Rockdale County voters elected Richard A. Oden to serve as Chairman and CEO of the Board of Commissioners for his first four-year term beginning in January 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second four-year term. He is the first African American elected as Chairman and CEO of Rockdale County. As a visionary, results-oriented manager who is hands on, Mr. Oden is a graduate of the Certified Commissioners Advanced Program of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) in partnership with the University of Georgia – Carl Vinson Institute.
Under his governance, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) presented Rockdale County in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with the Comprehensive Accounting of Financial Reporting Certificate (CAFR) for achieving excellence in financial management reporting and internal controls. This is the highest award for a government entity. Also under his leadership, Rockdale County’s bond rating maintained an AA2 to AA3 in 2010, 2011 and 2012 despite statewide and national economic turmoil.
From his first term, Mr. Oden can count many successes including but not limited to the Rockdale Chapter of the NAACP giving him its annual Jean L. Williams Community Service Award in 2013. The Jack and Jill of America, Inc., East Suburban Atlanta Chapter also selected him for the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award. Highlights of Mr. Oden’s other achievements include:
- Appointed to the Governance Transit Task Force by Governor Nathan Deal to help develop legislation for the 2012 regional transit policy. The Task Force’s goal is to give a state agency or authority the responsibilities of oversight and coordination of transit services in the metro Atlanta region.
- Reappointed by the past 3 incoming ACCG Presidents as Chair of the Economic Development and Transportation Committee (EDT) leading the entire state of county Commissioners. The EDT Platform Policy Committee represents all 159 counties and sets statewide policies for the Association, which then presents these policies to the ACCG Board of Managers for approval at its annual Legislative Leadership Conference. The Association’s 6 platform policies are then presented to the Georgia State Legislature. Mr. Oden also is a member and Vice Chairman of the GEBCorp and ACCG Defined Contribution Board of Trustees.
- Member of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Executive Committee comprised of 10 metro Atlanta counties and 68 cities. Mr. Oden is the 2013 Chairman of the ARC Environmental Land Use Committee (ELUC) leading the charge on water, energy, housing, land use, government services, and natural resources issues. He also led the ARC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Steering and Work Teams comprised of Chambers of Commerce, the business and academic community and other key individuals. Their work resulted in a unified, regional economic development strategy. Mr. Oden also serves on the ARC’s Budget and Finance Committee and was appointed Chairman of ARC’s Legislative Committee to help improve relationships with state legislators. Additionally, Mr. Oden was an active member of the proposed $6.1 billion Transportation Regional Transit Roundtable Committee and ARC’s Transportation and Air Quality Committee (TAQC) and Regional Transit Committee.
- Recipient of the 2011 Trailblazer Award presented by the National Association of Minority Contractors.
- Recipient of the Atlanta Business League’s 2009 Men of Influence Class joining the ranks of national leaders including U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, the Honorable John Lewis, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, the Honorable Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan MD, Dr. David Satcher MD PhD, Henry “Hank” Aaron, Nathaniel Hawthorne Bronner Sr., Alonzo Franklin Herndon, Herman J. Russell, and many more past and present leaders.
- Recipient of the Rockdale County NAACP 2007 Trailblazer Award for being the first African-American to seek public office as a Rockdale County Commissioner since the county’s establishment in 1870.