A Tribute to Dick Walter
This is a tribute to my mentor, friend, and confidant – Mr. Richard “Dick” E. Walter.
Dick Walter was AWB’s VP of Operations, during a time when the Association of Washington Business was experiencing unprecedented growth, growth that continues today as we head quickly to the peak that’s eight thousand dues paying Members in good standing. Dick also served as the ASCP Secretary-Treasurer, a Past President of our local EDC, a past Chairman of the Olympia-Thurston County Chamber of Commerce.
During Dick’s time at AWB he cemented leadership in the Membership Department, and revolutionized and brought into this century our benefits packages, which resulted in AWB being identified as the best non-profit 401K plan in the United States by Integrity Financial. Among a long list of other accomplishments, and accolades many from ASCP.
More than just in Membership, where Dick and I worked together on projects on a daily basis, Dick was quick to offer support to the State’s Emergency Management Department, creating a partnership between the public and private sector in WA State that is now being used and modeled by other States across the USA. Businesses in the State of Washington are now better represented, with more resources for disaster recovery than ever before. He was then asked to sit on the Governor’s Homeland Security Council, a post he proudly mans to this day.
To many staff at AWB Dick became much more than a Vice President, but a true friend; he earned that right by always being fair, honest, and seemingly well versed in absolutely every challenge, personal and professional that I and many others were faced with over the years we worked together. He, who was at times referred to as “Solomon” remains a trusted advisor to many at AWB & ASCP today.
It’s said that emotional intelligence is one of the most sought after traits in a manager at any level, Dick exemplified it. I was always a great salesman, but Dick taught me to be a great boss, and a better person.
As Dick retired, he was given special recognition of his efforts while at AWB, when the AWB grounds were named in his honor. It was not only for personal recognition, but to remind those that came after of not just the type of executive to be, but the type of human being to be, and which one of those two things came first.
All of this reminds me, I owe Dick lunch. Looks like it’s time to head back to our favorite burger spot Tugboat Annie’s, I can’t wait!
Thank you Dick, for everything…