The American Chamber of Commerce Executives announced today that Richard C. D. “Dick” Fleming has been selected to receive the 2014 John Parr Award, recognizing a lifetime of outstanding individual leadership in advancing regional stewardship of metropolitan areas. The Parr Award will be formally presented on August 13 at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ (ACCE) centennial convention in Cincinnati.
The John Parr Award was established in 2008 by the Alliance for Regional Stewardship (ARS) to recognize individuals who have dedicated their professional and personal lives, as well as social and political capital, to advancing regional stewardship. The award commemorates the legacy of the late John Parr (1948--2007), former chief executive of the National Civic League, co-founder of ARS, and one of America’s foremost advisors in the areas of collaborative government, public/private partnerships, and regional governance.
With this award, Fleming joins a list of esteemed regional stewards including: former U.S. Congressman and Indianapolis Mayor William H. Hudnut, III; Doug Henton, CEO, Collaborative Economics; Shelley Lauten, former director of Orlando myregion.org; Robert McNulty, CEO, Partners for Livable Communities; Curtis Johnson, Neal Peirce, and Farley Peters, Founding Principals, of the Citistates Group; and Joan Riehm, former Deputy Mayor of Louisville, Ky.
“Frankly, I think of no one in our profession who has done more and been more committed to regionalism than Dick Fleming.” said J. Mac Holladay, CCE, LM, CEO of Market Street Services. “I know John Parr would be glad to see his old neighbor Dick receive this prestigious award.”
For more than 30 years, Dick Fleming has been a civic entrepreneur engaged in private sector and public initiatives to revitalize center cities and metropolitan communities in Atlanta, Denver and St. Louis.
“There couldn't be a more fitting recipient of the John Parr Award than Dick Fleming,” said Neal Peirce, editor-in-chief of Citiscope and former nationally-syndicated urban affairs columnist for the Washington Post. “John and Dick were long-time, close collaborators on critical innovations for the future of the Denver metropolitan region. They collaborated even on joint nationwide civic projects after Dick left his post as Chamber of Commerce executive director in Denver to serve long years with distinction in the same role in St. Louis. In different ways -- governmental, civic and personal -- these two men worked wonders for the public good.”
“Today, Dick continues his visionary leadership as he enlists businesses and civic institutions nationwide in getting ahead of the curve on "clean economy" solutions,” continued Peirce. “He’s also active as the vice chair of the board of Citiscope, our new international urban news venture. Forever generous with his time and talents, Dick is a visionary civic entrepreneur extraordinary. John Parr would surely smile on his selection.”
He began his career as a developer with The Rouse Company. He was then recruited to Atlanta, where he planned the 15,000-acre new town of Peachtree City, and subsequently served as Vice President of Central Atlanta Progress. Following Atlanta he served four years in Washington, D.C. as Deputy Assistant Secretary at HUD where he oversaw the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant Program and the $1.2 billion Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) Program.
After HUD, Fleming spent 14 years in Denver, first as founding president and CEO of The Downtown Denver Partnership and then president and CEO of the Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce. He was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown, the development of 16th Street Transit Mall, the new Denver International Airport, and the recruitment of major league baseball.
In 1994, he was recruited to St. Louis as president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA), where he led staff of 50 and built an annual operating budget and reserve of more than $11 million. Twice during his tenure, RCGA was named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the 10 best economic development organizations in the nation. He stepped down from the Chamber in January 2012 and became Chairman of Community Development Ventures, Inc., a St. Louis-based economic and community development strategy firm.
Nationally, Fleming served as chairman of ACCE, chairman of Partners for Livable Communities; was a founding member and chairman of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship; chairman of the International Downtown Association; and as an executive council member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). He presently serves as chairman of Clean Economy Solutions, a national environmental & economic development initiative funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and as founding vice chairman of Citiscope, the online global news service.