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About Us Our Family Tradition

The Rish family settled in north Gulf County, which was at the time Calhoun County in the 1860s. They were, as so many other families of that era, farmers or jack-of-all-trades toiling day by day in the rugged northwest Florida frontier. Those humble and tough beginnings gave way to many other endeavors and occupations over the years that included law practice, real estate brokerage management and development, engineering, retail, campgrounds, restaurants and bars, and even beekeeping.

One of our patriarchs that may have made one of the largest marks on the region, was Jay Rish’s father, Billy Joe Rish. He was a lawyer that had a local practice for years and served as Gulf County attorney and the City of Port St Joe’s attorney simultaneously for decades. Billy Joe was also a very influential member of the Florida House of Representatives and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee where he oversaw the impeachment of three Florida Supreme Justices. He also was instrumental in the creation of the William J. Rish State Park, located on Cape San Blas, that has catered to the needs of the disabled for decades. He would end his colorful career in public life as the Chairman of the Florida State Ethics Commission. While we are proud of his many accomplishments, he would have told anyone that his greatest satisfaction was being a Sunday School teacher and Lay Preacher where he served at the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe

Another matriarch related to our real estate business was Elizabeth W. Thompson, who was Jay Rish’s grandmother. Mrs. Thompson was one of the first female real estate brokers in the region and started her career in Mexico Beach in the 1950’s continuing until the 1990’s when she retired and merged her company with Jay in the late 1990s. Thompson was also involved in many area developments as well as a founder of the Lighthouse Utilities water system which was a major catalyst for modern development at Cape San Blas.

Today, we continue this tradition of Rish Family-owned business in the area as Jay Rish, Jessica Rish, Grant Rish, and Blake Rish lead Rish Real Estate Group, LLC along with other outstanding agents and staff. Our team prides itself on decades of experience and a keen understanding of the local market through its more than $1,050,000,000 in historical sales volume totaling over 5300 transactions.

We look forward to serving you, your family, and friends another 160 years!

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