richard roth

Fabulous People: Richard Roth

Richard Roth is a Regenerative Agriculture consultant and founder of Progressive Tech, Seattle’s highest-rated IT support team, providing clients with flexible, comprehensive tech solutions for more than 15 years. Learn about Richard Roth…

Hometown: Berkeley, California

First job: First official job was a sales clerk at a small computer store. Before that, I did freelance tech for friends, family and neighbors, but this was paid for mostly in food!

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: On an ecological restoration project in Ellensburg, Washington. We took a desolate and bare 20-acre parcel of dry, windy land and, over the last five years, have totally transformed the property. We planted thousands of trees, made ponds, meadows and hedges for wildlife and for our own crops and enjoyment. Obviously, this has nothing to do with tech, but I look at nature as a system with rules, just like a computer or operating system. 

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Staying on track for 15 years, yet being adaptable on the path. I was never afraid to make changes to pricing or policy as the world and technology changes rapidly. I take a lot of pride in the tens of thousands of people we have helped, and the happiness and health of our staff. Of course, making money is nice too, but it’s just a piece of the puzzle and not the exclusive goal, in my opinion. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Being OK with the inevitable dark times, usually involving a customer/staffing/financial let down or failure of some sort. I say, learn from mistakes and carry on! This is not to say ignore the past, as the past is a great guide in helping to steer clear of the same pitfalls again and again. 

Someone who inspires you and why: I can’t really name one, but I have a deep respect and appreciation for those studying and documenting the value of natural systems and functions. A few pioneers in this scene would be filmmaker John D Lui, farmer/author Mark Shepard and farmer/author Ben Falk.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Experience is everything, especially in IT. Get out there, take a position or volunteer to gain skills. Every opportunity is a learning experience, how to manage staff, how to treat clients, how to deal with failure and success. Be open minded, and work to earn the respect and trust of your co-workers and/or employees.

Favorite quote: “The true source of wealth is the functional ecosystem.” –John D. Lui

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Never made it to college, went right to work at 16 and never looked back. Studying computer systems ended up leading me to study ecology and the systems and patterns in nature. 

What makes someone fabulous: Adding value to your community, providing a needed service/product and keeping the focus on being above par. Advocate for your position, but don’t be inflexible to outside criticism or advice. 

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