Rockdale County voters elected Richard A. Oden to serve as Chairman and CEO of the Board of Commissioners in January 2009. In 2012, citizens re-elected him to a second four-year term. He is the first person of color elected to serve as Chairman and CEO of Rockdale County. As a visionary, results-oriented manager who is hands on, Mr. Oden is a graduate of the Certified Commissioners Advanced Program of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) in partnership with the University of Georgia – Carl Vinson Institute.
Under his governance, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) presented Rockdale County the past six years with the Comprehensive Accounting of Financial Reporting Certificate (CAFR) for achieving excellence in financial management reporting and internal controls. This is the highest award for a government entity. Also under his leadership, Rockdale County’s bond rating maintained an AA2 to AA3 the past six years despite statewide and national economic turmoil. In 2014 under Mr. Oden’s leadership, the Georgia Local Government Personnel Association recognized the Rockdale County Department of Human Resources with its Large Agency Award (more than 500 employees) for overall quality, contributions and accomplishments of Georgia’s top performing human resources programs.
From his first term, Mr. Oden can count many successes including, but not limited to, the Rockdale Chapter of the NAACP giving him its annual Jean L. Williams Community Service Award in 2013. The Jack and Jill of America, Inc., East Suburban Atlanta Chapter also selected him for the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award.
Highlights of Mr. Oden’s other achievements include:
Appointed to the Governance Transit Task Force by Governor Nathan Deal to help develop legislation for the 2012 regional transit policy.
Reappointed by the past five incoming ACCG Presidents as Chair of the Economic Development and Transportation Committee (EDT) leading the entire state of county Commissioners. The EDT Platform Policy Committee represents all 159 counties and sets statewide policies for the Association, which then presents these policies to the ACCG Board of Managers for approval at its annual Legislative Leadership Conference. The Association’s six platform policies are then presented to the Georgia State Legislature.
Member of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Executive Committee comprised of 10 metro Atlanta counties and 68 cities. Mr. Oden is the 2014 Chairman of the ARC Environmental Land Use Committee (ELUC) leading the charge on water, energy, housing, land use, government services, and natural resources issues. He also led the ARC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Steering and Work Teams comprised of Chambers of Commerce, the business and academic community and other key individuals. Their work resulted in a unified, regional economic development strategy.
Recipient of the 2011 Trailblazer Award presented by the National Association of Minority Contractors.
Recipient of the Atlanta Business League’s 2009 Men of Influence Class joining the ranks of national leaders including U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, the Honorable John Lewis, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, the Honorable Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan MD, Dr. David Satcher MD PhD, Henry “Hank” Aaron, Nathaniel Hawthorne Bronner Sr., Alonzo Franklin Herndon, Herman J. Russell, and many more past and present leaders.
Recipient of the Rockdale County NAACP 2007 Trailblazer Award for being the first African-American to seek public office as a Rockdale County Commissioner since the county’s establishment in 1870.
Prior to taking public office, Mr. Oden founded of Alexander At’Ta Associates, a performance management consulting firm focusing on staff augmentation, process and performance improvement, customer service, marketing, and brand management development. He also founded the Alexander At’Ta Fund, a non-profit organization with emphasis on youth self-help, education and enrichment.
Mr. Oden is a self-published author, national keynote speaker, executive life and process performance improvement coach, trainer and facilitator.
A graduate of Kent State University in Ohio, Mr. Oden received a bachelor’s degree in HPER and Industrial Relations in 1973. He is a Life Member of the KSU Golden Flash Club and a member of the KSU 1972 Mid-American Conference Championship Football Team, where he was a team captain. Additionally, his coaches and teammates voted him the team’s Most Inspirational Player.
Mr. Oden and his lovely bride Josett have been married for 32 years. He is a loving father and grandfather of their five children and seven grandchildren. He is member of Saint Philip AME Church, where he has served on the Male Usher Board for the past 33 years.