From 1993 until his retirement in 2010, Richard spent the majority of his career as Vice President, Corporate and Project Development at Sandwell International Inc., a construction engineering company based in Vancouver. Previously, Richard acted as Vice President, Finance and Development at Golden Star Resources Ltd., a Canadian gold mining company with operations in Ghana. He started his engineering career with SNC-Lavalin in Montreal. 

Richard graduated from the UBC with a BASc in Civil Engineering in 1969. He and his wife, Sarah Morgan Silvester, have had a significant impact on engineering students and the wider UBC community through major contributions to numerous funds over the course of almost three decades. These include donations to the Corporate Education Program, Civil Engineering Fund for Student Support, Engineering Student Centre Fund and many others. A highly-engaged alumnus, volunteer, and committed supporter of the School of Engineering, he served in September 2019 as a Class Ambassador for his 50th Class Reunion.