Oliver G. “Rick” Richard, III Mr. Richard was Chairman, President and CEO of Columbia Energy Group until its acquisition on November 1, 2000. Richard ran this $7 billion Fortune 500 Company since joining Columbia Energy Group’s predecessor, The Columbia Gas System, Inc. in April, 1995. Columbia’s primary business encompassed the natural gas value chain from wellhead, pipeline to distribution. The company also owned the Cove Point LNG facility. Previously, Richard served as Chairman, CEO and President of New Jersey Resources; as President and CEO of Northern Natural Gas Pipeline; and as Vice-President and General Counsel of Tenngasco.
Richard was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as a Commissioner from 1982-1985. He received the FERC Chairman’s Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Secretary of Energy for his role in unbundling Interstate pipeline markets to create economic opportunities in natural gas markets.
Before joining FERC, he served as legislative assistant for energy issues to U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston (D-La) in Washington, D.C. from 1978-1981. He practiced tax law in Lafayette, Louisiana with the firm of Hayes, Durio, and Richard from 1981-1982.
Richard is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and on the Board of Visitors of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. He was inducted into the Louisiana State University Hall of Distinction in 2009 and received the Law Center’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010 and Distinguished Alumni in 2011. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of Haddington Ventures and on the Board of Buckeye Partners, MLP in Houston, Texas. Richard is currently treasurer of the Coastal Plains Conservancy and Past President of the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana. He has served three terms as a member of the National Petroleum Council, an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Energy; Chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America; and on the Boards of Directors of the American Gas Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is on the Board of Directors of three publicly traded companies: American Electric Power, Buckeye Partners, L.P., and Cheniere Energy Partners.
While at Louisiana State University, he earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Juris Doctorate of Law. He also received a Master of Law in Taxation from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Richard is past Chairman of the Lake Charles Downtown/Lakefront Development Board, member of the Lake Charles North Redevelopment Board, Executive Committee Member of the Calcasieu Boy Scout Council, Board Member of the Sowela College Foundation Board in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In June 2014, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America. He is currently the Chairman of CleanFuel USA, an alternative motor fuel company based in Georgetown, Texas, and President of Empire of the Seed Consultants. He resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana with his wife, the former Donna Guzman. They have one son, David.