"Get out there and don't be afraid to fail." That's what fearless ideas means to Richard Blackman, MBA '84, a 22-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and experienced entrepreneur.
Richard, a double Terp, received his bachelor's degree in psychology, and a few years later, his master's in business administration.
It was through his education at the Smith School that Richard gained the confidence do anything, and made him an indispensable civil servant at the EPA. There, he led a seven-person team that oversaw the entire agency's budget, developed reports for the US Office of Management and Budget, and fielded congressional inquiries related to spending.
He became the resident expert on all budgetary issues, and after numerous hours of answering internal questions about the process, he identified opportunities to innovate and improve office operations. Richard developed a creative and engaging training on the budgetary process, and quickly realized he loved it. He became so good at it, the agency made it part of his job description.
Earlier this year, Richard retired from the EPA. Now in his second act, he took his passion for training and joined the Smith School's executive communication team where he helps MBAs prepare for their next careers. His goal is to help pass on a legacy that allows student to "find something they love to do and succeed."