Now retired, Rick still stays involved in the advertising industry with the Inspiration series he produces in conjunction with The Advertising Club of New York and AICP. Before retiring in 2016, for four years he founded and led Sparkstarters, an executive creative collaboration training program comprised of renowned entrepreneurs, marketers, advertising leaders, startup founders, designers and anthropologists.
In 2012, after ten years, Rick stepped down as Director and Professor at the VCU Brandcenter, where under his leadership the curriculum evoloved to include five tracks and doubled in size. The VCU Brandcenter Master's program, part of VCU's School of Business, has been recognized by Creativity Magazine, the 4A's, Ad Age and BusinessWeek as a top graduate program in advertising, marketing, digital media, and design + business.
Prior to the Brandcenter, Rick spent 30 years creating advertising for major brands at agencies including Leo Burnett, Chiat/Day, and Ogilvy & Mather. As Co-President, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy North America, he integrated Ogilvy’s North American offices leading the agency to be named Agency of the year by Advertising Age in 2000.
Throughout his career, Rick has been dedicated to improving the industry he loves, having served on the Boards of the 4A’s, Art Directors Club (ADC), One Club and Advertising Week. From 2005 to 2013 Rick was the Dean of the Roger Hatchuel Academy of the Cannes Festival. In 2011 he conceived of and helped produce the video Pursuit Of Passion, Diversity in Advertising. He most recently has conceived and produced in conjunction with The Advertising Club/International Andy's the "Inspiration" documentary series, featuring advertising icons such as Lee Clow, Sir John Hegarty, Tom Burrell, Keith Reinhard, Carol Williams, George Lois and David Kennedy. He has sat on the boards of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Napster and Butler Shine Stern & Partners.
While Rick has won many advertising awards, he is most proud of being awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and for his contributions to the book "Brotherhood" named Honorary Deputy Chief of the FDNY.
In 2012, in honor of his many contributions to the industry, Rick was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of fame.
When asked which of his achievements he is most proud of, he states being married to his wife Barbara since 1976, his three beautiful daughters, and five grandchildren. When not spending time with his family or his consultancy, Rick now finds time to paint.