Sam Rashid was born in
Pakistan and educated in American schools in Pakistan and England. In 1971, his family emigrated to Vancouver, Canada,
where he completed his education. In 1981, Sam joined DOMAN Industries, Inc., one of the largest lumber producing companies
in Canada, as Cargo Operations Coordinator for Doman's United States operations.
In December 1982, Sam moved to Tampa
to initiate direct/wholesale startup operations for DOMAN. Successfully achieving the fastest growth of any DOMAN affiliate,
the Tampa based company, at its peak, distributed over 60 million board feet of lumber annually in Florida.
Sam resigned from DOMAN Industries to start his own company. The company was formed as the exclusive sales agents for
a German machinery company, HOLTEC GmbH. The type of equipment manufactured was previously unknown and unattainable
in North America. It took about three years to develop a market for this product and during that time, Sam worked out
of his home under the auspices of his company, HOLTEC (USA) Corporation.
In 1990, HOLTEC (USA) Corporation built
a facility in Plant City to handle importing, distribution and servicing of its systems throughout North America, and today
HOLTEC is recognized as a leading supplier of equipment to the lumber industry.
Sam is active in local, state, and
national issues concerning small business. He served for over ten years as a member of the Leadership Council for the
National Federation of Independent Business (Florida), an organization representing over 15,000 small businesses
in Florida, and also served for two terms as a National Vice Chairman for The Leadership Trust in Washington, D.C.
In 1999, Sam was recruited by University of South Florida President, Betty Castor, along with Dr. Martin Silbiger,
Dean of Medicine of the University of South Florida to assist their efforts in creating the University of South Florida Child
and Infant Development Center. This medical research facility was conceptualized by Dr. Archie Silver, a world
renowned research scientist and pediatric psychologist to identify and assist in the early intervention of developmentally
disabled children, particularly those that were misdiagnosed and mislabeled in our public school system, and to bring these
children into a mainstream environment by treating their development disabilities at an effective age. Sam was successful
in persuading our Florida State House, Senate, and the Executive Office of the Governor to fund the capital appropriation
amounting to approximately $5 million to build the infrastructure and then fund a recurring operational annual allocation
of $ 250,000 to operate the center when it was opened. The Center for Child and Infant Development commenced operations
in 2003. As a result of his efforts, Sam was awarded the distinguished University of South Florida Dean's Award
for 2000 by Dr. Martin Silbiger, the former Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.
July, 2000, Sam Rashid was appointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush as his small business representative to the Board of Directors
of Workforce Florida, Inc., an entity created by Federal and Florida State Statute to act as the principal workforce policy
organization for the State of Florida with its primary responsibility to design, implement and manage strategies that help
Floridians enter, remain in and advance in the workplace. Chaired by Senate President Toni Jennings, Sam was then appointed
by President Jennings to the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Finance Committee with a charge to ensure fiscal accountability
in the oversight of the significant fiduciary responsibility given to the Board by the State of Florida.
of the Finance Committee, Sam was instrumental in the development and implementation of "Individual Development Accounts"
for the neediest citizens of the state of Florida. These personal saving accounts would allow state funds to match on
personal savings to allow our neediest low-income earning citizens to afford health care, start a small business, or buy a
home for the first time. The "IDA" process was designed to motivate those citizens that normally use all their
available monthly wages for living and personal expenses to attempt to put aside a few dollars per month in a registered savings
account, by using federal and state funds which are already allocated to provide "temporary help to needy families (TANF)",
to match the savings amount to a certain limitation.
In November, 2001, Sam Rashid was nominated by Congressman Michael
Bilirakis, the ranking member of the Florida delegation to the United States House of Representatives, to represent Florida's
small business community at the 2002 White House Summit on Small Business issues in Washington, D.C.
2002, Sam was nominated to Vice-Chairman of Workforce Florida, Inc., and in January, 2003, Sam was asked to Chair the Joint
Council on Unemployment Compensation. Recognizing that the State of Florida was expending Unemployment Compensation
funds at a remarkably high rate (approximate one million dollars per day), the Governor approved the formation of the Joint
Council to oversee the operational funding of the UC fund as well as ensure that the trust fund for Unemployment Compensation
is guarded against potential losses which would automatically mandate rate increases on businesses in Florida.
March, 2003, Sam was appointed to the Board of Director's of the Florida Alzheimer's Research Institute by Speaker of the
Florida State House, Johnnie B. Byrd. The Florida Alzheimer's Research Institute was created by the Florida Legislation
in 2002 with an initial budget of $25 Million to construct and implement a world-class research center with its mission to
ultimately cure this disabling disease. State legislation which created this center also enacted a time limit of December
31, 2003, to begin the construction of the facility. As such, the Board recognized the time and commitment requirements
to implement a design and construction schedule and Speaker Byrd further nominated Sam to Chair the Building & Facilities
Design Committee with its mission to complete the process of creating, designing, implementing and awarding a construction
contract, , for up to a 100,000 Square Feet facility. Speaker Byrd also appointed President of The University of South
Florida, Judy Genshaft, Robert Roskamp of Sarasota, and Ms. Amy Giordano of Tampa to this committee to assist in the completion
of its goals. This center was successfully built on time, on-budget and the Johnny B. Byrd Alzheimer's Research Center
is today recognized as a leader in the hunt for a cure for this devastating disease.
Sam has also authored several
op-ed pieces pertaining to politics and current events, specifically,
"Profile Me Please" - Tampa Tribune,
September 10, 2006
"What happened to my Republican Party?" - Tampa Tribune, October 29, 2006
"Platitudes are not enough, Charlie" - St. Petersburg Times, August 12, 2007
"Guide for Arab students and foreign visitors" - Tampa Tribune,
October 14, 2007
"The Greatest Governor we never had" - Tampa Tribune, 02/15/2008
"GOP failures set the stage for liberal fiasco" - Tampa Tribune 11/01/2008
"Rail Tax Disingenuous" - Tampa Tribune 12/01/2009
"Republican Votes are not for sale" - Tampa Tribune 08/16/2010
"Go Ahead, Tax Me" - Tampa Tribune 08/02/2011
"Republicans' Wayward Turns" - Tampa Tribune 12/18/2011
Sam has two children, Jade, age 24, a graduate of Florida State University with
a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and now in pursuit of her Master's Degree - and Jordan, age 22, who is in his Junior
year at Loyola University in pursuit of a medical degree in psycho-biology.