Rick Landry

January 17, 2018

Rick Landry’s dream career, after more than 40 years in logistics and supply chain management, was to teach business courses at a community college. Instead, he found his passion mentoring future business leaders as a member of the Cameron Executive Network.

“After we retired, my wife and I wanted to travel and see the world. Working at a community college would have put me on a schedule and limited travel,” said Landry, a retired vice president of Supply Chain Group at Nintendo of America. “The Cameron Executive Network was an exceptional option for me. It is not duplicated to this extent at any other university.”

Working with students as a practitioner helps round off their experience, Landry said. He currently mentors a diverse group of students from West Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and Costa Rica. 

Landry’s contributions to UNCW go beyond mentoring. For nearly five years, he has given generously of his time and financial support. He and his wife, Jo, have funded diversity merit scholarships in the Cameron School of Business and are active in the Seahawk Club. 

“We're investing in the future of these students,” he said. “Plus, I learn a lot as well. The common joke among people of my age group is you need your kids and grandkids to keep you up with today's technology.”

The couple also provides support to Centro Hispano, the LGBTQIA Resource Center and the Upperman African American Cultural Center. During the fall 2017 semester, the Landrys donated computers for Centro Hispano’s study center LA SALA, the Latinx Student Academic Learning Area in the Fisher University Union. 

His desire to increase opportunities and support for diverse students stems from growing up in the segregated South, Landry said.

“Jo and I grew up in south Louisiana during the 1950s and 60s and witnessed segregation during that period,” he said. “A series of events made me realize the senselessness of bigotry, racism and intolerance. We're all people that should be treated with dignity and respect. This attitude served me well during my business career.”

“If you hold anybody back from realizing their full potential because of some bias, you are only hurting your organization,” he continued. “Everyone should be contributing at the highest level possible. I learned that a long time ago.”

Landry’s volunteerism extends throughout the community. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Cameron Art Museum and was recently recruited by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCW to help plan for future growth in the area, especially Brunswick County.

“UNCW is a huge asset to the Wilmington community and surrounding area,” Landry said. “I feel like I'm adding value to UNCW's impact.”

-- Venita Jenkins