A self-described “old codger,” Rick McDonald launched his career in the early 1970s by obtaining a certification as a local government administrator. A strong advocate of personal and professional development, over time he followed that initial designation with accreditation as both a life insurance and real estate agent, in addition to becoming a Certified Management Consultant. Along the way, he found time to complete the University of Alberta’s Senior Executive Development Program and a diploma in biblical studies. He insists there’s no truth to the rumour that he obtained this last parchment to prepare himself better for working with ASET staff (Either way, it’ll help! – Ed.).
Rick’s eclectic professional background includes serving in senior capacities within the Government of Alberta, various municipalities and not-for-profit organisations, partnering in, and managing, a real estate company, working as a life insurance agent, running Preventive Social Services for a regional program in northern Alberta, and, between 1991 and 1997, holding the post of Director of Public Lands. The next year he founded JR McDonald & Associates Inc., the management and governance consultancy whose president and C.E.O. he has been for the past two decades. His many prominent projects include developing the GOA’s landmark 1999 document, Regional Sustainable Strategy for the Alberta Oil Sands. His latest assignment saw him assume the mantle of interim City Manager for the City of Lloydminster, where he was tasked with supporting a governance model change and restructuring the municipality’s leadership and management teams.
He brings to the Association extensive governance experience gained on the Alberta Planning and Municipal Government boards, as well as a recently-completed six-year stint with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists. “I have enjoyed all these opportunities,” says Rick, “And I hope my background and interests will allow me to bring a fresh perspective to the ASET Council.”
Rick and his best friend, Linda, have been married for 45 years and are blessed to have a family that includes four children and seven grandkids. Though they love Alberta, Rick and Linda very sensibly find winters more pleasant elsewhere. Specifically, they prefer Hawaii, as well as their second home in Yuma, Arizona, where they enjoy golf and spending time with their grandchildren and extended family. What’s most telling about Rick McDonald, though, is that after more than four decades, he still feels that, “My work is my favourite hobby."