Rich Miller - POA Vice President and Director of Finance
Updated: Feb 27
Rich Miller, POA Vice President and Director of Finance, chuckled when he said he has served on the POA Board for over five years without ever running in an election. He noted that golf manager Dan Argentieri saw him in his backyard about three years ago and asked him if he wanted to do his 'civic duty.' Two Directors had recently resigned from the Board. Peggy Gilbert, serving as Secretary, took one of the open positions. Rich thought about it for a day and then decided that there were still some things he could do to help the community, so he took the second Director position. He served on the Board as Treasurer for 2 ½ years starting in 2016.
His stint as Treasurer came at a decisive time in the Harbour’s history. In his first six months, the Board purchased the amenities, fired the CAS POA Management company for poor performance, and hired Billy Casper Golf to manage our community.
The selection of BCG came after months of interviews and negotiations; the Board initiated three separate contracts, including management of the POA, the golf course, and landscaping. At this time, Jennifer Gudaitis was hired as Community Manager, and other office personnel were hired, too. It also meant that Rich had to learn another accounting system and a different budgeting process as Treasurer.
Luckily, Rich’s previous experience prepared him well for such a commitment. Rich paid his way through college by working two part-time jobs. One was working at a liquor store, and the second was as a DC Army National Guard member. Although he had graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in finance and a minor in economics, his first job after graduating was as a nighttime manager of the liquor store. A manager from IBM knew Rich from the DC National Guard, and he hired him for an accounting position about a year later. He accepted a pay cut and worked his way up from the bottom. His logic was that IBM would yield a better return in the long run. He was right. His corporate career started with IBM in Washington, DC. He then moved to West Palm Beach, FL, and Boca Raton, FL. His final move was to Manassas, VA. While he was working in Manassas, IBM sold the Federal Systems Division to LORAL. Two years later, Lockheed Martin acquired LORAL in a DOD market consolidation. As with his time with the POA, he laughs that his career differs from most. He changed employers three times instead of changing jobs! While working in different accounting positions, Rich witnessed the transition of technology from typewriters to computers and then the integration of large computers into sonar systems for submarines (like in the movie Red October). Rich was one of the employees who were fortunate enough to stay on during all of those changes. The company was also working on radiation-hardened computer chips for space in Manassas. Rich took advantage of a corporate buyout and retired in 2010 at age 60. He and his wife then moved to Fairfield Harbour where he took a job as a security guard for the next 3 ½ years, after which he retired for the second time. Rich’s extensive experience as an accountant for Lockheed Martin, a Department of Defense contractor, served him well as he took on the POA responsibilities.
He currently serves as Vice President and Director of Finance for the Board. He initially took the Treasurer job because he wanted to help the community develop a sound financial footing that would increase home values. He later agreed to become a Director to put us on a solid financial foundation for the future.
His detailed record-keeping and particular accounting have helped to accomplish those goals. The plan was to refinance the loan with Fairfield Harbour Partners to save the POA money and establish credit with an outside financial institution. This didn’t happen easily, however. Rich finally found a bank that would talk to a POA, engaged in a year of complex negotiations and careful perusal of three years of financial POA records. Once the underwriters became involved, the bank eventually turned us down due to a history of difficulties with other POAs. The loan officer at the original bank contacted two different banks that might be interested in the FH Loan. Fortunately, in January 2022, Rich was finally instrumental in refinancing the loan with a reduction in the interest rate that saved the POA $62,000 over a five-year period.
In addition to his roles on the Board with financial issues, Rich also serves as Liaison to the Wildlife Committee and the Community Events Committee.
Look for future articles in the Beacon that will describe the tasks of the various Board Committees. The Community Events Committee has led Rich to unusual jobs, including being the announcer for multiple activities such as an outdoor concert, the chili cookoff, and cooking 300 hot dogs for the Christmas Parade. Fairfield Harbour residents should appreciate all the commitment it takes to be a POA board member!
Rich's term as Director ends in June, along with two others. This spring, we will elect three new Board members. Hopefully, one of them will have the kind of accounting/finance experience that Rich has so generously volunteered and put to use for the sake of us all. He stated that after resigning as Treasurer, it counted as his third retirement.
After his term as Director is over, he plans on it being his fourth and final retirement. He is looking forward to having more free time to pursue his hobbies of golf, swimming, reading, and finding old music videos on YouTube. He hopes that the Board will continue to work with the community to make the Harbour Club a reality, which will also help keep home values increasing. He says Fairfield Harbour is unique in that we will then have everything any other New Bern community could offer and then some. He commented that he is enthusiastic, saying, "I'm excited to be associated with the current Board."