Ronald McDonald House Houston announces new CEO

Ronald McDonald House Houston recently announced that its board of directors had appointed Brigadier General Rick Noriega as CEO. Noriega joins Ronald McDonald House Houston in the midst of an aggressive $22.5 million capital campaign to further serve families of critically ill children in the Texas Medical Center.

Noriega succeeds interim CEO and current chief financial officer John Countzler, for whom Elsenbrook gives “great gratitude and recognition for tremendous leadership during this time of transition.” The search committee, which selected Noriega, was led by Ronald McDonald House Houston board member and committee chair Marjana Lindsey Roach.

Noriega brings a unique combination of business, public service and military experience to Ronald McDonald House Houston. Most recently, Noriega served for seven years as the president and CEO of AVANCE, an educational non-profit headquartered in San Antonio whose mission is to strengthen families in at-risk communities through parent engagement and early childhood education. Prior to AVANCE, Noriega served as vice president of community-based initiatives at Neighborhood Community Centers Inc., and spent 15 years with CenterPoint Energy where his last position was the manager for business development.

Noriega’s past public service includes serving as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for Texas House District 145 for ten years. In 2005, he was appointed by Mayor Bill White as incident commander for Houston’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Noriega has served our country in Afghanistan and was the Texas Army National Guard Tactical Operations Center Commander for Texas Military forces after 9/11. After initially enlisting in the Army Reserves, Noriega was later commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and has risen through the ranks serving in multiple command positions. Noriega is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the Command and General Staff College and currently, serves as the Assistant Deputy Adjutant for the Texas Army National Guard. He will retire from the armed forces in January 2018 after 37 years of military service.

Noriega holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Houston.