skip to Main Content

UH College of Business Administration's Kipapa Lecture Series Brings Renowned Entrepreneur Back to Hawaii

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tracy Taira, (808) 956-8780
Development Assistant
Posted: Jan 14, 2003

On Thursday, January 30, 2003 the Kipapa i ke Ala Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi College of Business Administration, will feature prominent entrepreneur Richard J. Heckmann. Heckmann is founder of USFilter, the world‘s largest water treatment company, which was acquired by Vivendi. He is chairman and chief executive officer of K-2 Inc., a manufacturer of sporting goods equipment. He is also chairman of the Listed Company Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange.

Heckmann will speak at the U.H. Manoa campus, where he attended classes as an undergraduate. He will discuss challenges entrepreneurs face in building a company in today‘s economy. The topic of his remarks will be "Then and Now: Growing a Company in the Post-Bubble, Post-Enron Environment."

The lecture is free of charge and will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the UH School of Architecture Auditorium. To RSVP, e-mail Parking will be available on campus for $3. For more information, visit

Richard J. Heckmann founded USFilter on July 16, 1990 and embarked on a series of acquisitions aimed at building the world‘s largest water treatment company.

In 1990, USFilter had annualized revenues of approximately $17 million, reporting multi-million dollar losses in its previous two years. USFilter‘s revenues for fiscal year 1999 were approximately $5 billion. Heckmann was named 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Master Entrepreneurial category for the Inland Empire Region of Southern California. In 1999, USFilter was acquired by Vivendi S.A. of Paris France for $8.2 billion in cash and debt assumption.

Heckmann presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of K2 Inc., a manufacturer of sporting goods equipment, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Vivendi Environmental, the world‘s largest environment company, both listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Heckmann is also Chairman of the Listed Company Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange. He was director and owner of Smith Goggles (Sun Valley, Idaho), and is a founding shareholder of Callaway Golf, Inc.

He was appointed associate administrator for finance and investment of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington, D.C. from 1978 to 1979, where he was responsible for small business lending and venture capital investments made by the United States Government. He also served as the White House liaison from the SBA and is a former director of the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In 1971, Heckmann founded and became Chairman of the Board of Tower Scientific Corporation, which grew into the largest manufacturer of custom prosthetic devices in the United States. In 1977, the company was acquired by the Hexcel Corporation.

Heckmann is a Trustee of the Eisenhower Medical Center and the University of California, Riverside and a member of the Business Council of the University of Notre Dame Business School. The Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management, Palm Desert, UC-Riverside campus is funded by a donation from Richard and Mary Heckmann with additional funding from the State of California, and is currently under construction on a 20-acre campus donated by the City of Palm Desert.

Heckmann attended the University of Hawaii and completed the Small Company Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is married with six children.

For more information, visit: