Stephen Knopik, CEO of Bealls, Shares What Inspires Him

Stephen Knopik, CEO of Bealls, shares five things that inspire him.

By Susan Burns January 11, 2016 Published in the January 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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My boss, Bob Beall.

I grew up in Sarasota and went to the University of Florida and worked in Tampa for a CPA firm after school. I learned about an opportunity at Bealls, and Bob was the CEO. I became assistant director of finance. We developed an unbelievable relationship. He’s got a phenomenal blend of values and drive. The leader I am today was shaped by him.

My work.

My responsibilities have morphed over 31 years with Bealls [from finance] to being today a planner, coach and motivator. We’ve gone from being a small regional department store chain to a big business that is a [major player] in off-price retailing to a significant presence in online ecommerce and now a new specialty store concept. It’s been phenomenal to be involved in helping all those transitions occur.

The potential the future holds.

If you don’t believe that you’re going to achieve more success, realize more potential or do great things in the future, life can become pretty boring. [At] times you [get] thrown curve balls. The most difficult thing I’ve gone through is the death of our daughter. Beth was the strong one who decided that the traditional way people grieve was not for us. We were going to move forward with grace and positivity. You have to think there’s something exciting around the corner.

My mother and dad.

My mom died in 1984 just after I’d taken this job. Everybody’s a blend of two people, but I was a little more aligned with her family—their values and character. My dad shaped my drive. He believes you can do anything you put your mind to.

My wife, Beth, and son, Rogers.

I’m very much a homebody. What I’ve accomplished wouldn't be nearly as enriching or as much fun were it not for having them to share it with.

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