Richard Walker has directly served in corporate bank, leveraged finance, financial advisor, and/or turnaround manager roles throughout the U.S. and abroad. He has 30+ years of corporate finance experience in analyzing, underwriting, restructuring, and funding leveraged finance and turnaround transactions in corporate, capital markets, and merchant bank organizations.
Richard served in various executive roles as senior corporate finance officer and senior credit officer for several top 20 banks including First Union Capital Markets (now Wells Fargo Capital Markets).
Richard has served as a senior executive of a public multi-bank holding company, founding board member of a community agency, oversight executive of a community organization, and founding Chairman/CEO of a public charter school.
In 1997 Richard formed a niche merchant banking and corporate finance advisory firm for emerging and smaller mid-market firms. Among his various portfolio companies, three firms focused on education services for small public, independent, and charter schools in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Richard holds a B.S. in Finance and a Masters’s in Banking.
Richard owes his love of education primarily to a mother and a wife who are heartfelt, transformative teachers who deeply love children into becoming their best. Their devotion to education at its most crucial level inspired him to invest more of his time in making more heartfelt education possible.
Through a growing appreciation of the gift of public education he received, Richard has pursued since 1996 an ongoing labor of rekindling for today’s children what made his educational experiences so transformational in his own life. His subsequent experiences as founding Chairman of Lake Norman Charter School caused him to more fully appreciate his ancestor’s involvement in founding various schools and a university.
He came to understand education to be more “heart” driven than “mind” driven. More importantly, he came to recognize the specific gifts of his many prior teachers and their great hearts for providing and nurturing the “spark” of great learning in all their students.