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Richard P. Connolly (Rick) - Marketing Director, Western Region

Born in Columbus, Ohio Rick grew up in Ohio and California. In 1958 Rick was honorably discharged from the Air Force, and returned to college to pursue a degree in Economics. In that same year, Louis Kelso, the father of the ESOP concept, published "The Capitalist Manifesto." Like Kelso, Rick believed the middle class should be empowered to reap the benefits of capitalism. Kelso's writings convinced Rick that ESOPs were the best way to extend capital ownership to the many, not just the few. Later that year Rick met Kelso at a book signing and lecture at UC Berkeley. Impressed with Kelso's eloquence and ideas, Rick developed a passion for ESOPs that has grown over the years.

In 1994, Rick acquired the domain name esop.com with the intent to create a website devoted to ESOP information and education. However, in the early days of the Internet, website creation tools weren't available as they are today. The lack of tools and programming knowledge hampered Rick's goal to personally create the website. As the Internet grew, Rick began to see many varied references to ESOPs and decided to postpone the website, but kept the domain name active. Instead of duplicating existing ESOP-oriented websites, Rick wanted to use the esop.com domain name to in some way serve the ESOP community in a manner that was not already being done, but he wasn't sure how, exactly, to go about it.

In 2001 Rick retired from his accounting and management position in the hospitality industry. What to do now? The answer was easy. He wanted to pursue his long time dream to seriously promote ESOPs. Older and wiser, he knew that if he was ever going to be actively involved with ESOPs, now was the time. Shortly thereafter Larry Spivey contacted him about acquiring the esop.com domain name for The Intrepid Equity Group. As things worked out, Intrepid Equity Group, LLC was able to acquire both the use of the domain name and the ongoing professional involvement of Rick Connolly.

Now Rick’s dream has come true. He is finally able to do what he loves doing and is having fun doing it. Rick presently resides in San Francisco.

Richard P. Connolly
ESOP Association
NCEO Kelso