Today's Featured Biography
Rich Buickerood (Colonel, USAF, retired)
1992 2006: Senior Executive, Dallas Park Department (Director, Dallas Zoo and Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park)
Directed day to day operations of 100 acre zoo and aquarium with a $14m annual operating budget and about 250 staff in @15 different academic disciplines with numerous advanced degrees. Assumed leadership and completely rejuvenated two facilities which had suffered a decade of lean years operating and capital improvements budgets were inadequate, Zoo faced closure, and no development plan existed. With support of the Dallas Park Board and the Dallas Zoological Society led effort to create and implement a multi-year strategic plan. Successfully lobbied to have Zoo identified as one of the city's eight key "core assets" in The Dallas Plan, and received @ $30m for capital improvements from City of Dallas Bond Referendums; private sector added @$18m. Directed $45,000,000+ long range planning and construction process for numerous new animal exhibits, facilities and infrastructure improvements. Conceived and erected a 67 ½ foot tall giraffe statue, the tallest statue in Texas and now a Dallas landmark. Annual attendance grew from a low of 500,000 to more than 800,000, creating an annual economic impact on region in excess of $65,000,000/year. In 2000, as client, received American Institute of Architects (AIA) design award for zoo’s animal health care facility and in 2003 received another for the Zoo’s endangered species carousel. In 2004, cultivated and received largest gift in Zoo’s history, a $2,300,000 donation for an otter exhibit which opened in 2005.
Served on American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Board of Regents and as faculty member at national Zoo & Aquarium Management School. Taught undergraduate leadership and interviewing techniques courses through George Mason University.
With wife, led numerous groups on photo safaris through eastern and southern Africa (Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Extensive public speaking experience.
PRIOR: Colonel, United States Air Force
Commander, Air Force ROTC Southwest Region, San Antonio, Texas
One of five national commanders. With a staff of 18, directed 29 senior military leaders, 270 staff, 14,000 students, and a $4.0 million scholarship, travel, and advertising budget at 29 universities and 76 high schools in a nine state area. Higher headquarters inspectors considered region most efficient in the nation. 100% of personnel/programs passed rigorous mission compliance inspections, and 60% received the highest possible ratings.
Department Chair, AFROTC Department, University of Texas at Austin
With staff of nine recruited, educated, trained, motivated, and screened 150 190 officer candidates in a 4 year academic and leadership program. Formed an AFROTC alumni association which raised thousands of scholarship dollars. Authored text used by 150 universities entitled The History of US Involvement in Vietnam. The program was selected as the best of 32 major university programs in the Central US.
Commander, USAF Flying Organization, Victorville, California
Performed day to day supervision and training of six senior managers who led 500 people in the operations and maintenance divisions of a USAF flying organization. Managed $30 million in capital assets with a $2.5 million operations and maintenance budget. The unit was initially plagued with moral problems, poor facilities, and budget reductions. We turned that completely around people received their due recognition, facilities got upgraded, and we met all organizational goals. Retention rates hit all time high of 80%. Superiors recognized me as a mission minded commander with a people oriented perspective.
Chief, International Fighter Programs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Project manager for marketing fighter aircraft world wide for the US government. Department of Defense/USAF focal point for foreign countries requesting USAF fighter aircraft, technical performance, and cost data. Priced, planned, and developed disclosure guidance (protecting technology transfer) for worldwide sales programs. Prepared and gave briefings around the world to the highest level political, military, and civilian leaders. Defused potential conflict with Jordan over cost data.
Other Experience: Liaison officer to Korean Army and Air Force. Flightline and academic instructor pilot. Fighter pilot. Piloted the F 100 (218 Missions in Vietnam), T 38 (Instructor Pilot), T 39, OV 10 (Korea), F 4, F 5, F 16 (three trans Pacific crossings), and experimental F 20 aircraft.
Inactive Top Secret/SCI clearances
Texas Real Estate License
NCTCOG Certificate of Professional Development: Planning and Zoning
AZA School of Zoo Management (CE through North Carolina State Univ).
AZA School of Applied Biology (CE through North Carolina State Univ).
Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (foreign military sales).
MBA, Management, Golden Gate University.
BA, Business Administration, Rutgers University.
2003 ”The History of the Dallas Zoo Since 1888”
1996 "Observations of Success: What Works in Kid's Exhibits Around the Country." Co authored with Chris Seifert, Curator of Education, Dallas Zoo.
1995 "Why a Children's Zoo, A Zoo Director's Opinion.
1990 "The History of US Involvement in Vietnam"
1992—Legion of Merit for ___________
19xx—Distinguished Flying Cross for ____________
192xx—Distinguished Flying Cross for ____________
19xx—Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters
19xx—Vietnam Campaign Ribbon
19xx—Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
19xx—Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars
19xx—Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
My Motto: “Be over prepared and under whelmed, not visa versa.”
My guiding principles for leadership and management are represented by the acronym “L.I.D.D.S.”: loyalty, integrity, dedication, self discipline, and sensitivity.
Alternate Commissioner, Lucas Planning and Zoning Commission, 2007-
President, Oak Cliff Lions Club, 2006-2007, Selected as # 1 club in District
Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, 2004 2005
Thorntree Country Club MGA Board of Directors, 2004 2005
President, Wyndmere Neighborhood Association, 2003 2004
TXDOT Southern Gateway Coordinating Committee, 2003 2006
City of DeSoto Planning and Zoning Commission, 2001 2005
City of DeSoto Comprehensive Development Plan committee, 2003
Meals on Wheels driver/meal provider, 2000 2006
Member, AZA Trends/Strategic Planning Committee, 2000 2004
Member, Cultural Olympiad Committee for Dallas’ 2012 Olympic Bid, 1999 2001
24th Congressional District Military Academy Review Board, 1999 2004
Participant, Trinity River Cleanup, 1999.
Park & Recreation Department “Excellence in Customer Support” Award, 1999.
Keynote Speaker, Leadership Southwest Graduation, 1996 & 1999.
Keynote Speaker, Best Southwest Scholars Awards Ceremony, 1999 and 2004.
Selection Committee, Linz Award, 1999 (civic accomplishments).
Chair, Bylaws & Covenants Committee, Wyndmere Neighborhood Association, 98 99.
Co chair, Management Advisory Board, Mountain View College, 1998 2002.
Board of Regents, American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA), 1998 2000
Co curriculum chair, AZA Management School, 1998 2000
Chair, AZA Product Quality Task Force, 1998 1999.
City of DeSoto, Texas Charter Review Commission, 1998 1999.
Honorary Board Member, Las Colinas Symphony, 1998 1999.
Faculty Member, AZA Management School, 1996 2000
Judge, Miss Oak Cliff Scholarship/Beauty Pageant, 1996.
The Dallas Assembly, member, 1995 1999.
Judge, Dallas Morning News/Toyota Regional Science & Engineering Fair, 1995.
Co founder, OPERATION PRIDE, rescued lions from Mexico, 1994.
Leadership DALLAS, Curriculum Committee, 1994 1997.
Leadership DALLAS graduate, 1994.
Youth Leadership Dallas, Group Facilitator, 1994.
Walk A Mile Charities, Celebrity Participant, 1993 1996.
Board of Directors, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Government Affairs/Transportation Committees, 93 2000.
Co chair, Kimberly Clark Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee, 1993 2004.
AZA Regional Conference Task Force, 1993.
Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), Professional Fellow, 1992 2006
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