2022 Wall of Fame Inductee -- Rick Elrod

Ricky (Rick) Alan Elrod

Wall of Fame

2022

 

Ricky (Rick) Alan Elrod was born March 22, 1960, in Foster, Kentucky, the son of Alton and Beulah Elrod.  Rick, along with his wife Judy Young Elrod, still live in Foster on their family farm.  Rick and Judy have three children: Stephen (deceased), Nicholas (deceased), and Jon.   

 

Rick attended Mt. Auburn Elementary School, Falmouth Middle School, and Pendleton County Memorial High School.  Rick graduated top of his class as valedictorian in 1978.  Interestingly enough, both sons who attended Pendleton County also graduated top of their class as valedictorians (Stephen in ’03, Jon in ’06).  From an athletic perspective, Rick excelled at basketball while at Pendleton County.  Rick was inducted into the 10th Region Hall of Fame in 1996.  While Rick was awarded many awards for his basketball achievements, one of the most memorable awards was the Larry Price Hustle Award… an award that both Stephen and Jon would later be awarded also.  This award recognizes an individual on the team that shows true grit and an outstanding amount of hustle.

 

Rick enrolled at Georgetown College with a full athletic and academic scholarship to play basketball.  He majored in Business Administration.  Rick was inducted into the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.  He helped lead the Georgetown Tigers to the 1982 KIAC Championship.  A four-year letterman, Rick received honors as KIAC Player of the Year in 1982 and All-KIAC during the 1979-1980 and 1980-1981 seasons.  In addition, he was named all NAIA District 32 during those same seasons.  Rick received his first-team MVP honor as a sophomore and would go on to be named team MVP during his junior and senior seasons as well.  Rick became the 21st player in Georgetown basketball history to surpass the 1,000-career points mark.  At the time of his induction, he ranked 11th in career scoring with a total of 1,671 points. Rick was drafted in the 8th round of the NBA by the Phoenix Suns.  He continues to rank as the highest draft pick in Georgetown basketball history. Unfortunately, the professional opportunity in the NBA did not work out, nor did an opportunity to play in Japan for the Isuzu Motor Company.  Rick graduated from Georgetown with honors in 1982, married his high school sweetheart that summer, and started his working career.

 

In 1984, Rick took a job with Griffin Industries Inc. as a customer service representative.  His career progressed, and Rick ultimately made his way into the operational side of the business. He became General Manager of the Butler facility in 1988.  In 1994, his career moved the family outside of Atlanta, Georgia to become the Georgia Operations Manager for Griffin Industries. They resided in Georgia for eight years.  In 2002, Griffin Industries allowed Rick the opportunity to come home and become the Vice President of the Eastern Region.  In 2010, Griffin Industries merged with Darling Ingredients with over 200 processing plants on five continents and sales and distribution offices throughout the world. Darling is a global leader in creating sustainable food, feed, and fuel ingredients from inedible bio-nutrients to help provide for the needs of a growing global population.  Darling is the only publicly-traded company in the industry. Starting in 2011 to mid-2015, Rick served as Senior Vice President of the Eastern Region for Darling Ingredients.  Today, he serves as Executive Vice President of Darling Ingredients USA, where he is responsible for the operations of all US facilities spanning from coast to coast.  In addition to his work with Darling, he is also an active board member of the National Chicken Council, the US Poultry Fats and Protein Council, the National American Renderers Association, and is a member of several state poultry federations throughout the Southeast.

 

While living in Pendleton County and working in the area, Rick has been instrumental in hiring multiple people from the community to work either at the Butler facilities or the regional corporate office located in Cold Spring.  Rick and Judy have also supported a local Pendleton County scholarship in remembrance of their late son Stephen Dale.  They also support an endowment at Georgetown College in Stephen’s name.  In 2010, a year after Stephen’s death, the family worked with a local artist to erect a bronze sculpture on Georgetown’s campus in remembrance of Stephen.  Due to their time in Georgia, they also support a scholarship at the school their children attended in Georgia.  Finally, they are involved with Kentucky’s Donate for Life, an organ donation program.

 

Today, Rick and Judy continue to live on their family farm near Mt. Auburn.  Rick enjoys spending his time taking care of and hunting on the farm.  They make frequent trips to Northeast Georgia to a mountain lake town, where they enjoy spending time with friends they met during their living tenure in Georgia.  Rick and Judy are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren (Collins, Merritt, Tripp, and Campbell) from their youngest son Jon, and wife Mariah.     





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