After graduating from Notre Dame and serving as a Naval Officer, Rick began his career at his family’s business, Kirk & Blum, as a Sales Engineer in 1972. Kirk & Blum produced industrial sheet metal products, air pollution control systems on a design/build basis and installed them. He became President of Kirk & Blum, succeeding his retiring father, in 1982. By the mid 90’s it had become the largest company of its kind in the U.S. In 1999, K & B was owned by Rick, his two brothers who were active in the business, and three sisters who were not. Working with their Advisory Board the family decided that the best solution to their succession issues was to sell the company. The company was sold to Ceco Environmental, a publicly traded company, in December of 1999. He became the President and Chief Operating Officer of Ceco and his two brothers continued at K & B.
Areas of Expertise:
- Business Strategy (35 years of experience)
- Rick was CEO of Kirk & Blum starting in 1982, and COO of Ceco Environmental from (CECE) from 1999 to 2011.
- Family Transitioning Program (16 years of experience)
- He has been a G2 and a G1 and been through two transitions. He has guided one family, who he still serves as an Advisory Board member, through a successful transition. He currently serves 5 other private family companies as an Advisory Board member.
- Operations (35 years of experience)
- As a CEO and COO I was responsible for the operations of a company with revenue in excess of $300 million.
- Kirk & Blum is the largest industrial sheet metal contractor in the US.
- Both Kirk & Blum and Ceco operated manufacturing facilities.
- Ceco is one of the most fully integrated environmental controls companies in the world.