An entrepreneur and small business owner, Mr. Rickey is the Founder and currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Orenda Education, a private corporation based in Georgetown, Texas. Prior to forming Orenda Education, he was Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer overseeing hospitals and clinics in multiple states for Behavioral Centers of America from 2005 – 2008. He started Kiva Healthcare, a physician practice management company in 2000 that he sold in 2005. From 1988 to 2000 he served as a Hospital Chief Executive Officer with Hospital Corporation of America (currently named HCA Healthcare, Inc.), and then Behavioral Healthcare Corporation. Early in his career he was the Director of Education, and then Executive Director for a community health foundation that provided health promotion curriculum and training to numerous schools in central Oklahoma.
Mr. Rickey received a Master of Public Health degree in healthcare administration (with additional graduate studies toward a doctorate in philosophy/applied ethics) from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts degree from Southern Nazarene University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Early Life - New England - Canada
Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, his pre-K and early grade school years were lived in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. His father, Howard Lorraine Rickey, was a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene, a Protestant denomination in the “Wesleyan tradition”, that had spun off from the Methodists. Later on his father moved the family to a larger church congregation in Detroit, Michigan. Richard graduated from high school in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. Following graduation in Michigan he moved back to the Boston area to attend college.His mother, Marilyn Lillian Merchant, was born and raised in the Boston area and was a homemaker. Marilyn also had family roots and citizenship in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Marilyn’s Grandfather, Canadian Coast Guard Captain Horatio Harris Brannen, is considered a hero in the coastal city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is honored with a memorial downtown along the harbor recognizing his actions to save lives during the great Halifax Explosion of 1917. Each summer Marilyn would travel by car with Richard and his younger siblings from Uxbridge, and later from Detroit, to Bar Harbor, Maine. From there they would take the ferry boat across the Bay of Fundy from Maine to Nova Scotia to arrive at the Captain Brannen homestead in Clarks Harbour. This family homestead is still maintained by Richard’s sister Penny, and where the siblings and their families still gather each summer.
Children - Current Residencies
Richard was married one time and has two adult children, a girl and a boy, from that marriage. His employer at the time transferred him to Houston in 1988, and the family later settled in Georgetown (a suburb north of Austin), Texas. A bachelor since the divorce, Richard divides his time between his primary residence in Georgetown, Texas, and Liverpool, Nova Scotia, where he resides from mid-summer through early fall.
Hobbies - Interests - Coaching
Richard prefers to be outdoors kayaking, sculling, mountain bike and horseback riding, body board wave surfing, and skiing. A self-proclaimed “healthy eating physical fitness nut”, he lifts weights several times a week, mixing in some boxing, kettle bell workouts, jump rope and table tennis. When he golfs he doesn’t keep score because he can’t count that high. A confessed “book worm nerd”, he has a large personal library with philosophy, business, political science, psychology, and Native American studies his favorite subjects.
He has also filled the role of volunteer coach for numerous youth basketball and baseball teams. This included a ten-year gig as the head varsity men’s basketball coach for a new public charter high school. Building the basketball program from the ground up, the first three years without their own school gym, they eventually became a winning program, raised funds for and built a new gym, and appeared in back to back playoff appearances before he turned it over to a new coach. He still advises coaches on how to use youth sports to build strong character, and create a winning tradition.