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Richard is presently Senior Director of Planning and Distribution for Southwest Airlines in Dallas. As is the case with many Southwest Airlines leaders, he has taken a nontraditional path to his present position.
Starting in 1985 as a provisioning agent in Dallas, he parleyed an expertise in bagging ice, stocking beer and liquor, and maneuvering funny looking trucks between the wings of earth tone-colored 737s into a Marketing Manager position in Phoenix. In 1988 he had kissed up enough to earn Southwest’s President’s Award for Marketing. From there he was promoted to Los Angeles District Marketing Manager most likely because no one else wanted the position. Not wanting to leave the 120-degree climate of the desert and live in a Southern California oasis, he elected to commute on a daily basis across a time zone (yes, he flew back and forth everyday).
After interacting with 7,643,252 Customers and aging at a rate of three times that of a normal human being over three and a half years of flying, Richard was offered the position of Regional Marketing Manager in St. Louis to free up an addition seat between Phoenix and Los Angeles, thus enabling the Company to make more money. Eleven years ago he made his way back to Dallas and was ultimately responsible for corporate sales (SWABIZ), field marketing, sports marketing and other promotional responsibilities throughout the United States. He also served on the Marketing Planning Committee for the Company. In 2005 somebody important thought he was a pretty funny guy and he was presented the airline’s prestigious “Sense of Humor Award.”
In late 2006 he actually left Southwest for a 9 month stint with the Athletic Department at his alma mater, SMU. He returned in his present capacity and oversees all distribution areas as well as the marketing planning for the Company. In addition he is leading and participating in a few long term projects.
Incredibly, Richard has two charming, intelligent, and athletic children who most people believe are adopted because they are charming, intelligent, and athletic. The kids are certifiably his biological offspring. Additionally, despite blowing off numerous classes in the early 1980’s, Richard was able to eek out a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Southern Methodist University while attending on an athletic scholarship. (Yes, those were the days that SMU athletes were paid but also the days the Ponies kicked the butts of the best paid athletes UT and Texas A&M could afford.)
Recent Activity Posts
Nov 07 2008
We're codesharing with who...or is it whom...I always forget, but who cares? I should be writing this in Spanish...do you write in Spanish? Wow, I'm struggling today with what few writing skills I have, probably because I'm so excited about the announcement of our second International codeshare partner - Volaris.
It's Volaris...yes Volaris! You know, if you fuse the Spanish word volar (... read more
Jul 08 2008
It's official, WestJet will be our first international partner and we will be offering travel to some pretty cool destinations all the way to Canada! Okay, I know, it doesn't feel that international because it is Canada and traveling to Canada is quite simple. But they do speak different languages, eh..and those accents...and the beer...the temperature...the metric system...work with me here...... read more
Nov 17 2006
Wow, I have never really given much thought to some of the emotions I'm feeling todayÃ¢â‚¬¦they're throwing a party for me in a few minutesÃ¢â‚¬¦a retirement party. I know, if you looked at my bio I may appear to be old enough to "retire"Ã¢â‚¬¦but actually, I'm 48 years young, still young enough to chase a passion but in this strange industry of airlines I'm actually old enough to... read more
Oct 09 2006
Why is it I always tend to write my posts while flying around the country? It probably has something to do with trying to find a quiet moment in the officeÃ¢â‚¬¦things seem to be so crazy all the timeÃ¢â‚¬¦that might make for an interesting post sometime but not right now...
I've actually found a quiet moment and all I can do is think about my seatÃ¢â‚¬¦not my butt but my seat on my most recent... read more
Aug 03 2006
If you're like me, the three letter city codes our industry uses for airports are confusing. I'm in the air flying from RSW , in a few months we'll open IAD, getting from SMF to SDF is difficult. Is Birmingham BHM or BMH? How in the world do you come up with MCI for the airport in Kansas City (better yet, how is Kansas City in Missouri?) Come on, those of us who live by intuition can never get... read more
May 22 2006
Just thinking about a recent Southwest experience that probably wouldn't happen at many other companiesÃ¢â‚¬¦I got an email inviting me to a wine tasting on the second floor of our building. Free wineÃ¢â‚¬¦ sure I'll be thereÃ¢â‚¬¦ but why me? Ah-haÃ¢â‚¬¦to make sure our onboard wine selection holds true to the Southwest brand. Who will be there besides meÃ¢â‚¬¦in case I need a ride homeÃ¢â‚¬¦a... read more
May 04 2006
Jazz Fest is wrapping up this weekend and I have seen positive reports about its role in the city's healing.
I'll always remember a conversation I had with restaurateur Ti Martin ( Cafe Adelaide and Commander's Palace) back in November. Her commitment to bringing back New Orleans was incredible. Her disappointment in some of the businesses that left the city was impactful. Fortunately, there are... read more
Apr 24 2006
Is there a more appropriate place to blog than at 35,000 feet? Something about having my head in the clouds has inspired me. I'm on my third connection and third different plane from Dallas Love Field to Pittsburgh (damn Wright Amendment!).
As I changed from plane to plane I couldn't help but think about a recent USA Today article that defined Southwest Airlines as " the giant discounter popular... read more