Richard trained as an exploration geologist and spent several years in the field throughout southern Africa, before completing a Masters degree in mineral economics and marketing at Wits, and later an advanced management course at Harvard.

Following early retirement in 2005 from his role as the strategy and business development director of a large South African mining company, he moved with his wife Lyn (a professor of archaeology at Wits) to the Waterberg, where both have since been involved in numerous voluntary educational & conservation organisations and programmes in the region. They have lectured to tertiary students at LWS since 2007. Richard was invited to join the LWS Board in 2019.