By Becca Owsley
Photos by Neal Cardin
Monday, May 25, 2015 at 12:00 am (Updated: May 25, 12:00 am
Reprinted with permission from The News Enterprise. http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/content/games-all-about-business
Rick Games has served the community in many roles.
He spent 28 years with the Elizabethtown Fire Department including serving as chief for the last 10 years of his career. Since 2001, Games has taken on the role of president and chief operating officer of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation.
From West Point, Games started working as a dispatcher right out of high school, later becoming a fire inspector. He was involved in the Kentucky Firefighters Association for many years, inducted into its Hall of Fame and was a part of a committee to put together the fallen firefighters memorial in Frankfort.
Thinking back on his days with the fire department and the dangers they faced, he said his concern was more for the firefighters that served under him than himself.
He has been married to Vicky Games for 40-plus years. “I tease people all the time that she kind of raised Andy and me both,” he joked.
Vicky said Rick doesn’t like the attention to be on himself. “It’s all about the community and what is best for the community,” she said. “He gets concerned when we are not successful in landing a new plant — takes it personally at times — even though he knows this is not the case.”
He’s always passing the microphone to someone else to keep the attention on the city and not himself, she said.
“You have heard it takes a village to raise your kids. Rick would not want any personal attention, as it takes a group effort to make things happen and he knows this community has what it takes. He loves working with the other leaders here,” she said.
One of the things that makes the foundation a success, Rick said, is that no one cares who gets credit for the success.
“Our goal and mission is to create jobs,” he said.
Although his work at the foundation is not an official city position, it feels similar to Rick.
“It’s really like I never quit working for the city, I’m just doing something different,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed a great relationship with everyone I’ve worked with in the city and county both.”
Once he got involved with the foundation, he discovered it was a natural fit.
“It’s all about relationships and making people feel welcome,” Rick said.
The industrial foundation’s new offices on Ring Road will help that process run smoother. The new location serves the existing industries better because it’s close by to many of the factories, he said.
It’s the first place many people see of the community when visiting to consider locating their industry in Hardin County, he said.
Even though he’s gone from the fire department, Rick still stays tuned into it. A scanner sits near his desk and can be heard in his office. He said sometimes he doesn’t even notice it’s on but other times he stops to see what emergency is happening.
“I just never got away from it,” he said.
His two roles have differences but also similarities.
In the fire department emergencies happened quickly, he said. There were immediate results — good or bad.
“You save something or it burns to the ground,” he said.
In his work with the foundation, things move a little slower and he’s had to learn how to adjust. Some deals can take five years before you see a final result, he said.
In emergency services, he said, the only purpose is to help residents in bad situations and the job was very satisfying to help. He remembered his first big deal with the foundation and at the grand opening it hit him that he was able to have a small part in creating a good job for someone possibly raising a family.
“That’s pretty powerful stuff too,” he said. “It’s about creating jobs and that pretty much says it all. That pretty much drives the community.”
Rick Games’ son, Andy Games, said his father always has been passionate about Elizabethtown.
“He loves this place and wants to do what is right when it comes the city,” he said. “He strives to serve the community and represent our local citizens when dealing with potential clients.”
When Rick Games was with the fire department, Andy Games said he saw how his father took pride in the firefighters and their commitment to keep Elizabethtown safe.
“He took that same pride and has poured it all into his current position with EIF,” Andy said. “I’m proud to have him as a father and a fellow citizen of Elizabethtown.”
Getting to know Rick Games
- Church: He’s on the Severns Valley Baptist Church safety team.
- Favorite television: “The Big Bang Theory” and shows about history.
- Favorite movie: “In Harms Way.”
- Hobbies: Fishing, watching grandchildren play sports and work.
- Favorite sports: He’s a Wildcat fan but likes the Cardinals when they are not playing Kentucky. He follows his grandchildren’s sports teams and Elizabethtown High School.
Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.