Richard L Bready 2017

Inducted: 2017
Richard L. “Rick” Bready is an outstanding model of the successful international entrepreneur and corporate citi- zen who never really retires. Rick began his business career in 1967 as an accountant with Arthur Anderson in Boston where he was born in 1944 and grew up. He attended public and parochial schools in the Boston area; graduated from St. Anselm College where he majored in economics, and obtained a mas- ters degree in accounting from Northeastern University. At Anderson, he took on major clients including Boston Gas and Bangor Hydro. Another one of these clients was a young conglomerate in Rhode Island called Nortek. In 1975 Rick was invited by Norteks CEO and founder Ralph Papitto to join Nortek as Treasurer. He became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer two years later, President and CEO in 1990, and retired in 2011. The year he joined Nortek it reported net revenues of $62 million from a basket of dramat- ically unrelated New England companies. During Ricks 36 years at Nortek, buying and sell- ing of dozens of companies and tuck-ins grew Nortek into a lead- ing diversified global manufac- turer of innovative HVAC and technology products and famous branded residential doors, win- dows, kitchen and bath products made in the United States, Europe and China. The year Rick retired Norteks net revenues were $2.5 billion. Following his retirement from Nortek, Ricks activities in the world of business, finance, and philanthropy have continued and broadened. While building a successful Rhode Island-based internation- al corporation, Rick also began an increasingly significant career in philanthropic work particular- ly in education. To further this, he established the Richard L. Bready Charitable Foundation. Today his involvement in educa- tion includes: Chairman of the Board at Roger Williams University; Trustee of St. Anselm and Johnson and Wales University; Member of the National Council and Alumni Executive Forum of Northeastern University; Provider of major endowments to medical education at Brown University and economic educa- tion at Roger Williams; as well as endowments to undergraduate education at the Moses Brown and Wheeler Schools; and estab- lishment of the first endowed academic chair at St. Anselm. Among his other initiatives are serving as a director or trust- ee of the: Newport International Film Festival; Providence Performing Arts Center; Trinity Repertory Theater; and the International Yacht Restoration School at Roger Williams. The Chow Fun Food Group of Rhode Island restaurants that he started while at Nortek with the trendy XO Cafe’ in Providence is what he calls his “fun project.” Among the group is Harry’s Bar and Burgers now expanding from two restaurants in Providence to Lincoln and Newport. Rick has received numerous honors including honorary Doctor of Business Administra- tion degrees from Johnson & Wales and Roger Williams. In 2016 City Year Rhode Island pre- sented Rick with its Excellence in Education Award. Asked recently to summarize his business philosophy, Rick quotes his advice to a meeting of CEOs and graduating students at St. Anselm: “Both the skills of the corporate executive and the certain guidance of a moral com- pass are essential for success in our global economy.” And, as Rick says: “Stay active and relative.”
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