Photographer, prison ministry volunteer
Rob Moorman opened Moorman Photographics in St. Petersburg 21 years ago, starting in architectural photography and branching out as industry needs changed. The family-run company (his wife, Tina, is the production manager; his sister Kelley, the office manager) now offers photo packages for graduations, homeschool conventions and graduations and school portraits, as well as holiday family photos and commercial advertising.
“I fell in love with the photography process. I learned from the best of the best,” says Moorman, past president of the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association.
Three years ago Moorman inherited a second business from his father, a 20-acre RV resort complete with cabins, pool, clubhouse, volleyball courts, fire pits, and plenty of wildlife at the nearby Blackwater River State Park. Sunburst RV Resort is “locally-owned, distantly-located,” says Moorman, who takes the nine-hour drive to the park near downtown Pensacola about once a month to make sure things are run smoothly.
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And though the two businesses typically take up more than 60 hours a week, the Moormans never forget to give back to the community, including donating time and services to the Ronald McDonald House, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, New Life Solutions, American Heart Association, All Children’s Hospital and other charities.
“I am a firm believer that all business owners should give back to the community,” Moorman, 50, says. “God blessed us.”
About 18 years ago, a friend introduced Moorman to Kairos Prison Ministries, which offers a retreat to “help mend the hardened heart” of prisoners. The program, in more than 300 prisons in the U.S. and around the world, helps men embrace their religion and become productive, loving husbands and fathers when they leave prison and reunite with their families. Statistics show that only 30 percent of the men who complete the retreat end up back in prison, compared with 85 percent of those who don’t. For those who stay with the program after leaving prison, that number drops to 12 percent.
“My experience volunteering there was mindblowing to see God work in the hearts of men,” says Moorman, who serves at the Polk County prison. “Changing hearts and helping families get their dad back with a new outlook is a wonderful thing.”
In addition to the retreats, which are twice a year, Moorman visits the inmates monthly for church services and for support.
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While Moorman doesn’t have much free time and often gets swamped with to-do lists, he makes the most out of the time he does have. “If there’s one place I love to be, it’d be on my boat, on the water.,” he says. “We like to go camping, motor boating, kayaking, fellowship with church family, and spending time with dear friends.”
And as he gets older, he says, the non-work time becomes more and more important. Focus on enjoying the moment, rather than worrying about what you could or should be doing instead, he says.
“Life is sweet. You gotta cherish these times,” he says.