Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to an individual whose dedication and contributions to the community of Orange County, California are exceptional. Orange County has been fortunate to have dynamic and dedicated community leaders who willingly and unselfishly give their time and talent and make their communities a better place to live and work. Rick Muth is one of these individuals and he is also one of my closest friends. On April 17, 2009, Rick celebrated his 60th birthday with friends and family.
Rick's success in life began with the positive influence from a special teacher at Mater Dei High School. Henry Enriquez encouraged Rick to join the track team where Rick discovered a talent that he never knew he possessed. Track built Rick's confidence and steered him in the right direction: towards college. Rick attended Santa Ana College where he became the Freshman Vice President and won national honors on the track team. He transferred to the University of Southern California, USC, earned his Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and still holds a spot on the track team's all-time three-mile list. Upon graduation from USC, Rick went to work for a labor relations firm, then spent two years as an administrative trainee in plant construction at Northrop Aircraft. Rick continued his education at Chapman University, where he earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration.
In 1975, Rick joined the ORCO Block Company, Inc. a family-owned business, as assistant office manager. In many ways, Rick had always been a part of the family business. Rick picked up broken pieces of block as a kid, and he repaired wooden pallets, in the summer after the fifth grade, to earn the new bike that he wanted. In his high school and college years, Rick spent his summers making deliveries, taking orders and working with customers. Rick learned the business from the bottom up, and held almost every position in the company. In 1994, Rick ascended to the position of President and currently oversees the day-to-day operations of the multi-million-dollar company. He has continued the development of its extensive product line, directed the company's aggressive expansion and helped maintain ORCO's high industry profile and leadership role.
Throughout his career at ORCO Block Company, Inc. Rick also has continued the legacy that his father established: service, leadership and community. Rick started this legacy in his own community--at ORCO's headquarters in Stanton, California. Rick's father, Pete Muth, established the Stanton Boys and Girls Club, and Rick continued to support the Club by serving as President, assisting with fundraising and guiding the increase in children from 100 to 650. Rick also serves as a Board Member of the Orange County Performing Arts Center and has helped raise approximately $1.8 million in donations and matching funds. Rick has also contributed to his own industry by serving as former Chairman of the Board for the National Concrete Masonry Association, NCMA, and establishing the NCMA Foundation, which has raised $6 million to support research and development. Rick and his father Pete were the first father-and-son team to both serve as NCMA Chairman.
Rick has also not forgotten to give back to the schools that gave so much to him. He was a Capital Campaign Committee Member for Mater Dei High School. Additionally, for the past 28 years, as an alumnus for Santa Ana College's Track Team, Rick has raised money, assisted with coaching and provided jobs for members of the track team. At USC, Rick has been a member of the Orange County Planning and Development Council, partial annual scholarship provider to architecture students and former co-chair for the first USC Symphony Orchestra performance in Orange County. Rick also sits on the Business School Advisory Council at Chapman University, and he and his family have donated funds to support the construction of a new library named in honor of the Muth Family and ORCO Block Company, Inc.
Rick has never expected anything in return for his community service, but his contributions have been recognized. Rick was inducted into the Santa Ana College Hall of Fame, honored as ``Man of the Year'' by Cypress College and awarded the Ethics in Business award by the Freedom Foundation. Rick received the California SBA Business Person of the Year in 2003. In 2001, the Orange County Business Journal and California State University Fullerton presented Rick with the prestigious Family Owned Business Award. In the spirit of the ``America Way,'' Rick started a group called USA Owned/USA Made, to support companies whose products are made in the United States. Rick worked with Congress to pass a proclamation called ``Try American Day,'' celebrated in conjunction with Labor Day. Many states and cities ratified this proclamation and recognized Rick's valuable contribution. However, to Rick, what is even more prestigious than awards or recognition is that in his personal life Rick is a husband of over 30 years to his wife Nancy and father to his two daughters, Veronica, 26, and Stephanie, 25. Rick also enjoys hobbies like wake boarding, snow boarding, being a private pilot and running as a master's track competitor.
Rick's tireless passion for American business and community service has contributed immensely to the betterment of the community of Orange County, California. I am proud to call Rick a fellow community member, American and close friend. I know that many community members are grateful for his work and salute him on his 60th birthday.
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