A Story of Discovery


Richard Thurmond is Senior Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Charlotte Center City Partners, a place-making organization for the Center City of Charlotte. He guides special projects and business recruitment efforts that help make the Center City of Charlotte a more livable, memorable, viable, and sustainable place. Previously, Rick spent 21 years with Charlotte magazine. He served as publisher for 4 years and editor for 13 years. During his tenure, the magazine won national and regional awards for excellence. He has served on numerous community boards, including on the board of Historic South End and Theatre Charlotte. Rick earned a B.A. in English from Davidson College.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested basketball, editing and publishing a city magazine, staying and leaving, and the value of curiosity and humility.   


  • Rick describes his home growing up, family influences, how he came to think of himself as a writer, and the significance of basketball in his life.

  • He reflects on his time at Davidson College, study-abroad in Avignon, his start as a sports journalist, and becoming an assistant editor and writer at Charlotte magazine.

  • He talks about why the relaunch of Charlotte magazine succeeded, taking the magazine personally, becoming editor at the age of 26, and being his own harshest critic.

  • Rick discusses the role of the editor of a city magazine, the story of Charlotte, taking readers where they would not have gone, and his proudest moment at the magazine.

  • He addresses whether Charlotte magazine was a magazine for the whole of the city, and why he did not pursue editorial positions in larger media markets.

  • Rick reads from an article he wrote about whether Charlotte could make someone happy, and shares his regret as a writer and why he left Charlotte magazine.

  • He discusses joining Charlotte Center City Partners, the community and economic development work he is doing now, and why it is important to him.

  • Rick shares the moments in his day that are the most meaningful to him, the most important decisions he has made, and how he would write the story of himself.

plus Mark’s Personal Word Essay: The End and A Beginning

To Learn More About Rick


  • What struck you about Rick’s comments?

  • How do you know when to stay and to leave?

  • How would you write your story?

  • What are the most meaningful moments of your day?

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This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.