Richards Named COO for Morganís Wonderland, STAR Soccer, Monarch Academy
Steve Richards, who until recently was the president of a global consulting company specializing in strategic planning for non-profit and sports organizations, has been named chief operating officer for Morgan’s Wonderland, the South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex and Monarch Academy school for special-needs students.
“In less than two years of existence, Morgan’s Wonderland and STAR Soccer have exceeded expectations and have spawned other ventures such as Monarch Academy and the San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team to help those with special needs,” said Gordon Hartman, founder of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation and CEO of the four ventures. “Steve Richards’ experience and his expertise in planning can help take our efforts to higher and higher levels of success.”
Richards completed a 27-year career as an Air Force officer that included an assignment as Air Force director of Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Services at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. In that post, he was responsible for Air Force-wide sports and recreation, health and fitness, food services, lodging and child-care programs. Other posts included commander of the Air Force Officer Training School at Lackland AFB in San Antonio and director and team captain of the All-Air Force Shooting Team.
Upon retirement in 1995, Richards became general manager of The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, where he served until 2006 before establishing the Strategic Edge 360 consultancy.
Richards, a native of Washington, D. C., holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in international relations from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He has been active in Olympic sports for more than 40 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Foundation. He also has been involved in the San Antonio community as a member of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau Commission and as president of Any Baby Can from 1996 to 2003.
Richards’ wife, Susann, is a teaching professional with more than 25 years of experience, and they have a daughter and son.
Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park that’s designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind. Completely wheelchair-accessible, the park features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre fishing lake, 18,000-square-foot special-event center, 575-seat amphitheater, picnic area and rest areas. Profits from tournaments and other activities at nearby STAR Soccer are earmarked for Morgan’s Wonderland so the park can continue to offer free admission to anyone with special needs. The same will be true when the San Antonio Scorpions begin North American Soccer League competition – one step removed from Major League Soccer – next spring. Monarch Academy, a school for special-needs students from the 6th-grade level through high school, recently opened next to Morgan’s Wonderland.
Morgan’s Wonderland, STAR Soccer and Monarch Academy are located in Northeast San Antonio at Thousand Oaks and Wurzbach Parkway on the site of the former Longhorn Quarry. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com, www.STARSoccerSA.com, www.SanAntonioScorpions.com or www.MonarchAcademy.net, or call (210) 495-5888.