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A Bit About Me

Born and raised in Southwestern Idaho, Rico is the oldest of five boys, growing up in an area that was ripe for several adventures with his four younger brothers and numerous cousins. Rico grew up near farmland that produced potatoes, hay, hops, grain and corn. There were several fruit orchards and vineyards in the Snake River Valley as well, due to the extraordinary fertile soil. A few years out of high school he moved to (the big city) of Boise and enrolled at Boise StateUniversity as a student and walk-on football player. However, he could not escape the allure of traveling the world and began writing and storing his experiences in hopes of someday becominga novelist and writer. He began reading every chance he had. From contemporary novels to classical literature, Rico’s love of storytelling was uncontrollable. He appeared occasionally at Boise’s former Comedy Club as a stand-up comedian, retelling his stories of growing up in a comedic fashion.

Rico earned an Associate Degree in Marketing and Sales from BSU. After a few years of low-level management positions, Rico moved to Hawaii for a short time, surfing the waters of Kaua’iand enjoying the outdoors. He then moved to back to Idaho. In 1991, Rico moved to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and continued his education receiving a Bachelors of Business Administration in International Business at Grand Canyon University, named the “Outstanding International Business Graduate of 1995.” That same year he was also selected as “Mr. Future Business Executive” at the State Leadership Conference which included all universities in the State of Arizona. The summer before graduating, Rico went to Vilnius, Lithuania, and taught English (ESL). During fall semester of his senior year at GCU, Rico attended Staffordshire University in England where he also started on the American Football Team for the Staffordshire Stallions. Rico finished his Masters, an MBA in International Management at Thunderbird School of Global Management with a focus on the Latin American Region and the Spanish language. He did this while working full-time as a feature writer and freelance journalist at the T-Bird school paper, DAS TOR. Rico wrote a few of his articles at DAS TOR especially for the foreign students of Latin America. Former Vice President Dan Quayle served as an Invited Interim Professor by the ThunderbirdSchool President, Dr. Roy Herberger for two semesters, and Rico was fortunate enough to be oneof 16 students selected to attend his class.*Special note, Rico received an A from the VP for the 2 credit elective class. Was it because of Rico’s performance on studies or VP Quayle was afraid of what Mr. Austin might write in the paper?

Hollywood has even had an encounter with Rico. Those who watched Baywatch with the beautiful Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff, might recall Rico Austin in a cameo appearance in the episode, “Night of the Dolphin” in 1997, where he played the role of a drug lord on a huge yacht with sexy chicks. He and his graduate classmates watched the aired episode in the “old clock tower hanger” in the TV lounge. He was invited back for another episode by casting director Susie Glickman, but declined due to a conflict with finals at Thunderbird. Rico chose education over stardom; when questioned why, he responded, “No one can ever take your education away. Everything else can come and go and, most likely will.” Rico also acted in a commercial for the local market in Boise, ID, as a construction worker in This Old House, sponsored by BMC West. Rico is an avid fisherman and has traveled far and wide to cast his line into many waters; including streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, seas and oceans. He has worked for a few international companies as both a sales manager and a marketing manager. In his spare time he has worked as a land developer and was a licensed Realtor in Arizona. Should you decide to visit Arizona, Rico would be more than happy to show you around his Great State of Arizona through his children’s book, ARIZONA Is Where I Live.

Rico is happily married to a graphic artist from Minnesota. They make their homes in the “Land of the Sun,” Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. He and wife Connie enjoy snorkeling, hiking, hanging by their swimming pool and traveling to the different beaches of Mexico while sipping on a cold cerveza or margarita blended with Rico’s favorite TEQUILA. Rico Austin first began writing seriously as a seventh grader at age 13. He was elected as reporter for the Eager Beaver 4-H Club in Marsing, Idaho, and started submitting weekly articlesto the local newspaper. Rico then was elected reporter for the local FFA chapter his freshman and sophomore year, continuing to expand his writing ability. As a freshman, Rico took third place in the Marsing High School essay contest titled American Beef Farmers. He later would later become a professional freelance and feature writer for DAS TOR newspaper at ThunderbirdGlobal School of Management from 1996 – 1998. Rico also won the first and only writing essay at DAS TOR in March 1997. The essay asked contestants to propose ways for Thunderbird to be improved. Rico used his humor, knowledge of several countries that he had visited and innovation to secure the winning essay.

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