Richard grew up in Birmingham, graduated from Mountain Brook High School in 1972, then went to The University of the South where he graduated with a degree in Economics. He was in the insurance industry for 28 years, all with Hilb, Rogal, and Hamilton – the last 10 years he was CEO of the company. Richard retired in 2001 to start The Center for Executive Leadership, where he serves as Executive Director. He works with businessmen and does a great deal of public speaking, teaching, counseling and writing. He is the author of 3 books, Remembering the Forgotten God: The Search for Truth in the Modern World, Safe Passage: Thinking Clearly About Life and Death, and The True Measure of a Man.
Married to Holly Renneker Simmons, they have 3 children – Dixon - 14, Dorothy Pate – 12, and Will – 11.