Donor Profile: Rick Frisbie


Rick FrisbieRick Frisbie spent his career as a distinguished executive in the financial industry, working most recently for Morgan Stanley as a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Management Director.

He attended Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia, and completed his undergraduate studies at Washington & Lee University. He went on to earn his MBA from The University of Virginia’s (UVA) Darden School of Business.

Following graduation, Rick served as an officer in the US Army and received the Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. After three years in the Army, he transitioned to the financial industry, where he remained for the rest of his career.

He served on four corporate boards, two of which were publicly held, and has been active in the Arlington, Virginia, community, serving on the Professional Advisory Committee for Arlington Hospital, the Board of Equalization, and as a member of the Public Utilities Commission.

Despite having a very busy and active professional life, he has always made time for volunteerism – as a Scoutmaster in Boy Scout Troop 106; Chairman of the Christian Board of Education and Vestry at Christ Church; a member of the Commercialization Task for NASA; and Arbitrator for the New York Stock Exchange. Rick is a Trustee Emeritus twice of Randolph Macon Academy and currently President of the Richard Henry Lee Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Rick and his wife, Barbara, now live in Kilmarnock, Virginia.

What is your connection to the Foundation?
My first introduction to the Focused Ultrasound Foundation was in 2013 when I was invited by Foundation Council members Bill and Cessie Howell to the Metropolitan Club in Washington to hear Dr. Neal Kassell speak about the technology and the Foundation. I was immediately captivated by what I learned and knew that this was an effort I needed to support. As a result, Barbara and I have hosted three of our own events. We brought a group of friends to Charlottesville to visit the Foundation and the Center of Excellence at UVA. We also hosted a gathering for 115 people at the Washington Golf and Country Club and at Indian Creek in Kilmarnock.

What moved you to get involved?
Since learning about focused ultrasound and the Foundation, I have wanted to be part of the effort. As I’ve explained, volunteering my talents, time, and energy has always been a big part of my life, and when I became aware of the technology and the enormous impact it can have on mankind, I wanted to help any way I could.

Neal is a very admirable human being. He is a brilliant individual who gave up his neurosurgery practice to start the Foundation and advance this technology. He is selfless and giving, and I have found that his staff exemplifies these same qualities.

What excites you most about focused ultrasound and the Foundation?
Many things excite me about focused ultrasound. It is intoxicating to know that there is a noninvasive, therapeutic technology that has the potential to be used broadly for so many diseases. In addition, it can provide treatment at a reduced cost, all the while reducing pain and recovery time. I find that so promising.

Since I’ve been involved with the Foundation, I have witnessed the amazing growth of the field. The potential of it all excites me, and the positive impact it could have on mankind is remarkable.

Why do you care about focused ultrasound and the Foundation’s work?
At age 42, my wife underwent a hysterectomy for uterine fibroids, and it was a grueling experience for her. I wish that focused ultrasound could have been an option for her. If that was the case, her treatment could have been a one-day, noninvasive surgery, and she could have avoided some of the lasting side effects of a major surgery.

More recently, my daughter-in-law, Alexa, was diagnosed with liver cancer and has undergone a series of treatments using conventional methods. Our hope is that in the future, patients with liver cancer will not have to endure all she has been through and will be able to benefit from focused ultrasound. We have established the Alexa Fund at the Foundation to fund research for liver cancer. Many of our friends and family have contributed generously to the Fund and we know we can make a positive difference by helping to fund this important research.

What impact do you hope to achieve through your philanthropy?
I support the Focused Ultrasound Foundation because I believe in the technology’s promise and potential. I believe in Neal and his staff and the goals they have set forth. I know I can help them with my financial support and by encouraging others to get involved.

What would you tell someone who is considering making a gift to the Foundation?
Give what you can, keep giving, and encourage others to give!