Graham Richard

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Graham Richard
Graham Richard.png
Graham Richard (D-IN)
34th Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana
In office
January 1, 2000 – January 1, 2008
Preceded by Paul Helmke
Succeeded by Tom Henry
Personal details
Born September 8, 1944 (age 70)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary E.
Residence Fort Wayne, Indiana
Religion Anglican

Graham Richard is an American politician and entrepreneur, and the 34th and former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, serving from 2000–2008. He was succeeded by Democrat Tom Henry.

Current work[edit]

Since leaving mayoral office, Graham Richard has become a strong advocate for improving local and state government. He helped launch the High Performance Government Network (HPGN) [1] and is focusing much of his energy on helping communities become "wired and inspired."

He has received national awards for his technology leadership, including the Fiber-to-the-Home Council's 2005 Star Award for being a leader in broadband technology. He was recognized as one of the top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers by Government Technology Magazine for his significant contributions to the digital government movement. In addition, the Public Technology Institute awarded Mayor Richard with the 2006 Tech Leader Award. In September 2006, KillerApp magazine recognized then-Mayor Richard with the KillerApp Trailblazer Award for being a leader in broadband services.

Graham has become a speaker at national conferences. In December 2005, the Brookings Institution hosted Mayor Richard for a presentation on "Fort Wayne: Wired and Inspired to Compete in the Flat World." Mayor Richard also addressed the Winter 2006 U.S. Conference of Mayors. Other Keynote addresses in 2008 include: The Broadband Properties Summit, DOD Lean Six Sigma Breakthrough Conference, Mayors’ Technology Summit, and Defense Business Agility Forum.

In 2010, Graham Richard and his wife sold their home in Fort Wayne and moved to St Louis, Missouri, where Mrs. Richard will pursue research and the former mayor will base his business activities.

Early life and education[edit]

Graham Richard is the only son of a Tokheim executive (he has four sisters). His mother is known in the Arts community for her work with the Fort Wayne Ballet. Richard is a 1965 graduate of North Side High School and a 1969 graduate of Princeton University, where he received his B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. After graduation, he taught at Bishop Dwenger High School.

Life in politics[edit]

After losing several elections for state representative in the early 1970s, Richard was elected to the Indiana State Senate in 1974 and served until 1978.

Afterwards, he continued to be involved in both state and local affairs through his membership on several governmental advisory boards and community service agencies. Richard campaigned in 1999 on a platform of increasing the efficiency and responsiveness of local government.

He was narrowly elected in 1999 over Republican Linda Buskirk, but won his second election with 58% of the vote.[1]

Richard is a great proponent of Six Sigma management techniques, and in 2000, the City of Fort Wayne became the first city government to officially adopt the system.

Richard helped lead Fort Wayne to national recognition for high performance city services. Results included: lowest crime rate in over 25 years, saving taxpayers more than $31 million using business practices including Lean Six Sigma, record breaking investments in downtown development, neighborhoods, and infrastructure while keeping property tax rates at one of the lowest levels since the 1960s. Potholes are filled in less than 4 hours instead of 4 days, permitting time has been slashed from 48 days to less than 10.

In 2007, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored Richard by naming him "Government Leader of the Year."[2] During Mayor Richard's tenure, the City of Fort Wayne won national awards for the #1 Fleet Operation in the nation,[3] and best Public Works and City Utilities Department in the country.

He did not seek re-election in the 2007 city election.

Business[edit]

Over the course of his business career, he operated several small businesses, including the consulting firm Graham Richard & Associates and venture capital firm Ruffolo Richard LLC.

Among other activities, he helped start a cable television company, a public television station, and a small-scale hydropower company. He was also a co-founder of the Fort Wayne Enterprise Center, a business incubator.

He is currently the CEO of Advanced Energy Economy.

Related links[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paul Helmke
Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana
2000–2008
Succeeded by
Tom Henry