With decades-long experience bringing personal attention to helping organizations set and achieve ambitious goals and establish sound financial practices, Rick Biddle offers mission-driven passion, a keen business sense and a nuanced understanding of the particular challenges facing the nonprofit world today as he provides consulting services in the areas of finance, strategic planning, operations and fundraising.
While he has worked with nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes, he has developed particular expertise with museums and zoos. Rick is now recognized as a leading management and planning resource in the sphere of public/private partnerships and governance planning of zoos throughout the United States. He has completed governance and financial plans to guide the privatization and shift in governance of: Reid Park Zoo (Tucson, AZ), Dallas Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, North Carolina Aquariums, Tulsa Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, WA), Detroit Zoo, Houston Zoo and Toronto Zoo.
Since 1992, Rick has developed and provided oversight for each of the strategic business plans that S&W has completed for more than 100 AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited institutions with operating budgets ranging from less than $1 million to well over $55 million. Recent projects in the areas of Business and Strategic Planning include: Mote Marine Laboratory (business planning), Reid Park Zoo (business and governance planning), Utah’s Hogle Zoo (strategic planning), Zoo Miami (strategic planning), Oklahoma City Zoo (business planning), Honolulu Zoo (business planning), Houston Zoo (business planning), Oakland Zoo (food service RFP), Zoo Atlanta (food service RFP), White Oak Conservation Center (business planning), Dallas Zoo (strategic planning), Toronto Zoo (strategic and business planning), Birmingham Zoo (strategic planning), Louisville Zoo (business planning), BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo (strategic planning), and John G. Shedd Aquarium (Board Retreat).
Drawing on his vast knowledge of and experience with the zoo world, Rick has assisted many zoo clients with their executive search processes, including Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Zoological Society of Milwaukee, Minnesota Zoo, and Niabi Zoo.
Rick has also led the development of strategic plans for numerous other schools, cultural attractions and green space initiatives, including Overbrook School for the Blind (strategic planning and succession planning), Center for Autism (strategic planning), History Colorado (business planning) and Schuylkill River Heritage Area (strategic planning). Rick also recently guided the partnership affiliation to form The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and completed a sustainable strategic plan for this new, dynamic organization.
Prior to joining S&W, Rick served for 11 years as chief operating officer of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, America’s first zoo. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Villanova University.