CEO, Snell Prosthetic and Orthotic Laboratory[dropcap]K[/dropcap]nown for his big heart and generosity, Rick Fleetwood has dedicated his life to helping others. Fleetwood, the CEO of Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory in Little Rock, devotes all of himself to his causes, professionally and personally. He serves on more than 17 non-profit boards and the bulk of his free time is devoted to extensive charity work.
His service in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War led to his interest in the rehabilitation field. On his monthly day off, he would take donations to a Vietnamese orphanage to help the children, many of whom were physically challenged. After leaving the Air Force in 1975, he moved to Little Rock and applied for a position with Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory as general manager. He has been there ever since.
First job: Working in a cotton gin at age 16.
What are you passionate about? Trying to make a difference. I have always said that when it comes my time to go to glory — please let it be said he made a difference.
One word that describes you: Caring
What attracted you to your career? The satisfaction of knowing that you are enhancing the quality of life for those you serve.
Favorite food: Just a good ole hamburger. My taste buds start acting up when I get in the city limits of Fayetteville and I start craving one of those amazing Hugo’s hamburgers.
Volunteer work: On an average year I am a member of approximately 17 boards and foundations. Currently I am the Chairman of the Foundation Board of Directors CHI St Vincent and I serve on multiple boards including Easterseals, United Cerebral Palsy, Centers for Youth and Families, CARTI Foundation and Children’s Tumor Foundation just to name a few. I am also the volunteer spokesperson for Briarwood Nursing and Rehab Facility.
What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? I have been truly blessed many times. It really is not an accomplishment, but rather an opportunity. I have been able to stand on the shoulders of giants and in so doing have been enlightened on the responsibility that we have to each other. I have received this in many ways and times from people of all ages, races, beliefs, economic status, political party or disability.
Favorite place in the world: Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina and Costa Rica. They both have special places in my heart.
What’s left on your bucket list? Not much. My life was changed in May and I realize that we all have just a certain amount of time. So I want to do all that I can do to enhance quality of life, make a difference in others’ lives and give thanks for my many blessings of family, loved ones, mentors, friends and countless individuals who have inspired, loved and cared for me and others.
Photo by Jamison Mosley