2021 Speakers













Rick Richard

Chairman Empire of the Seed


Oliver G. “Rick” Richard, III

Mr. Richard was Chairman, President and CEO of Columbia Energy Group until its acquisition on November 1, 2000. 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.

Richard is a past President and member of the Board of The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, Treasurer of the Coastal Plains Conservancy, past member of the North Lake Charles Redevelopment Board, President Elect of the LSU Alumni Association, past Chairman and current member 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 LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2009 and received the Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s Distinguished Alumni award in 2011.  He is a Board member of Cheniere Energy Partners in Houston, Texas, and American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio. Richard is past Chairman of the Lake Charles Downtown/Lakefront Development Board.  He is the Vice Chairman of the Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

He earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Juris Doctorate of Law degree from LSU.  He also received a Master of Law in Taxation from Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.

Richard is on the Executive Committee of the Calcasieu Boy Scout Council and in 2014, received the Nations Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.  He resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana with his wife, the former Donna Guzman, and their son, David.