Rick is the Cofounder and Director of Grit Studios, a high-impact entrepreneur support organization that is focused on providing qualified entrepreneurs with access to investor, mentor and problem solving resources. He has a passion for impactful startups, STEM education and creating a collaborative, innovative business environment.
Rick graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS in Architecture, and MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering & Management. After graduation, he formed his first consulting firm-Webb & Shirley-that focused on retail operations improvement and worked with many of the nation's largest retailers.
Rick joined Walmart in January 2004 after more than 20 years of consulting in the retail industry. His last position at Walmart was the Senior Vice President of Global Business Processes, responsible for increasing associate and inventory productivity, while enhancing the customer shopping experience and increasing the effectiveness of the Walmart supply chain and home office operations around the world.
In 2009, Rick was selected for the Sam M Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a leadership award selected by the Walton family. In 2013, Rick was elected into the OSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame. In 2015, Rick was the recipient of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineer's Champion of Industry award, awarded to industry leaders who have had significant impact to their companies and the engineering discipline. In 2017, Rick was selected to the OSU School of Industrial Engineering's Cowboy Academy, a small group of alumni who have made measurable impact to the industrial engineering discipline and the global business environment.
Rick is a Board Member for the NWA Children's Shelter, the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and the NWA Tech Council. In addition, he is an advisor to a number of businesses and university leaders.