Richard C. “Dick” Anderson discovered his future career path in 1960 when he enrolled in distributive education at Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School. Attending school half days and then reporting to work at Sears Roebuck fueled his creativity and love for marketing. He wrote a report on retail presentation and store displays titled, “Mannequin Oh Mannequin, You Do More Than a Person Can.” It placed first in state competition and third at the national DE conference.
Following high school, Anderson attended the University of Tulsa to develop stellar marketing skills. After several ventures in construction and marketing, he settled into a job as marketing director for a small manufacturer of construction equipment. In five years, sales advanced from $5 million to $12 million. He established a chain of distributors across the United States, but the company was sold and moved to Chicago.
Anderson remained in Oklahoma and started his own business, but the crash in 1983 forced him to explore other opportunities. Drawing upon his construction background, he became the business development director for a regional general contractor with offices in Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Later he worked as an executive in a construction trade association, which he took to new levels before moving onto the long-established Associated General Contractors, the oldest and largest construction trade association in the state and a group that worked closely with the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech.
During his nearly 20-year tenure at AGC, he was dubbed, as a joke, “the Godfather of Oklahoma Construction.” He fit the role. Large and imposing, he was in charge and could make his point to anyone. He became a strong voice for the growth and development of commercial construction and a tireless advocate and supporter for the construction industry to take advantage of training available from CareerTech.
Anderson is responsible for the majority of construction legislation passed in the last 17 years. Many of the advantages of construction delivery are a direct result of his promotion and coordination. He formatted, promoted and lobbied construction legislation for all levels of commercial construction. He believes his greatest accomplishment is helping people start career paths or new careers in the construction industry. People throughout the industry have new avenues and successes because Anderson took the time and made the effort to help them.
Anderson and his wife of 45 years, Earla, have one son and two wonderful granddaughters.
Anderson was inducted to the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2009.