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Five Questions With: Shomari Hearn

Five Questions With: Shomari Hearn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Shomari became Palisades Hudson’s first-ever executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2023 and has been part of the firm since he joined as an associate in 1998. As EVP and COO, Shomari holds executive responsibility for all of the firm’s operations and for strategic initiatives such as the Entertainment and Sports Team. Though based in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida headquarters, Shomari’s client service and firmwide responsibilities regularly take him across the United States and abroad.

Bentley, an American Bully.
photo of Bentley courtesy Shomari Hearn

1. What kind of pet do you have? What is their name and how long have you had them?

I have an American Bully. His name is Bentley. I’ve had him since 2019. Bentley is very friendly and likes a lot of attention.

2. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. I started playing organized basketball in the sixth grade and continued throughout high school, but my hopes for a professional career ended when I attended Duke. I did attempt, however, to walk on to the team my sophomore year. That fall semester, I had been taking basketball as a half-credit course, which was taught by then-Duke men’s assistant basketball coach, Peter Gaudet. Coach Gaudet invited me to walk-on tryouts, which I thought would be my big chance until I realized it was an open tryout. It seemed like almost every male undergraduate student was there to try out. Needless to say, I only got to play for about five minutes and I didn’t make the team, but I did enough to get the attention of another Duke assistant coach at the time, Quin Snyder (now head coach of the Atlanta Hawks). Coach Snyder commented that my game was similar to that of Kareem Reid, another left-handed point guard from New York City who played for the University of Arkansas from 1995-99. My consolation for not making the team was that Coach Snyder invited me to play pickup games in Cameron with the men’s team during the offseason. I also played a lot of pickup games in Card Gym during my time at Duke, with the likes of former Duke players Kenny Blakeney (now head coach of men’s basketball at Howard University) and Chris Collins (head coach of Northwestern University’s men’s basketball team).

3. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read recently?

I recently read “Lucky Me: A Memoir of Changing the Odds” by Rich Paul. In the book, Paul talks about how the lessons he learned from his difficult upbringing led to his success as a business owner, a sports agent and mentor to his clients, and also helped him become a good father. His story is very relatable to me because we grew up in similar, challenging environments, and we have certain shared experiences that have heavily influenced who I am as a financial adviser and a father.

Kirstie Ward and Shomari Hearn on a beach in wedding apparel.
Kirstie Ward and Shomari Hearn; photo courtesy Shomari Hearn

4. What’s your favorite moment from the past 12 months?

Last December, my wife Kirstie Ward and I had a private wedding ceremony in the Maldives. I can honestly say this was the best trip of my life. The highlight was our ceremony on the beach as the sun set.

5. What’s something you’re looking forward to in the next 12 months?

It’s about 13 months away, but I’m very much looking forward to my daughter Nya’s graduation from college. Nya is currently a junior at the University of Central Florida, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in entertainment management with a minor in marketing. Nya plans to work in the music industry after graduation.