While enjoying a successful career in technology management, Rick finally succumbed to the lure of an art that had fascinated him since childhood: bonsai. While building a traditional collection comprising a wide variety of species, Rick acquired his first satsuki azalea. With the addition of that one azalea, the marvelous diversity, complexity, and beauty encapsulated by the species enthralled him. After completing a formal study focused on the care and cultivation of satsuki azaleas, he received his certification to teach the art of satsuki bonsai in 2000.
Looking to expand his knowledge about satsuki azaleas, Rick began a training program in Japan under the tutelage of the preeminent satsuki bonsai master Nakayama Suisho. This seminal moment changed everything. For nearly 20 years, Rick has studied in Japan with Mr. Nakayama, learning all aspects encompassing the care and development of satsuki as bonsai. Working shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Nakayama, Rick’s studies continue to the present day.
In 2012, Rick started a business, North American Satsuki Bonsai Center, focused on offering premium quality satsuki-related products. Besides selling products, Rick also lectures, teaches, and leads workshops on a wide variety of subjects related to satsuki bonsai.