About Rick – Complete Bio
Rick was 1 year old when his father, a pilot, joined the National Guard and trained as a fighter pilot. When Rick was in the fourth grade, his dad left the Guard and the family settled in Denton. Rick attended Robert E. Lee Elementary School and Congress Junior High School and was graduated from Denton High School, then spent two years in Central America learning the language and customs.
Rick attended college out of state and worked in construction during the summers, but married and left school after the first year to work primarily in sales. Jobs included those for NAPA Auto Parts and a luxury/foreign car dealership, where he soon became the top salesman, and as a solicitor of investors in real estate projects.
Nearly 10 years later, Rick and his wife returned to Texas for the birth of his first son. He went to work for Andrews Corporation, a manufacturer of telecommunications hardware that was housed in the building that today hosts Flowers Bakery.
Leveraging a variety of skills acquired along the way, Rick also began landscaping and building outdoor enhancements, including patios, outdoor kitchens and gazebos, and he obtained a license to install sprinkler systems. These soon became his full-time business.
In the early 1980s, H. Ross Perot undertook a significant expansion of the Electronic Data Systems (EDS) corporate campus. Rick supervised four landscape crews working on that and other projects in the Metroplex. One weekend, he and his 32-member crew planted 8,000 plants at the Plano site, including 100-gal trees planted indoors. He then created and supervised plans for watering and maintenance of all plants at the EDS site in Plano.
When EDS sold in 1984 to General Motors, which promptly tightened the corporate belt, Rick took a job handling business-to-business (B2B) sales of high-end copiers for a Dallas firm, then transitioned into B2B sales of copiers to dealers throughout Central and South America. As Rick was the only person in both companies who spoke fluent Spanish, he served as the interface between the companies and their dealer networks.
Rick soon joined a firm selling backup-power supplies to computer vendors in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. However, Rick found the payment process very slow, and he refused to participate in bribing, a shadowy, but common, element of doing business at the time.
In the late 1990s, Rick became proficient in AutoCAD and changed careers. His first project, design of a 450-acre subdivision for a Denton landowner originally from Argentina, tapped his fluency in Spanish. They worked together on several other projects in Denton County.
Rick then reconnected briefly to his contacts south of the border and learned that officials of some Mexican states wanted to computerize birth, marriage, divorce and death records in an effort to identify eligible voters. Rick designed a self-powered, air conditioned, portable trailer in which municipal records could be dehumidified, indexed and scanned. Before the project could be launched, however, the official with whom he was working was indicted, and the project ended abruptly.
In 2005, Rick returned to college, where he studied geographical information systems and history part-time while working as a land planner, doing site design and representing developers seeking zoning changes around the Metroplex. Six year later Rick earned his bachelor’s degree at UNT after much perseverance.
Today, Rick employs well-honed sales and negotiating skills as he works with neighborhoods, developers and local government staff on specific elements of site plans. His goal always is achieving successful outcomes acceptable to all parties. Because the development process in some cities is long and convoluted, and time is money to developers, Rick’s ability to identify and promote avenues for compromise early in the process is valuable.
Rick specializes in design of “problem tracts,” sites with features that make them difficult to develop, and zoning change requests. At present, he enjoys a near-perfect success rate in shepherding projects through city planning processes in the Metroplex and beyond.
Rick has served on the City of Denton Zoning Board of Adjustment and two City of Denton citizen Tree Ordinance committees, with extended service as a citizen volunteer working on the recently approved new Denton Development Code. He is fluent in Spanish and has traveled extensively for business in Central America and South America. Rick holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas, is a graduate of Denton High School and earned Eagle Scout designation.