The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
“It was part of our family culture to give back,” said Rick Pride as he recalled receiving phone calls from his parents in the 1960’s to tell him that they were driving a Red Cross Emergency Vehicle towards an incoming hurricane as others were fleeing the same area. “Just when I got my kids to the point where I didn’t have to worry so much about them I began to get these calls from my parents,” said Pride.
Pride’s parents were very active in the Evansville, Indiana, Chapter of the American Red Cross. They deployed to between 35 and 40 national disasters: his mother, who was a nurse, often served in a health services capacity, and both were heavily involved in the mass care. When not deployed, they were often speaking about the Red Cross to community organizations in the Evansville area. Despite the fact I sometimes worried, “I was very pleased that they were giving back,” said Pride.
Today, Pride carries on that family tradition of service through his volunteer work at the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross. He has served on the Board of Advisors of the Mid-South Chapter for many years. Currently he is Secretary of the Board and the Chair of the Board Governance Committee. In these roles, he has been instrumental in the recruitment and development of new board members and, during his early days on the board, in the training and development of the Mid-South Chapter staff. Pride has also deployed with the Red Cross to help with disaster relief work in the aftermath of Arkansas tornadoes.
Professionally, Pride is the President and Principal Consultant with CIO Services Group, LLC, a consultancy with specialties in information technology leadership, strategy, and business optimization. Prior to his consulting activities, Pride was the Chief Information Officer of Smith & Nephew, a global orthopedic medical device company. Previous to that, he was Vice-President and Chief Information Officer for Maybelline. Other work experience includes positions at Clairol, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Mead Johnson.
Pride graduated from Purdue University with a degree in computer science. He also obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Evansville.
In addition to his volunteer work with the Red Cross, Pride serves on the board of the Collierville Community Fund and the University of Memphis Management Information Systems (MIS) Advisory Council. Pride is currently Executive-in-Residence for the MIS Department in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics.
“The Red Cross is a great place to give back,” said Pride as he noted that volunteers do much of the work of the Red Cross. “It’s a place to do things. I was impressed in my parents’ day how they organized when disaster struck. They are organized to deal with it. It was true in my parents’ day, and it’s still true today.”