Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Rick Fletcher grew up in Houston, Texas, not far from NASA astronauts who helped inspire his childhood dreams to be bigger than the moon. This research-oriented and compassion-driven man has served Frisco with a generous and selfless heart, actively involved in anything and everything for the past 17 years. He and the love of his life, Janey, along with their two grown children, Jenna and Alex, love Frisco and have participated in as many community projects as possible to improve the lives of others. When talking with Mr. Fletcher about Frisco, he was completely illuminated as he shared his creative ideas for the city’s future.

In his youth, Mr. Fletcher was active in the Boy Scouts of America, debate clubs and his school’s math team. From the beginning, he always loved working with people and speaking up for community development. He calls himself “a behind the scenes man,” and has a strong work ethic that has helped shape his activism. Ever since he was a child, Mr. Fletcher has been self-motivated. He grew up paying his own expenses, moving up from his first job at age 8 as a newspaper delivery boy to working as a waiter at a Mexican food restaurant. Eventually, he even started his own magazine. At Stephen F. Austin State University, he studied marketing and information technology. Then, he started his own business, HRchitect, a local consulting firm.

HRchitect was created somewhat by accident after a negotiation between companies. The company is the only consulting firm that specializes wholly in human capital management and it has helped hundreds of organizations around the world strategize and support talent acquisition, workforce management and benefits. “A friend of mine got promoted to the position of vice president and corporate officer at FedEx,” Mr. Fletcher said. “He asked me to start spending four or five days a week in Memphis, Tenn., helping him with his huge job load, which included putting in a new $100 million human resources system worldwide.”

Over time, the team added more employees. At first, Mr. Fletcher had no interest in running the company, so he hired a CEO in Boston, Mass., to run the growing firm. After a couple of years, he decided to relocate the company to Frisco. He then took over as president and CEO. Employees of HRchitect have participated in more than a dozen charity and city boards and the company has given generously to nonprofit organizations in the past.

Mr. Fletcher decided to sell a majority of his ownership in the company so he could invest in his social media and real estate ventures. Driven by a compassionate heart, Mr. Fletcher has worked closely with former mayor Bob Warren on several projects, including the construction of the city jail replica. His ability to get along with all kinds of people has helped him make connections and reach many of his goals. He wants to boost tourism in Frisco with festivals and events the whole family can enjoy, like the Great Pumpkin Explosion (the day after Halloween) and the Frisco Crawfish Festival. He is currently a member of several downtown development committees and encourages Frisco residents to take a strong role in their community, especially when it comes to voting.

After being a part of up to 18 committees at the same time, Mr. Fletcher has learned how to find a balance between being involved and over-committing. “It is a two-way street,” he says about volunteering. “You are helping and giving something of yourself, but you are getting more in return, some kind of fulfillment.” It took time for him to find where his strengths are, and since then, he has used those strengths to volunteer, recruit other volunteers and raise money for great causes. “I volunteer,” he says, “because I deeply care about developing our community. I have passion for its citizens. I have always been a champion of the underdogs.” Some of Mr. Fletcher’s favorite places to volunteer include Frisco FastPacs and Frisco Reach Out. Having worked as a planning and zoning commissioner, chair of the Frisco downtown advisory board, a senior member of the Frisco Red Light Camera Citizen Advisory Committee and as an usher at his church, Mr. Fletcher has served in quite a variety of capacities.

Mr. Fletcher is passionate about helping great ideas take off and finding avenues that will best support them. “Everyone has a mission or a special gift,” he says, “and mine is fundraising and helping small businesses. I am a starter.” One example of his dedication to fulfilling his dreams is his role in the Texas Dream Cruise, an idea that his friend, Rob Mashigian, has been working on for quite a while. The Texas Dream Cruise is a one-day car show and cruise along the streets of Frisco. When approached about the idea over lunch in 2011, Mr. Fletcher immediately scribbled an organization model on a napkin and started making plans. Together, Mr. Mashigian, the car-lover, and Mr. Fletcher, the community activist, joined forces to create a unique event that will be returning to the community in June of 2016.

Mr. Fletcher loves how people in Frisco are so friendly and charitable. He believes strongly in the way the city government is run and credits the variety of amenities to the success of the city. “I want people to get involved,” he says. “Join a committee and speak up.” There are countless opportunities for volunteer work and charity in this area, and he is very passionate about helping people find their niche. Mr. Fletcher loves history and is active with the Heritage Museum as a trained historical printer who helps Frisco ISD third graders print newspapers on historic equipment during their visit to the museum.

Family comes first for Mr. Fletcher, and his wife of 28 years has been by his side through each phase of his life. The couple works together on most of their community projects and they love volunteering together. When he is not participating in a committee meeting or helping plan a festival, Mr. Fletcher enjoys venturing out on Frisco’s many walking trails, attending local concerts and spending time outdoors. His family is full of football fans, so you can find his family at Oklahoma State University games as often as possible during the fall.

As for his future plans, the perseverant Mr. Fletcher is contemplating applying for city boards and working more on his social media projects. He currently runs two community pages, “Frisco Talk” and “Little Elm Talk” on Facebook, and he occasionally writes for local neighborhood magazines. His latest online page, “NTX Talk,” will have a calendar of events and community resources for 15 surrounding cities. He is excited to try this modern form of journalism and to share news with the community about the variety of things going on in the area.

This summer, Mr. Fletcher enjoyed his family’s summer home in East Texas where the family loves hiking around the lake and walking in the piney woods. When Mr. Fletcher is not volunteering or busy with his social media endeavors, his mornings are spent eating breakfast at the Depot Café, where he can mingle with Frisco neighbors, stay connected and hear the latest news in the area.

Frisco STYLE
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