Hall of Fame

Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder

Venture capitalist
Governor of Michigan


Venture capital: After receiving three degrees from U-M by the age of 23, Rick Snyder embarked on a successful, 30-year business career including leadership of two venture capital companies. He founded Avalon Investments with Gateway Computer co-founder Ted Waitt in 1997 and served as its president and CEO until 2000. In 2000, Snyder created Ardesta with three other co-founders. Together, the firms funded approximately 35 startups.

Executive leadership: Upon graduation from U-M, Snyder joined Coopers & Lybrand, and rose from its Detroit tax office to partner by 1989. In 1991, Snyder joined the computer company Gateway as executive vice president, and served as its president and CEO in 1996-7. He returned to serve as Gateway’s chairman of the board in 2005, and was interim CEO in 2006. In 2010, Snyder was elected Governor of Michigan under the campaign motto “One Tough Nerd.”

At U-M: Bachelor’s degree, 1977; MBA, 1979; JD, 1982; adjunct professor of accounting, 1982-84.