Rick holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked as a Project Manager and State Director for The Trust for Public Land for 17 years. In these roles he was able to play an important role in greenway and park development in Chattanooga, Tennessee and helped conserve an additional 4000 acres for Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Currently, Rick serves as an advisor to the Thrive Regional Partnership.
During this time, Rick was able to see and experience how parks can transform communities while understanding the details and hurdles that get in the way, frustrate and cause delay. He has had the opportunity to speak at several conferences from NYC to Boise and recently assisted in the Parks Master Plan,"Plan to Play", for Metro- Nashville. His speaking and planning always have an emphasis on relevant strategies to help park leaders build more greenspace. "It is inspiring and motivating to be able to walk on a trail or in a greenspace, that you helped conserve, protect, develop, or build. It is a gift that you are giving to generations." Rick enjoys speaking to various groups about the value of parks, greenways and the outdoor culture.
Rick and his wife, Missy, have 2 children (19 and 17), and live in Chattanooga, where they enjoy the great outdoors with their dog Stanley. They enjoy trail running, mountain biking, hiking, flat water kayaking, fishing, and, of course, rich local coffee, tasty local beer and fresh margaritas. Rick serves on the Board of the Chattanooga Design Studio, Cornerstones, Inc, Lula Lake Land Trust and Dynamo Studios.
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