Forty Under 40

Adam D. Roark


Written By: Business Magazine

1. Name: Adam D. Roark
2. Birthdate: September 10, 1980
3. Where were you born?
I was born in Andrews, NC and lived there until age three. I grew up in Statesville, NC.
4. What are your community activities? (church or faith-based involvement, local, regional and national
professional organizations, non-profits, etc)
I am a co-founder of the Running Tabs running group (a group of roughly 200 members that run 3-4 times per
week) and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Red Cross of North Central Florida. I am also
a member of the Florida Bar Association and frequent guest speaker at the Pride Community Center of North
Central Florida and the Millhopper Branch Library.
5. List any awards you have won for community service:
Sadly, none. Although I am an Eagle Scout.
6. What is your definition of success?
Success is getting to a place where you are happy and healthy with sufficient resources to enjoy your life.
Being in balance and comfortable with yourself is incredibly important to my conception of success. You can
have business success but if the rest of your life is in shambles, then you haven’t fully achieved much. Success is
thus a matter of achieving the proper balance in your personal, professional, social, and emotional lives.
7. What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Opening my own law firm (and continuing you to grow my business) is the answer that immediately springs to
mind. That said, I’m probably proudest when clients call me and preface the conversation by saying “I know this
isn’t the type of law you do, but I/we really wanted to get your opinion on how to handle this situation.” It is
very flattering to realize that they truly value your counsel.
8. How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional?
I am a young professional in a field (estate planning and business development) that is usually dominated by
older attorneys. Rather than shying away from the age issue, I have embraced it. I have worked hard to
position myself as an attorney that is incredibly responsive to my client’s needs. I routinely meet clients at
their homes or offices, am always reachable by phone or email, and am constantly searching for ways to make
the attorney-client experience less stressful for my clients. While I think that there is a lot that can be learned
from other attorneys in my field, I am not interested in having a traditional legal practice. Sadly, most people
associate seeing an attorney with only negative thoughts. To counteract that, I devote a lot of time and energy
to figuring out ways to make the process of meeting with an attorney as painless and positive experience as
possible. One way I’ve tried doing this is by spreading the word about the importance of estate planning
through non-traditional methods. For example, I routinely host free seminars at the public library and the
Pride Center of North Central Florida.
In addition to my business activities, I have spent the past year helping to cultivate and grow a running group
that will appeal to a broad spectrum of people. As the group has grown, we have begun discussions on
planning a charity run and also potentially partnering with established charities to bolster the ranks at their
own charity runs. Being approached by others hoping to use our group for charitable purposes has been really
rewarding and has solidified my belief that lots of good can come from somewhat unorthodox places (i.e.,
most people wouldn’t think a running group that likes to drink beer would be charitably inclined).
9. Business person who has most inspired you:
My brother, Dr. Andrew W. Roark, has been an incredible inspiration for me. Andy is a veterinarian who has
has taken his love of animals and combined it with his amazing abilities for story telling, networking, and
business acumen to become one of the most sought after speakers and consultants in the veterinary world.
He has worked incredibly hard to cultivate a business and to maximize his opportunities. His journey has
provided me with innumerable examples of how to grow and develop my own business. Lastly, and most
importantly, he has been an incredible resource and sounding board throughout my personal and professional
life.
10. Best advise ever received:
The best two pieces of advice I ever received both came from my father. First, he always said that the two
most important things you can be in life are healthy and happy. If you are not healthy and happy, then it won’t
matter how much money you make or how successful you are in business, your life won’t be what you want it
to be. Second, “avoid decision by indecision.” Being proactive rather than reactive has been crucial to my
personal and professional success and happiness.
11. Greatest professional challenge:
Figuring out how to distinguish myself from the numerous other attorneys practicing in and around Gainesville.
Gainesville has a terrific legal community full of very intelligent, talented attorneys. As a result, I have devoted a
lot of time and effort to identifying and cultivating the skills and services that will allow me to stand out and
prosper.
12. First job:
My first real job was for a construction company in my hometown. I was too young to work on an actual
construction job-site so I spent the summer washing and cleaning equipment and trucks. Needless to say, I can
now wash a car really quickly.
13. What color crayon would you be? Why?
I would be some shade of pastel, maybe carolina blue. I have a pretty distinct wardrobe made up of lots of
bowties and pastels. More importantly, I’m a very upbeat person who loves being outside in the sun. As a
result, I tend to associate blue skies with happiness.
14. Favorite after-work drink:
A good dark beer, preferably one from Swamphead.
15. If I had a magic wand, I’d:
Learn how to disapparate. I’d love to be able to visit friends, family, or the beach without having to deal with
driving or flying.
16. What is your favorite Gadget?
I absolutely love my iPad. I use it all the time.
17. How long have you been in Gainesville?
I moved to Gainesville in the Spring of 2007.
18. What do you love most about Gainesville/Alachua County?
I have always loved the vibrancy and intelligence of Gainesville. It is really fantastic to live in a city that has such
a wide array of things to do, whether its sports, trying new restaurants, good films or plays, or museums. I’m
constantly amazed at how many things there are to do in town. I’m also a huge fan of the weather. As I
mentioned before, I love blue skies and sunny weather.
19. Three things people would be surprised to know about you:
1. I can be really quiet sometimes which surprises most people because I’m usually really outgoing.
2. I once dressed as Ziggy Stardust in a fashion show in college.
3. I’m really competitive at board games.
20. Advice you would give a younger you:
Figure out what is really important to you and pursue it without caring what other people might say. As an
estate planner, I spend a lot of time talking to people about the end of life and hearing stories about what was
most important in their lives. As a result, I’ve come to realize that life is too short to waste time stuck doing
something that doesn’t bring you happiness. In short, identify the people and activities that bring you the most
joy, then figure out how to maximize that happiness.

Leave a Comment