Dr. Richard Steckel, co-founder and executive producer of the Milestones Project, is internationally recognized as a consultant and speaker on nonprofit social enterprise and for-profit social marketing. He and his wife Michele “Shelli” Steckel conceived The Milestones Project in 1998 and have since traveled the world capturing the images and stories of more than 70,000 children in 35 countries.
In addition to his work on behalf of The Milestones Project, he is the founder of the consulting firm AddVenture Network and is co-author of the best-selling book Filthy Rich: Turning Nonprofit Fantasies Into Cold, Hard Cash (revised second edition, 2001), Making Money While Making a Difference: How to Profit with a Nonprofit Partner (1999), and In Search of America’s Best Nonprofits (1997), Cold Cash for Warm Hearts: 101 Best Social Marketing Initiatives (2004).
Dr. Steckel served as executive director of the Denver Children’s Museum (1976 – 1984), where he introduced innovative ideas that made the museum a national model of the earned income approach to fundraising; director of E-Source Corporation, a subsidiary of the Rocky Mountain Institute; director of international programs for a Boston-based technical assistance organization; adult educator and community organizer on New York’s Lower East Side; and producer of public service media on social issues.
He has guest-taught on the faculty of the University of Auckland in New Zealand (12 years), University of Maryland, Daniels School of Business (Denver University), and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Steckel has worked extensively with many corporations around the world, and some of his client relationships have included: CitiCorp, Proctor and Gamble, Stride Rite Corporation, British Telecom, and Northwest Water in the United Kingdom and Europe, and Westpac Trust Banking Corporation in Australia/New Zealand
The Steckels have produced over a dozen nationally acclaimed photography-based educational resources with the Milestones Project. Milestones books received the CBC 2005 Notable Book Award and the Milestones Project was honored at the United Nations (2003 Global Peace & Tolerance Award). Photographic events of the themed Milestones Project work have been viewed at 11 international airports and seen by over 200,000,000 people. The Steckels were chosen Purpose Prize Fellows (2007); Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award recipients (2008); and received the National Education Association’s Human & Civil Rights Award on July 2, 2008. Their work was featured in Time magazine (August 13, 2007).