May 12, 2019 /

Rich Davis’ First Pitch

Rich Davis, President of the International Security Foundation (ISF) and recently retired Managing Director, Global Security for United Airlines, checked off a major bucket list item on Friday, May 3 at Guaranteed Rate Field in his hometown of Chicago.

There, before a crowd of 17,504 on hand to watch the Chicago White Sox take on the championship Boston Red Sox, Rich took the mound. His only pitch – not bad for a man who spent 40 years in global security for United – was slightly low and inside and easily caught by the White Sox catcher. The crowd roared, and Rich had the opportunity to live out what has been a dream since he was a boy listening to his beloved White Sox on the radio or watching the team at Comiskey Park.

Rich on the big screen, walking to the mound.

The score hardly mattered (the Red Sox beat the White Sox 6-1) to Rich and the large crowd of family, United colleagues and ISF friends on hand to cheer him on. The ceremonial first pitch was a touching tribute to a man whose expertise, enthusiasm for sharing best-practices across and beyond the airline security industry and extraordinarily endearing personality are legendary in the global security industry.

United hired him in 1978, and he moved into the security department shortly after the Pan Am 103 tragedy. During the 9/11 tragedy, Rich’s leadership was a vital part of United’s response that day and since. He recently completed a 12-year volunteer tenure on the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the longest tenure in the history of the U.S. Department of State public-private partnership. Today, his vision and passion for deepening and expanding the security network are front and center in his work has ISF President.

The first pitch opportunity and his custom “Davis 40” White Sox jersey were presented at the ISF 6th Annual OSAC Appreciation Dinner in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2018. Before a crowd of 700-plus men and women from across the global security field, representing all industries, Rich was visibly touched by the gesture.

By his count, Rich estimates that he has attended 25 World Series and 2,000 White Sox and cubs games. (As a die-hard Sox fan, he insists on the lowercase “c” for the Chicago Cubs.) This amazing feat underscores his love of the game, but is also a touching tribute to his late father: C.V. Davis, long-time White Sox baseball executive who oversaw scouting for the Chicago White Sox. No doubt, the father would have been deeply proud of the career and accomplishments celebrated in Rich throwing out the first pitch.

”It was a wonderful celebration of a much-beloved giant in the security industry,” noted Peggy O’Neill, ISF Executive Director, who worked with Rich’s ISF board, OSAC and United Airlines colleagues to orchestrate this honor for him.“ We were thrilled to have 180 of Rich’s family, friends and peers in attendance to celebrate with him on the special evening.”

Thanks, Rich to all you’ve given to the security industry and OSAC and the leadership, guidance and unwavering enthusiasm you continue to give through the ISF.


Watch the video of Rich’s pitch: