RCFS CEO Rick Noble Announces 2018 Retirement

Rick Noble

Noble is the founding CEO of Richland County First Steps to School Readiness

Richland County First Steps to School Readiness announced today that its longtime CEO Rick Noble has confirmed his intention to retire from the organization he helped found. In announcing his retirement date of July 2, 2018, Noble noted that his 70th birthday the following day would be the “finish line” of his nonprofit career, which spans more than 47 years.

Richland County First Steps (RCFS) is part of a statewide network of community First Steps partnerships dedicated to helping children arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. Noble joined RCFS as its first employee on October 1, 2000. Under his leadership, and with the guidance of nearly 100 volunteer partnership board members over the years, the organization has grown significantly, now employing 37 early childhood teachers, trainers, technical assistants and family advocates who work in a range of programs from Early Head Start to parenting and child care quality enhancement. Noble reflected, “I came into this job 17 years ago today, facing the challenge of building a new organization with an important mission. I’m proud of the team we have built at RCFS. They are incredibly dedicated professionals who work so very hard to get kids ready for school. The next CEO will be lucky to have the opportunity to lead them to even greater success.”

Noble’s experience leading community organizations stretches back to his days as CEO of Madison House, the student volunteer center at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he served from 1971-1979. After moving to Columbia, Noble also served as the founding Executive Director of Cities in Schools (later Communities in Schools) of the Midlands from 1987-1996 and Director of Development/Foundation at Midlands Tech from 1998-2000. He was also significantly involved in the founding of City Year Columbia (1993) and the Carolina Marathon Association (1980). He has served as a volunteer on numerous boards and committees during his 39 years in Columbia.

On his announcement, RCFS Board Chair Penny Dininny, said, “We hate to see Rick leave us, but we understand that all good things must come to an end, including his professional career in the nonprofit world. We wish him well as begins a new chapter in his life.”

The RCFS Board will soon convene a search committee to find its next CEO.

download a copy of this story as a press release


  • How can I reach Rick Noble now? Please
    call me with his contact information at
    803.413.6475. Thank you.
    Bud Ferillo

    Bud FerilloNovember 22, 2017

Leave a Reply