Contact: Lauren Dyke
Carl H. Ricker, Jr. Named 2009 Horatio Alger Award Winner
Leading American Business Executive to be Inducted in April in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, February 2, 2009 – The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that Carl H. Ricker, Jr. will be presented with the 2009 Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the association for his determination in achieving success despite his humble upbringing.
Ricker, founder, chairman and CEO of Azalea Holdings; partner at Campus Crest Communities; chairman of the executive committee at Capital Bank Corp; and co-founder and chairman, MXT Card Services, LLC in North Carolina, will be officially inducted into the prestigious association on April 3rd in Washington, D.C. Recipients must have overcome humble beginnings or adversity to achieve success and serve as outstanding role models to the national community.
“We welcome these extraordinary leaders into the Horatio Alger Association. Each has demonstrated steadfast determination and amazing achievements that support our unwavering mission of honoring true American success stories,” said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. “Carl will serve as a role model for today’s youth by encouraging motivation, purpose and superior accomplishments.”
Ricker was born in a small mill house in western North Carolina in 1943. After his veteran father was killed in an accident in 1948, Ricker and his mother moved into a 28-foot trailer with no phone, bathroom or automobile and lived off social security payments of $64 a month. Despite these difficult circumstances, Ricker’s mother worked hard to give him a loving home environment with clean clothes and three meals a day.
In 1967, Ricker opened a used car business with his uncle with only $740 in his pocket and a loan of $5,000. In 1968, the business moved into recreational vehicles sales and became the second largest RV dealer on the East Coast. In 1981, he began investing in land and started building and buying commercial buildings and shopping centers across the Southeast.
Eventually, Ricker became one of the largest private real estate investors in the Southeast through his control of Azalea Holdings, Azalea Management and Azalea Limited Partnership. Ricker currently serves as a real estate partner in Campus Crest Communities, a provider of housing for college students. Additionally, Ricker is chairman of the Executive Committee of Capital Bank and Capital Bank Holding Co.
Ricker is a believer in helping others to achieve their dreams. He has been active with the University of North Carolina in Asheville, Boys Clubs of America, Hospice of Western North Carolina and Mission Children’s Hospital.
In addition to Ricker’s award, ten other outstanding individuals who have accomplished remarkable achievements through hard work, self-reliance and perseverance, will receive the 2009 Horatio Alger Award. They are:
- James S.C. Chao, chairman, Foremost Group
- David Foster, producer, composer and arranger, Reprise Records & 143 Records
- Clayton Paul Hilliard, president and owner, Badger Oil Corporation
- Rebecca MacDonald, founder and executive chair, Energy Savings Income Fund (international recipient)
- Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and CEO, American Electric Power
- Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo Inc.
- Thomas Joseph Shannon, Jr., founder, T-Bird Restaurant Group, Inc. and Village Development Co.
- Denzel Washington, Academy Award winning actor and director
- Robert L. Wright, Jr., chairman, FE Holdings, Inc.
- Stephen A. Wynn, chairman and CEO, Wynn Resorts
The new members will be presented with their awards April 3rd at the Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations in some of the nation’s most historic buildings. The Horatio Alger National Scholars, remarkable high school seniors, will also be formally honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger Members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.com/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program and state scholarship programs, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $63 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2008 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.