Dick shown with his sister Kathy.
Dick started his professional career as a direct care worker in 1975 at the 800-resident state institution for people with developmental disabilities in Ft. Myers. Eleven years later in 1986, he became the Superintendent when major problems developed. He was chosen to intervene, and within two years the state Inspector General declared the problems resolved.
In 1989 he became the Hospital Administrator at the 1,000-patient state psychiatric hospital in Arcadia. The facility had been sued in federal court for various constitutional violations and he was asked to implement the terms of a Consent Decree. After 6½ years of what the plaintiffs characterized as remarkable progress (he made the hospital the very first state civil psychiatric hospital in Florida to be accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations – the JCAHO being the gold standard), he left to become an Expert consultant on legal cases and institutional reform around the country.
In 1997, Dick became the CEO of The Arc of Alachua County, a community based not-for-profit organization serving 400 people, located in Gainesville, Florida and remained there for the final eighteen years of his career.