Raised in the Appalachian Mountains near the highest peak in Georgia, Richard has been riding horses, backpacking, and snow skiing since childhood. Realizing that the backcountry was where he belonged, he moved into the surveying and mapping field, performing surveys under contract with the U.S. Forest Service. Richard graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering. He gained cold-weather experience while living and working in Montana, near Yellowstone National Park. While living in Montana, he graduated from Northern Skies Aviation, a Part 141 Flight School, becoming an instrument-rated airplane pilot. He is a horse owner and advises the team on equine and Mounted Search & Rescue techniques. Richard is currently a Project Manager for U.S. TVA in Knoxville.