Mr. Oden introduced me as a director for Rockdale Water Resources to the effective use of the concepts of “Strategic Planning” and the “R- Goes” business management processes. Additionally, the “executive coaching skills” concept that we implemented under his guidance proved to be a critically successful tool for the development of work place metrics that enable management to re- energized our workforce. Proof of our turn-around is documented by our financial statements over the past 4 years

 Dwight  S. Wicks, Director

Rockdale Water Resources


Mr. Richard Oden, once again thank you for stopping along the way on your life’s journey to encourage, motivate, uplift and support a student athlete. Your impact on Candace’s life has been stupendous. The influence that you have had over Candace has been incredible and profound. She could not understand why such a mighty, influential and powerful person would be interested in a young little girl like Candace. Your example of giving back and uplifting is now a philosophy that Candace holds near and dear. She has gained confidence, increased her self-esteem and remained in the top one percentile of her class academically

USATF Youth Athlete of the Year 2015 & 2015 Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year

Lori and Candace Hill,


His positive qualities and attitude reflect his grounded approach to work and life. His proven communication skills with both his staff and County citizens, as well as his initiative, dedication and attention to detail, readily shows the quality of work that he performs and also expects from his staff.  As Chairman  & CEO of Rockdale County, Chairman Oden provided strength, integrity and vision to myself and the Department of Planning and Development.  He assisted in my professional development over the past several years, encouraging me to develop a stronger and more influential leadership style

Marshall W. Walker, Director

Department of Planning & Development


I found Chairman Richard Oden to be a very hard working, leveled-headed individual with exceptional leadership skills. During the last 8 years he has endeavored to bring the best out of the organization and the staff by implementing a continuous process improvement program has brought the agency to a much higher level of efficiency and productivity. It also earned him the 2016 County Leader of the Year award in the State of Georgia. His well-honed leadership skills, can-do-attitude, strong moral compass and his ability to empower individuals to reach for higher performance level will serve him well in the future.

Miguel Valentin, P.F.

Director of Transportation


Chairman Oden also earned the respect and admiration for being fearless in his business approach and his instincts were impeccable. He helped to bring transformative progress to the community and County operations. As the Chairman and CEO of Rockdale County his focus on performance management and customer service was exceptional. He also has demonstrated the traits of a skilled executive coach and change agent, especially as it relates to leadership development for the executive management team. Process improvements were no less important as demonstrated by the County earning several consecutive financial management awards.

Gerald Sanders

Gerald Sanders former Chief of Staff


Chairman Richard Oden brought the R-GOES process to Rockdale County Government leaders as a way to improve delivery of services provided to the citizens. This process was instrumental in providing process improvements to the departments by bringing the directors and their deputy directors together in order to identify and discuss issues within our organization. R-GOES allowed us to formulate ideas and strategies to address the identified issues that were causing ‘disconnects’ in service deliveries between our departments and to the citizens of the county. Chairman Oden’s leadership and executive coaching abilities allowed the departmental leadership teams to fully understand and successfully implement the R-GOES system.


Chief, Rockdale County Fire & Rescue


In this relationship, Richard exhibits the highest caliber integrity, honesty, and professionalism in all of his actions and contacts, regardless of status or level within the organization. His management style makes him approachable to his team and he does an excellent job of involving and supporting his staff in the larger organizational and community issues.  Richard’s mentoring of his director-level staff led to the discovery and subsequent resolution of several key changes in basic County policies and procedures that had been complicating and repressing staff’s ability to be productive.   He also established an on-going Continuous Improvement Process program to seek out other opportunities for policy and procedural improvements.    Richard’s ability to manage multiple, complex issues, focus on the critical, and his ability to lead people to success are some of the personal and professional skills that he can bring to any organization.

James C. Howell

Director, Management Information Services


As Director of the County’s Department of Commu nity Affairs and Innovative Programs, I was proud to be led by some of the impactful, exceptional visions Mr. Oden had for the organization and Rockdale community and its businesses and citizens. It is not every day one gets to work closely with an executive who is as dynamic and energetic as Mr. Oden. He collaboratively worked to be a bridge builder to other government agencies, trade associations, nonprofits and civic organizations, both on the local and regional level. His strategic thinking regularly created magnificent opportunities for Rockdale to grow and thrive, as well as thoughtfully and artfully advance the organization’s mission and ever-evolving goals.

Tonya Y. Parker

Department Director

Community Affairs & Innovative Programs


I have observed Chairman Oden serve the citizens of Rockdale County in a dedicated, efficient, ethical, and effective fashion. Chairman Oden has been instrumental in helping me build an award winning HR Department that has been recently recognized by the Georgia Local Government Association and the Society for Human Resources Management  – Atlanta for excellence in HR programming and execution.  These awards would not be possible if not for the support, vision, and leadership of Chairman Oden.  I have witnessed Chairman Oden’s executive talent on many occasions outside of the HR arena. He is a visionary, yet highly approachable by staff. I have watched him listen to the ideas of employees and management in order to formulate successful strategies that have helped Rockdale County achieve and maintain a position as a leader in local government. Chairman Oden has earned the respect of everyone in the County.

 Darryl V. Bowie, HR Director

Rockdale County Government


Dear Mr. Oden:

We are pleased to notify your comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 qualities for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management; from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

Stephen J. Gauthier, Director

Technical Service Center