Rick is the Economic Development Services Director for the City of Peoria where he focuses on raising the profile of Peoria locally, regionally, nationally, and globally through relationship development and channel marketing. With the intent of earning a reputation as a resource, not a bureaucracy, Rick is a strong believer and practitioner of public private partnerships.
Prior to Peoria, Rick was the Assistant City Manager for the City of Surprise where he oversaw the Economic Development, Community Development, Water Resource Management, and Information Technology Departments. Rick built departmental teams that embraced a vibrant culture of servant leadership and a vision of being a global community with world class aspirations. Rick founded an aggressive multilateral FDI strategy called “Surprise International” and a targeted marketing effort known as “C2B.”
Prior to Surprise, Rick was the Town Manager for the Town of Gila Bend, where he focused on reinventing Gila Bend into a community focused on Economic, Social, and Environmental Sustainability. With this vision, the Gila Bend area attained over $2 billion in economic development in four utility scale solar plants and a carbon regeneration plant, as well as the completion of nearly $29 million in infrastructure projects. With 347 MW of utility scale solar plants completed, this small community became known as the solar capitol of the U.S.
Prior to Gila Bend, Rick was the founding City Manager for the City of Maricopa, where he led an unprecedented cycle of hypergrowth, growing the city from 1,492 citizens to over 35,000 in just under 4 years, and an annual budget growing from $585,000 to over $93 million. It was here that Rick experienced firsthand the criticality of sustainable managed growth strategies. Rick's public sector experience also includes work for ASU's Research and Economic Affairs department and serving on Arizona’s Bioscience Steering Committee.
With his entrepreneurial roots being in the private sector, Rick co-founded Envirosafe Technical, a 260 employee firm focused on contamination control for advanced technology facilities, served as the VP of Regional Operations of Pentagon Technologies/MPW Industrial Services, a 2,800 employee NASDAQ company, and as Development Director for Scitec. Rick’s senior management experience includes working in, and with, some of the largest organizations in the world. Rick also served as President of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), a non-profit organization, where he won 5 international awards.
Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in International Marketing, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA), and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Technology and Management (CSTM). He is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA), American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), MAG Regional Council on Domestic Violence, MAG Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness, Alliance for Construction Excellence, a founding member of Construction Research and Education for Advanced Technology Facilities (CREATE), Greater Phoenix Economic Council Ambassador (GPEC), and an inductee into the Public Administration National Honor Society. Rick is also an ICMA credentialed manager (ICMA-CM).
Fredrick “Rick” Buss, MPA, CSTM, ICMA-CM
Economic Development Services Director