The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2003.
Van Richey has served as President and CEO of American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO) since 1989. ACIPCO has been named by Fortune magazine as one of the "Best 100 Companies to Work for in America."
Mr. Richey received his baccalaureate and master's degree in business administration from the University of Alabama and subsequently attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
A dedicated leader and tireless worker, Mr. Richey has served on many boards including Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama, the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the President's Cabinet of the University of Alabama, the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Salvation Army. He is actively involved in the Rotary Club of Birmingham and has served as chairman of the Business Council of Alabama.
Mr. Richey is a longtime advocate of early learning programs and the benefits of starting the education process in the pre-kindergarten years. Tapped by Governor Don Siegelman to chair the state's Commission on Early Learning in 2000, Mr. Richey put together an impressive group of ten prominent business leaders, who, with a task force of more than sixty concerned civic leaders, created Alabama's strategy and plan for developing a comprehensive early care and education program focused especially on our state's disadvantaged young children. The Commission made forty-five recommendations concerning children's issues, and some of those recommendations have already been implemented with positive results.
Because of his work on Alabama's Commission on Early Learning, Mr. Richey was Alabama's nominee for the National Governor's Award for 2002. Each governor may recommend an individual from his state to receive this national award, but only three private citizens are selected each year by the fifty governors. Mr. Richey was one of the three selected nationally in 2002 based on his service to children.
Also in 2002, he received the Children's Advocate Individual Award from Childcare Resources. Mr. Richey, in his continued efforts to ensure a better education for the children of our state, is currently working with Campaign for Alabama, which has as its goal better funding for Alabama schools.
Mr. Richey and his wife Barbara have one daughter, Lauren, who is in graduate school at UAB.