Richard was born in Winnipeg and resides in Selkirk, Manitoba where he and his wife Susan have raised three children. He has many fond memories of his Icelandic heritage and the days he’s spent in Manitoba’s Interlake region. “Knowing something about my Icelandic roots opened up a whole new world as Susan and I made our first trip to Iceland in 2015. It connected us with family and the places of our ancestors,” says Richard.
Richard is a career educator (B.Ed, University of Winnipeg) and has worked in various ways improving communications and technology services, instructional support and professional development. His experience includes technology management, digital content applications and design, and media production.
How organizational leaders’ perceptions of information and communication technology (ICT) influence their decisions concerning its adoption, on both personal and enterprise levels, is something Richard is keenly interested in. While completing his Master’s in Communications and Technology (University of Alberta), he was seeking an organization aiming to leverage its pursuits using the power of the Internet. In a conversation with Nelson Gerrard, Nelson mentioned that Icelandic Roots might be just such a group. Since February 2015, Richard has worked with Sunna and members of the Icelandic Roots team to foster their online community, a presence intended to facilitate sharing and collaboration, and support the organization’s mission to educate, preserve, and promote Icelandic heritage.
With the advent of social media and Web 2.0, many have set out to differentiate between social network sites (SNSs) and online communities. SNSs “primarily promote interpersonal contact, whether between individuals or groups; they forge personal, professional, or geographical connections and encourage weak ties. Examples are Facebook, Twitter [whereas, online communities, are sites concerned with] user-generated content (UGC): they support creativity, foreground cultural activity, and promote the exchange of amateur or professional content” (van Dijck, 2012, p. 4). This is an excerpt from Richard’s work entitled, “A Field Analysis - The Icelandic Roots Online Community.”