Following a career which spanned over five decades in the bathroom industry, Richard Walker, former chairman of Vado, has passed away.
In a statement announcing his death, his daughter, Sarah Williams, MD of Armera said: “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Richard Read Walker, a popular and well-respected figurehead with 50 years in the bathroom industry. Richard moved from the car industry to first pursue a career with Ideal Standard at the age of 28 years old, which later led to an opportunity working for SMC Pumps before setting up his own company with a partner, Westco Building Components based in Leigh, Lancashire.
“Westco grew successfully and was sold in 1992 with a view to retiring. However, Richard’s move to Cheddar, Somerset, led to his involvement in Eurobath, later Vado, which he built with dedication, passion and charisma for a further 20 years.
“Many will remember Richard as humble, never seeking the limelight, a role model, helping many find their own way to be the best versions of themselves, and a visionary who had a gutsy enthusiasm and strong belief in people which led to the company’s success. The sale of Vado saw his official retirement, but he never stopped being a sounding board for people close to him.”
In a post on LinkedIn, Dean Pamphilon, sales director, Armera, also added: “Dick was an extraordinary leader who never sought the limelight or wanted to be front and centre. He was an incredible strategist and someone who was able to look past the shell of a person and tap into their being and personality. I know Dick will be thought of by many as a mentor but to me personally he was that and so much more.
“He had a devilish glint in his eye and a charming, warming smile that seemed to reach into the core of you and know how to get the best out of you. Dick was incredibly loyal and generous to not just his family but to his many friends. Not just financially but most importantly with his time and love. The business and bathroom world has lost a great man.”
In a separate tribute on LinkedIn, Vado sales director Lee Palmer said: “I have great memories of him from the early days at Eurobath to when we become Vado. He made me, my family and all of our customers feel apart of the Eurobath/Vado family. Dick was a true great and I personally feel very honoured to have worked with him. My thoughts and love go out to Barbara, Sarah, Mark and family.”