The Richland Rotary Club Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership Award recently was presented to Rich Foeppel, president and CEO of Columbia Industries. The award, known as the “Sammy,” is presented to individuals who demonstrate entrepreneurial leadership and have contributed significantly to the success of the Tri-City region.
Columbia Industries’ president and CEO since 1997, Foeppel has been instrumental in transitioning the organization into a business-focused agency with a passion for its mission. His leadership has resulted in new business and program developments and a strong commitment to positive partnerships. In 2014, Columbia Industries launched two new ventures under his direction: CI Information Management and CI Community Center.
Foeppel received his bachelor’s in political science, with minors in business administration and economics from Central Washington University. He is a longtime resident of the Tri-Cities, and graduated from both Richland High and Columbia Basin College. In addition to 25 years of not-for-profit administration, Foeppel has served as a local volunteer firefighter for nearly 20 years and been an active Rotarian for 23 years. He is also a former board member of Leadership Tri-Cities.
“While I’m honored, this really is a team award,” Foeppel said. “Our volunteer board, staff and the people we serve all share in our success.”