Appalachian Alumni Gone Civil Servant: Meet Rick Houser



Rick Houser is an Appalachian State Alumni and die hard App State football fan, who now resides in a small town called Cramerton, North Carolina. He is married to Lisa Houser, and they have been married for 31 years. Together, Rick and Lisa have 3 daughters, Jessica, Katie, and Christiana. Out of those three daughters, Katie and Christiana have followed in Rick’s footsteps and are now students of Appalachian State. Rick also has one grandson, named Drew. Drew is the first boy in the family, and they are best buddies.

Rick is the most recent recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. In March of 2015, Governor Pat McCrory presented him with the award. This award is given to a North Carolinian who has demonstrated a lasting service to the state of North Carolina. It is the highest honor and award any North Carolinian can receive, and is presented by the Governor. Recipients of this award then become members of the Long Leaf Pine society, which have members such as Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Billy Graham.


Q: What year did you graduate? What was your major?

A: I graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in International Business. 


Q: What was Appalachian State like when you went there?

A: App State was the top rated business and accounting department and had an excellent reputation for teaching degrees. The legal drinking age was 18, but there was no beer in Boone, so everyone had to go to Blowing Rock to drink. It seems like I remember the student population was larger than Clemson University at that time.

Q: How has Appalachian State changed since you graduated?

A: The campus obviously much larger. The athletic department has continued to excel. The reputation as a university is still very good. It has a great environment for teaching you how to be independent, especially in the winter because of the challenges of dealing with the weather.

Q: What do you do now?

A: I am a chief credit officer of a small community bank called Alliance Bank and Trust.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments since you graduated from Appalachian?

A: I have raised a great family. I have also progressed in my chosen profession of banking to executive management. I have been able to contribute to the economic development of my community through work and through civic and volunteer opportunities. I serve on a number of worthwhile board of directors, including the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce for approximately ten years where I served as treasurer and, most recently, chairman of the board.  I work with Holy Angels in Belmont, which I consider to be a very worthwhile nonprofit organization that serves the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, Cramer Mountain Club, which is a neighborhood golf and country club where I volunteer as treasurer, the Cramerton ABC Board, which is a way for me to give back to my town, and serving on the finance council at Queen of the Apostles church is my way of volunteering for my Parish Community. 


Q:What else do you hope to accomplish in the future?

A: I really hope that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of my family friends, and community.

Rick has done so much for his family and his community. This interview does not even capture half the man he is, with quick wit and a huge, loving heart. He is one of the most genuine people, and he is always there in a time of need. Your family is so proud of all of your accomplishment, and I, for one, am so proud and honored to be able to call you my dad.