Frederick P. Perpall
Chief Executive Officer, The Beck Group
Education: Bachelor of Science, Architecture (1996) and Master of Science in Architecture, (1997), University of Texas at Arlington
I grew up in a lower middle-class community “over the hill” in Nassau. I had the blessing of two parents who believed passionately in their children, and that education was the only consistent way to achieve success in life. Looking back, the quality of my education has created opportunities for me to experience people, cultures, and environments that otherwise would have been impossible. My education, combined with a work ethic and the values given to me by my mom and dad, really transformed my life.
When you are trying to get from Point A to Point B, it is so important that you have people who believe in the potential of where you can go. The Lyford Cay Foundation scholarship was not only a means of financial support but was also emotional encouragement. The knowledge that there were folks who were not only emotionally supporting you, but were investing their money into your education was always the highest form of confidence, and also confirmed the personal responsibility I felt for my performance. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t let down the people who were investing in me. I am deeply appreciative of that scholarship and support, and it is something I often think about.
I often hear from people, “Fred, when are you going to come back and live in the Bahamas?” There is a difference between presence and engagement; you can be physically present somewhere but not be emotionally engaged and vice versa. I think emotional engagement is much more critical than physical presence.
I have not lived in the Bahamas full-time in the last 20 years, but I have never lost my engagement in the country. I have been mindful to remain engaged which led to my ability to contribute tangibly to the environment, and subsequently add to how the country develops. I view this as the opportunity to harness untapped brain gain. The question is how can Bahamians abroad harness new skills, relationships, and capacities required for the ultimate growth of the country, and redistribute those new talents, skills, and exposure back into the economy? How can you, not only individually but collectively, engage and involve the local talent and economy to help them grow? Personally, it’s not just a matter of pride but also of deep responsibility.