image002Earlier this month, local businessman and philanthropist Richard W. “Dick” Snyder of Preston Hollow died after a short illness. He was 75.

Snyder was known for founding SnyderGeneral in 1982. It became the world’s largest privately-held manufacturer of heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC) and filtration equipment, products and services.

In addition to his accomplishments in the corporate world, Snyder also was active in public service. In 1988, former President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Negotiations, an advisory body for U.S. trade policy and negotiations. President George H.W. Bush appointed Snyder again in 1990.

He also served on the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) Task Force under director Carla A. Hills. In 1992, Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher put Snyder on the Federal Advisory Committee on the EC Common Approach to Standards Testing and Certification.

By 1994, SnyderGeneral was sold to Hong Leong Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Later, Snyder founded and became Chairman and CEO of SnyderCapital, a privately-held investment firm that specializes in equity investments for mid-sized operating companies.

More recently though, he established the Snyder Foundation, which supports public projects, children’s education, animal welfare and medical research. It financed Snyder’s Union, a scenic observation point that overlooks Lee Park from the Katy Trail’s half-way point.

His foundation also was responsible for the Snyder Athletic Center at St. Phillips School and Community Center along with underwriting for neighborhood private schools including Ursuline Academy, St. Rita’s Catholic School and Jesuit Preparatory School. Other beneficiaries are for the SPCA of Texas and Straydog Inc., Dallas Summer Musicals, UT Southwestern Medical Center and many other causes.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked people support of one of Snyder’s favorite charitable organizations, including: The Friends of the Katy Trail, St. Philips School and Community Center and SPCA of Texas and Straydog, Inc.

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