William L Walton, Chairman of Rappahannock Ventures LLC (private equity) and Rush River Entertainment (feature film production), has an extensive background in finance, general management, private equity, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, commercial lending, entrepreneurship, private sector educational services and arts management.
Walton is Vice President of the Council for National Policy and is a Senior Fellow for Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty and Morality. He is also host of the podcast “Common Ground with Bill Walton” which launched in Fall 2016.
Through his production company, Walton has produced Max Rose, starring Jerry Lewis which was released in August 2016 with an early cut screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2013. A second film, The Ticket, stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey and Disney’s Beauty and The Beast), was selected as one of only 10 films selected for Tribeca Film Festival’s 2016 US Narrative Competition and scheduled for release in 2017.
Walton served as chairman of the board and CEO of Allied Capital Corporation (NYSE) from 1997 to 2009, and as chairman until 2010 when the company was successfully merged with Ares Capital Corporation. Under his leadership Allied Capital grew from $600 million in managed assets to $12 billion. Its private equity portfolio held a majority interest in over 40 companies with aggregate revenues of over $4 billion employing approximately 20,000 people.
During his tenure, Walton and his team shepherded the company through several economic cycles of expansion and recession, keeping the focus on effective capital allocation and adjusting investment strategies to meet changing market conditions. He retired from the Company in 2010 when it was merged with Ares Capital.
Earlier in his career, Walton worked as a Managing Director of Butler Capital Corporation, a private equity firm; as the personal investment advisor to William S. Paley, founder of CBS; Senior Vice President in Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb’s Merger and Acquisition Group and Vice President of Continental Illinois Bank.
He also founded two education service providers: Language Odyssey which taught Spanish and French to JK through 6th grade elementary schools students in 12 states and SuccessLab which taught reading to inner city public school children in Chicago.
Walton is actively engaged in public policy and the arts, and currently serves on the board of directors of several non-profits including the Media Research Center , The Heritage Foundation and ForAmerica. Currently, he is a member the Collectors Committee and the Trustees’ Council of the National Gallery of Art and serves as an Advisor to the NGA Board of Trustees Finance Committee. He is also President of the Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company.
He is the former President of the National Symphony Orchestra and Treasurer of the Wolf Trap Center for the Arts and Chairman of the Deans’ Council of the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University) and Assistant Treasurer of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also served on the boards of theAmerican Enterprise Institute, Financial Services Roundtable, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, DC Federal City Council, National Venture Capital Association, and the DC National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He is a life member of MENSA and the NRA.
Walton attended inner-city schools in Indianapolis. After serving in the U.S. Army as a Specialist at the Pentagon, he completed his B.S. from Indiana University and his MBA from Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, where he worked his way through school as an accounting instructor. He and his wife, Sarah, have two grown children. Sarah is an Artist. Daughter Emily is married and living in Chicago as a designer. Their son, Jonathan is married and is serving with the U.S. Army Special Forces.