, educating and promoting positive change through the nourishment of and access to a local food network. In the end, we will build a better future for our children and generations to come.
WE WELCOME INFORMAL REQUESTS FOR GRANT DISTRIBUTIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS & CHARITABLE CAUSES. EACH GRANT REQUEST IS EVALUATED THROUGH A SPECIFIC APPLICATION PROCESS AND PERIODIC BOARD REVIEW.
Through collaborations with other nonprofit and community based organizations, we assist in the planning, development, and implementation of innovative education and child development programs.
We improve the life and living conditions of our communities' citizens through supporting critical-need social services to include education, food, job training, housing, and health initiatives.
We provide direct assistance to qualified individuals who have suffered from a catastrophic injury or medical condition and lack the financial resources to pay for necessary medically related expenses.
Director & Chairman
John Rivers retired as President of a $1.5 billion dollar healthcare company after twenty years to pursue his lifelong dream of owning a restaurant. He opened his first concept, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, in 2009 and his second concept, the Southern-inspired COOP in 2014. Nation's Restaurant News, the
industry's leading trade publication, recognized 4 Rivers as one of their top five breakout brands of 2014.
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.com, USA Today, Cigar Aficionado, Business Insider, Cooking Light Magazine and Paula Deen Magazine. He has been named as one of the Power 20 Leaders in the restaurant industry by Restaurant Business Magazine, Orlando’s “50
Most Powerful, 15 to Watch” by Orlando Magazine, and in 2013 he was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He authored his first book, “The Southern Cowboy Cookbook,” where he shares his secrets on crafting comfort food
with the region’s most beloved culinary influences. A graduate of Florida State University College of Business, where he serves on the Board of Governors, Rivers chairs numerous school, church and charity organizations, including his own, The 4R Foundation.
He is the co-founder of two annual charity festivals: "Cows 'n Cabs" in Winter Park, Florida and "Pink and Swine" in Tallahassee, Florida. Rivers lives in Winter Park with his wife Monica and two children, Jared and Cameron.
Monica Rivers serves as the Visual Director for the 4R Restaurant Group, leading the store designs and maintaining consistency in the overall look and feel of the 4R brand. Mrs. Rivers attended Wade College of
Merchandising and Design in Dallas, Texas and serves on the boards of numerous school and community charity organizations. She lives in Winter Park, Florida with her husband John and two children, Jared
Paige E. Greninger
Paige Greninger enjoys creating win-win partnerships, and positively influencing the success and culture of organizations. For the past 25 years, she has partnered with leaders within major public companies and innovative not-for-profit organizations to build strategic partnerships that meaningfully build organizations and change the community.
Paige has worked in marketing, sales and strategic business development in both national and global organizations including a regional accounting firm;
Emerson/ClosetMaid, a global manufacturing company managing key national accounts including Target, Wal-Mart and Lowes; and sales, brand strategy and communications at The Walt Disney Company. She has proven results in building businesses by partnering with their leaders and cultivating key customer relationships. Additionally, Paige has over a decade of development and fundraising experience, mostly targeting capital projects with public and private institutions and organizations, including Rollins College.
Paige believes The 4R Foundation is poised to build a sustainable not-for-profit
with great potential to transform lives by focusing on the root of change through education and access to healthy foods. She
holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on marketing and strategic management from Rollins College. Paige was born in Savannah, Georgia, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri before enrolling in the University of Florida for college. She has remained in Florida ever since college and lives in Orlando with her husband and two children.
Thad Seymour, Jr., Ph.D.
Sr. Consultant & Board Member
Thad is a respected speaker and advisor on innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy. He currently serves as Vice Provost at the University of Central Florida Downtown Campus, leading the development of a 20-year plan for the second largest university in the nation.
Thad retired in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Tavistock Development Company, where he led planning, marketing and business development for Lake Nona, including its Medical City. His role encompassed institutional recruitment and new business ventures, stimulating innovation, and cultivating collaboration among the Lake Nona partners.
While at Tavistock, Thad founded and served as President of the Lake Nona Institute, which works with the community and a group of global partners to create and model best practices in health and wellness,
sustainability and education. The Institute was featured in a Harvard Business School Case Study, "Designing a Culture of Collaboration at Lake Nona Medical City" (2012).
Prior to joining Tavistock and Lake Nona in 2008, Thad led mergers and acquisitions for Priority Healthcare Corporation, culminating in the company's $1.3 billion sale to Express Scripts in 2005, after which he served as a senior executive with ESI's CuraScript Specialty Pharmacy business. He also has extensive experience in healthcare informatics, including co-founding a venture-backed electronic medical records company and serving on the boards of multiple healthcare technology businesses.
Passionate about expanding the life sciences industry in Florida, Thad served as a board member of BioFlorida and was the 2015
recipient of the BioFlorida Leadership Award. He co-chaired bioOrlando, and is immediate past chair of the Florida Research Consortium. Within the Orlando community Thad serves on the board of VisitOrlando, is a member of the president's advisory council of Valencia College, and is immediate past chair of Shepherd's Hope, which provides medical care to over 20,000 uninsured patients annually in five counties throughout Central Florida.
Thad holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, a Master of Arts and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Thad and his wife, Katie, have three children.
Director & Treasurer
Ms. Perfido currently serves as the 4R Restaurant Group’s Chief Financial Officer and Director of Investor Relations. Ms. Perfido brings thirty years of specific transactional accounting and finance expertise in both the real estate and the restaurant industries. She was the founder and president of Compass Advisory Services, LLC, a firm that guides companies in the restaurant industry as they navigate through the decision making process of whether to merge, acquire, or sell.
Prior to starting Compass, Ms. Perfido was the founding member and Managing Director of CNL Advisory Services, LLC in 1991.
Under her direction, the firm closed over $900 million of restaurant advisory engagements and dozens of transactions. Prior to founding CNL Advisory Services, she served as Vice President of Portfolio Management and Chief Accountant for the CNL Income & Growth Funds, which managed over $120 million in restaurant-related business and real estate assets.
Ms. Perfido is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Analyst (inactive), and holds her Real Estate Sales Associate License. She is a member in good standing of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Valuation Analysts.
Ms. Perfido has passed the Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) and Series 27 (Financial and Operating Principals) licensing exams.
Ms. Perfido holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a Masters of Science in Finance from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. She has held positions on the Board of Advisors to the Rollins College Hamilton Holt School and the Board of the Orlando Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.