Rick Leach is the recipient of Community Living’s 2018 Legacy Award. A steadfast supporter for nearly 20 years, Rick was instrumental in launching Community Living’s fundraising and overall development activities.
Rick was first elected to the board in January of 2000, and hit the ground running. Prior to Rick joining the board, Community Living had no special events and no formal fundraising efforts at all. Rick changed that, immediately suggesting a Wine Dinner fundraising event to honor someone from the community who played a vital role in enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. The Legacy Award was born.
In September of 2000, just 9 months after Rick joined the board, Community Living held its first annual Wine Dinner and Legacy Award event. Buoyed by the event’s success, Rick believed that the next year’s event could be bigger, better, and raise even more money for Community Living. At his suggestion, the following year’s event was christened the “Legacy Ball” and was held at a large banquet center. In no small part due to Rick’s vision and leadership, the Legacy Ball has grown with each passing year, and is now Community Living’s signature event.
Rick served on the Board until 2007 and went on to hold the positions of Vice-Chairperson and Chairperson. Over the years, Rick has consistently donated to fundraising events, and has been one of Community Living’s staunchest supporters.
In addition to his work with Community Living, Rick is also a longtime advocate of Youth in Need, and has served on that organization’s board for close to 25 years, including two years as Board Chairman. He and his wife Mary have been recognized as Celebration of Youth Honorees for their extensive service to Youth in Need and the St. Charles community. Rick and his company, Trans States Holdings are the sponsors of the Operation Liftoff Store in their office building. Operation Liftoff provides air transportation and support for children with a life-threatening illness. Additionally, Rick supports and has been involved with numerous other charities that aid youth, families and the elderly throughout the St. Louis/St. Charles area, as well as St. Jude, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the March of Dimes. Rick has also served on the board of Disabled Individuals Access to the Sky, where he helped to ensure equitable air travel for disabled persons.
Rick is the President of Trans States Holdings, a privately owned holding company whose assets include Trans States Airlines, GoJet Airlines, and Compass Airlines. Trans States Holdings the largest privately owned regional airline holding company in the United States. Mr. Leach concurrently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of all three airlines in the Trans States Holdings portfolio. Mr. Leach has served on the Regional Airlines Association Board of Directors for over 20 years and currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chairman. He has also been recognized as the Regional Airline Executive of the Year by Regional Airline World magazine.
Rick and his wife Mary reside in St. Charles and are the proud parents of five children and three grandchildren.