April 14, 2017 | News
The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has recently named Rick Walsh as the Foundation’s new Chairman, says Foundation President David A. Odahowski. “Rick’s contributions to the Foundation are immeasurable, and his dedication to making Central Florida a better place to live and work inspires everyone around him. He was a natural choice as our new Chairman.” Walsh is a respected businessman, community leader and philanthropist who has spent decades working on behalf of Florida’s businesses and families. He served as a Navy hospital corpsman in 1969 at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Orlando before graduating from the University of Central Florida and joining General Mills restaurants in 1982. Rick retired in 2007 following a 25-year career with Darden Restaurants. While with Darden and its predecessor company General Mills Restaurants, he served as Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs—with responsibility for media relations, government relations, the Darden Corporate Foundation, corporate and brand meetings, travel, print and digital, internal communications, community investment, investor communications—and served on Darden’s Executive Committee. Today he serves as CEO of the Knob Hill Companies, a media, investments, agriculture and business strategy enterprise, assisting established and emerging businesses develop and thrive.
He graduated from UCF receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977, a Master’s Degree in 1983, the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1985, and an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce Science in 2014. He was a charter member of the UCF Board of Trustees. He served from 2001 to 2011, including four years as Chair and is Chairman Emeritus of the Board.
Walsh’s current corporate board involvement includes service as a Chairman of the Board of Directors for Viewpost; Nemours Children Hospital chairing the Operations Committee; Seaside National Bank and Trust chairing the Governance Committee; LSQ Funding Group serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of Strategy and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. His community boards include Career Source Central Florida, the UCF Foundation, Blue Orb Technologies and OneBlood, where he served as Chairman of the Board. Rick was appointed to the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees in 2001 by Governor Jeb Bush, and served as Chairman of the Board from 2007-2011. In addition, he previously served as Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors, the National Employment Policy Institute, the Governor’s Task Force on Affordable Health Care, Enterprise Florida and was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the Florida State Tourism Council.
Walsh said, “I’m pleased to serve alongside my passionate and esteemed fellow board members. The Foundation’s history of innovation, accountability and community leadership is something of which I’m proud to be a part.”
The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation was founded in 1973. Since its creation, it has been enriched by the Richard J. Conlee Fund and the H. Clifford Lee Fund. To date, the Foundation has issued more than 3,500 grants to over 830 organizations, totaling upwards of $107 million. Board members are Richard J. Walsh, Chairman; Matthew W. Certo, Vice Chairman and Corporate Secretary; David A. Odahowski, President; Herbert W. Holm, Founding Director; Elizabeth A. Dvorak; Anne B. Kerr, Ph. D.; Patricia J. Engfer and John A. Riley.