Rick Sarmiento ’65

Richard D. Sarmiento praises the Gamma-Omicron Chapter of Kappa Sigma for offering him a sense of belonging and security during his college years at the University of Kansas. He says the fraternity “taught him much including – social skills, brotherhood, and achieving goals.” Since receiving his BA from KU in 1967, he has lead an extremely successful and nontraditional existence, dipping into various endeavors and certainly achieving many goals along the way.

Initially Richard began in the military. He was a pilot for the United States Marine Corp. and served in Vietnam. Once finishing his tour he returned to the US and worked with Hyatt Hotels. During his employment with Hyatt he was recognized as Manager of the Year, but Richard was not content working for someone else and decided to branch out into his own ventures.

In 1985, he opened a small boutique called White House, selling all white women’s clothing and accessories. This proved to be a bold, but lucrative business concept. Ten years later, he opened another shop, this time carrying apparel in shades of black, called Black Market. With both stores operating successfully, Richard decided to combine the two under one roof in 1997, as White House/Black Market. There are now 178 of these stores, which were acquired by Chico’s Inc. in September of 2000. After the acquisition, Richard remained CEO of White House/Black Market for a while, but his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in again and he was soon onto his next venture. This time he dipped into film and is currently the Founder, President, and CEO of Sarco Films Inc. Aside from manning the executive aspects of the company, he is also credited as film producer for company.

Despite his busy professional life, Richard has made it a priority to remain active in community activities. He is a member of the local Rotary Club in Stevensville, Maryland, where he currently resides. In addition, he is a member of the CEO Club of Baltimore and has been on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. His time has been donated to the KU and Kappa Sigma as well. He was on the KU Chancellor’s Fundraising Committee, and was more than happy to donate to the Kappa Sigma House Reconstruction Fund.