Ambassador to Austria: Who is William Eacho?

Monday, August 24, 2009

William C. Eacho, III is another important fundraiser for President Barack Obama who has been rewarded with an ambassadorship, this one to Austria. Eacho has spent much of his corporate career working in the food service distribution industry, which included selling his family-owned business to a competitor. He was sworn in as ambassador to Austria on August 14, 2009.

Eacho, 55, graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1976, where he majored in law and the economy, a self-designed major combining political science and economics. His undergraduate thesis was on the use of banking regulatory oversight as a tool to influence economic activity.
After graduating from Duke, Eacho went to work as a financial analyst in the corporate finance department of Hornblower & Weeks-Hemphill-Noyes, Inc., in New York, and as an associate with Loeb-Rhoades, Hornblower & Company in Los Angeles.
Eacho then decided to go to graduate school and was accepted into Harvard Business School, where he received his MBA with distinction in 1979.
He eventually joined the family business, Atlantic Food Services in Manassas, Virginia, and rose to become chairman. After helping engineer the sale of the fourth-generation-owned company to Alliant FoodService Inc., Eacho became executive vice president of the $6 billion national food service distributor based in Chicago, with primary responsibility for technology and acquisition strategy.
His other corporate experience includes serving as chairman of ComSource, a $9 billion cooperative, until he helped merge that company with its leading competitor, EMCO, to create UniPro Foodservice. Eacho was then made founding co-chairman of UniPro, the food service distribution industry’s top procurement and marketing cooperative, with combined member sales of more than $20 billion.
Eacho was CEO of Carlton Capital Group, LLC, a private investment company focused on real estate and private investments primarily dealing with alternative energy and technology, when he was nominated to become the U.S. ambassador to Austria.
He has served on the boards of directors of Capital Transportation Inc., Stanley Martin Companies Inc., Systems 4 Inc., Bialek Healthcare Environments Inc., and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. He formerly served as chairman and acting CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
Eacho’s other affiliations include serving on the board of visitors of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, as a member of World Presidents Organization and Chief Executives Organization, as the Washington, DC, chapter chair of the Young Presidents Organization, and as a member of Business Executives for National Security, The Brookings Council, The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and the Trustees Advisory Council of the OneVoice Movement, an organization dedicated to promoting moderate voices among Israelis and Palestinians and a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
According to OpenSecrets.orgt, Eacho was one of President Obama’s top bundlers, helping to raise a minimum of $500,000 during the 2008 campaign.
Eacho and his wife Donna have three teenage sons. Donna Eacho has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her professional work is in commercial banking, and among other activities, she has served as a judge for the National Capital Business Ethics Awards in Washington, DC, part of a program sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Biography: William C. Eacho, III (U.S. Embassy Vienna)


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