Deb Richard, Board Chair

Deb Richard (Ri-shard) most recently completed architecting the Sports Academy Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity based in Thousand Oaks, CA, as Executive Director, President and Co-Founder. Richard is a seasoned executive with a success record building non-profit organizations from 1995 - present. She has demonstrated the ability to attract diverse members to the Board of Directors for the three non-profits she has founded, utilizing a skills matrix designed around mission success-factors for each organization. Richard’s strategic planning skills and clear articulation of mission, both verbally and written, have provided the impetus for three non-profits to transition from ideation to sustainability.

Richard refined her relationship-building skills as a twenty-year competitive Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour member from 1986 - 2005. Her long golf career is attributable to her transferable skills that have been honed over time: dedicated work-ethic, detail-orientation, self-motivation, discipline for process, patience, and critical analysis under pressure. Equally important to Richard’s success is her natural talent as an ardent listener, which has provided her the insights to build effective dual-capacity partnerships.

Richard is becoming a sought-after practitioner in the field of transitions. Her work in developing experiential processes for military veterans reintegrating into civilian life, foster youth transitioning out of social systems to independence, and at-risk youth accelerating their human development to thrive in new environments is replicable for broad application. Richard has built affiliations with notable scholars for program development, analysis and validation of outcomes. Richard’s principal drivers for the development of self-esteem and self-confidence are built through values, purpose and passion.

Throughout Richard’s professional career she has been a reliable leader in representation of her peers, guiding organizational success, managing Boards of Directors, and inspiring teams to achieve outcomes. However, in her own words, her greatest achievement preceded her professional career when in 1984 she became the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Champion. In that victorious moment, Deb transitioned from an aspiring golfer who believed she could win to one who knew she could win. That shift in her mindset has continued throughout her professional career into every endeavor challenging her to provide solutions.


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