In 1980, Rick engineered the purchase of Unison Industries, a small aviation components manufacturer. As President of Unison, Rick then spent the next 22 years growing the business from a small single plant operation with less than 100 workers to an international business with over 1500 employees. In 2002, Unison was sold to General Electric. That year Rick and some former Unison managers founded The Spring Bay Companies, a group of businesses engaged in a wide range of investment activities with a major focus in venture capital. Also in 2002, Rick and his wife formed The Sontag Foundation, a private non-profit which sponsors research related to brain cancer. The experiences of The Sontag Foundation led to the 2014 formation of The Brain Tumor Network, a national non-profit organization which helps brain cancer patients find optimal courses of treatment. Today, Rick manages the Spring Bay investment businesses as well as both non-profits. Rick is an Emeritus Trustee of Harvey Mudd College and former Chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

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