Richard is the visionary behind Local Heroes & Hands 4 Hope, 501 (c) (3). He and his team are responsible for guiding the design and development of a next generation global platform similar to the debit and credit networks controlled by Visa and MasterCard. Coined by the developers as the “3rd Rail”, the Platform provides a rules-based engine that can manage transactions in unique ways to accommodate a variety of economic and humanitarian models. The Platform, (GeN “X-2”) can instantly add measurable value to any electronic transaction; transactions that are based on precise program criteria and the exact moment in time a Cardholder initiates a transaction.
Richard and his team of loyal followers have guided the evolution of the GeN-"X" Platform, benefiting from recent development of wireless transaction devices and enhancements to communications infrastructure, (GPRS Network). These transaction devices, including wireless handhelds terminals have made it possible to carry transaction packets over the GeN "X" Platform to some of the most remote areas in the world.
Richard has developed and overseen the implementation of two successful Programs in Canada while President of his former company. On Campus Rewards, a college loyalty Program successfully ran for 3 years. His company's other pilot Program in Vancouver, Dine One Rewards with over 1500 merchants resulted in the company's original proof of concept which has expanded over the years. The immediate benefits to Cardholders at the point of sale combined with charitable giving and the instant capture of transactional information has proven to be an attractive business model for Program Cardholders, Merchants and Nonprofit organizations alike.
Before Dine One and On Campus Rewards, Richard started Vancouver Express Directory, a publishing company whose advertisers offered discounts using a "flash-card" model improving on traditional coupon books. The membership grew from 900 in its first year to over 2400 merchants within three years and had an 80% plus renewal rate; the company turned a profit in its 1st year of operation. The directory concept quickly grew across Canada and before converting to its electronic model Local Heroes was publishing over 500,000 directories in 7 Provinces and two languages. The company’s private-label clients included telecommunications providers, season ticket holders of two professional sports teams (Vancouver Canucks and Grizzly’s), the Fitness World Chain, Ticket Master and Molson Indy. The Merchant Directories included editorial articles, lifestyle content and recipes from its restaurant chefs. Vancouver Express was started with a five thousand dollar investment, which Richard had received from Smokey Robinson (a partial refund from a concert he performed).
Prior to Richard beginning his career in the electronic transaction industry he spent several years in the entertainment business as the owner and executive producer of the Rheem Theater in Moraga California. He and his group took over an art deco theater built in 1957 and transformed it into a 1200-seat full service entertainment venue. He attracted major acts such as Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, James Brown, George Carlin, and Johnny Cash, his group produced and staged over 120 musical and theatrical events. Prior to operating the Rheem Theatre, Richard successfully built four of his own retail clothing stores; he assisted in growing his father’s retail operation from 2 stores to 14 locations. Richard opened seven stores throughout South Florida for the Limited, overseeing all aspects of the operations, from searching out locations to developing the launch strategies in the local markets.
Richard has traveled over 4 million miles in several countries acquiring his education; he and his team have attended senior level meetings with several Fortune 100 Companies in the financial services and electronic transaction industries. Local Heroes has developed strategic relationships with key industry partners and maintain agreements with major issuing banks for the marketing of its prepaid debit and payroll cards. Local Heroes maintains long standing agreements with technology providers, international VAR’s, Bank Card Issuers and Merchant Processors.
Richard has spoken at several conferences and trade shows, sharing his education and unique insight into the transaction processing industry. His knowledge also includes considerable training on almost every electronic cash register and countertop terminal systems and most of the bank and credit card networks. Richard has worked extensively with several marketing & advertising agencies and with print, radio and television media outlets that have assisted Local Heroes in the implementation of its initial Programs.
Under Richard's direction the company has now focused it attention on developing its Angel Card Project using the core technologies that have evolved over the past 8 years. Richards passion and enthusiasm for Local Heroes has presented the company with the opportunity to develop several humanitarian programs now underway in the US and Mexico. Local Heroes now is positioned to begin implementation of these unique Programs, unrestricted by borders; Programs that can provide sustainable change in the lives of potentially millions of people. Over the years his dedication to the vision for the company has inspired a committed team of industry professionals who have remained loyal through many years of the company's growth and development.
Throughout his 27 years as an entrepreneur, Richard has gained a broad perspective of the electronic transaction industry. While his experience and education has been vast, Richard believes that the future success of Local Heroes will depend on his ability to inspire and lead the team of professionals that have so patiently stood with him and he is grateful for all their service.
Richard has two sons, Robert Conrad III, (18) and Richard Jr. (22), his hobbies include, writing poetry, traveling and collecting religious artifacts. Richard enjoys skiing, playing golf and tennis and he sings in his church choir.