North Lake Tahoe’s innumerable nonprofit organizations and agencies work towards a brighter future for our residents and natural environment. Fueled by big passions, many of them rely on volunteers willing to spend their free time to give back. In recognition of National Volunteer Month, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation honors Rick Stephens, super hero volunteer. Approached for his expertise, Rick played a huge role in constructing the Kings Beach Community House.
Rick Stephens was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived in Kansas, Kentucky and New Jersey growing up. He attended Cornell University, where he both met his wife and secured his degree in Engineering, with an intermission to serve 3 years in the US Army including a tour in Vietnam.
Rick earned his MBA at Stanford, and worked 40 years in Commercial Real Estate. He and Gail raised two daughters while working and living in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Rick and Gail are permanent residents of Truckee with a vacation apartment in San Francisco.
Rick is passionate about our community. He says that he lives here and wants to help make it better. Rick and Gail are interested in the local environment, especially the Truckee River Watershed Council and supporting local nonprofits through direct donations and to TTCF.
These past four years, Rick found himself serving in the most unique way: as the volunteer project manager for the TTCF Community House. Rick describes his early involvement as making the mistake of answer a phone call from Tee May Duggan.
Rick claims, “She twisted my arm into helping TTCF purchase the property and then serving as project manager oversight of the general contractor.”
With the types of challenges a construction project can bring, especially one inside the basin of Lake Tahoe, Rick’s work deserves deep acknowledgement and recognition, perhaps even super hero status.
Reflecting on the now complete project, he believes the best reward has been seeing the nonprofits who now office at Community House serving our community in a dignified space.
Rick believes that giving back is very rewarding to the giver. “Yes everyone is busy, but the busy people are the ones you want involved in the community.”
When Rick does not have his cape on, he enjoys spending time with his daughters, their husbands and his grand-daughter Zoe. This picture captures him on a 50 mile cross–Sierra Nevada hike he made last summer.
This article was featured on Wednesday April, 29, 2015’s Sierra Sun Give Back Tahoe page. You can read it in its original publication in the 2014 TTCF Annual Report.