Marketing & Public Relations  
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 Richard L. (Rick) Ford, Managing Partner  

For the past 16 years, Rick served as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site (SRS), one of the largest and most complicated of the many facilities supporting the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal.  His primary duties included explaining the policies and programs of the Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration as well as highly technical Site-specific activities to the public; Federal and State elected officials; community leaders; and international, national and local news media.  He advised SRS and HQ management on the sensitivities and potential consequences of planned activities from a public and media perspective.

In addition to his advisory and spokesperson roles, Rick was the primary speechwriter for DOE's senior Site manager, and prepared talking points and issue papers for Site management and Headquarters officials’ use; created or oversaw the contractors’ creation of products such as news releases, responses to inquiries, information packets, brochures, annual reports, and video and print features; participated in public meetings and hearings concerning every major proposed Site facility and related DOE-wide programs, including those sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and Office of Nuclear Safety; served as a member of the Site’s emergency response organization as Assistant Public Information Oversight Representative in the Emergency Operations Center and DOE spokesman in the Joint Information Center; conducted tours for site visitors ranging from senior HQ representatives, members of Congress and their staff, officials from other federal departments such as the NRC and GAO, adversary groups, and media representatives; and assessed the quality and effectiveness of SR contractor public affairs and public participation.  He also served as a member of DOE’s regional Radiological Assistance Program team and Accident Response Group and participated as a DOE spokesman and intergovenmental liaison in "Joint Venture," a 3-day, around-the-clock graded exercise involving 25 federal, state, and local agencies with approximately 800 participants, including the first full activation of NNSA's Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center in 2002.

Before coming to the SRS, Rick served for 15 years as a writer and editor for Army Logistician Magazine, an official periodical of the Department of the Army.  He gathered, researched, and composed news and feature material; solicited and edited manuscripts from authors ranging from the highest levels of the Departments of Defense and Army staff and defense industries to the soldier in the field; and participated in layout, design, and graphic support for the magazine.

Rick received a baccalaureate degree in English Literature (1972) from the University of Richmond and a master of science degree in Mass Communications Management (1988) from Virginia Commonwealth University.  The MS coursework addressed science-based approaches to mass communications theory and research and business administration.  He was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society for excellence in journalism scholarship, in 1988.