Join us for Emerging Leaders - a professional development luncheon held quarterly. You can expect relevant topics, engaging speakers, lively table discussion and a delicious lunch. Although geared towards young professionals, anyone may attend.
REACH YOUR ALTITUDE
"Mentorship must become a central focus for developing tomorrow's leaders today"
with guest speaker Colonel "Buzz" Rick Wedan
Colonel Richard W. Wedan is the Vice Wing Commander for the 142d Fighter Wing in Portland, Oregon. As Vice Commander he assists in leading over 1,000 personnel in the execution of the F-15 Aerospace Control Alert mission defending the Pacific Northwest, worldwide deployments supporting national objectives, and domestic operations activities as directed by the Governor.Colonel Wedan received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 1987. He enlisted in the Minnesota Air National Guard in 1988 as a Command Post Controller with the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth. He earned his commission in 1989 from the Academy of Military Science, attended undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, and received his initial F-16 training at Kingsley Field, Oregon in 1991. He returned to Minnesota where he served as a drill status guardsman for four years prior to taking a position as a Flying Training Instructor in 1995.
In 1997, Colonel Wedan returned to Oregon as an Instructor Pilot with the 173d Fighter Wing. He served 12 years there prior to being assigned to Oregon’s Joint Force Headquarters for three years as the Director of Operations, and now is assigned to the 142d Fighter Wing. He has been an Operations Group Commander, Fighter Squadron Commander, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, Chief of Standardization and Evaluations, Chief of Academics, Chief of Operations Training, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Chief of Operations Scheduling, Airspace Manager, and Wing Strategic Initiatives Officer.
Colonel Wedan grew up in northern Minnesota. While majoring in Business Management at The College of St. Scholastica, he was on scholarship at the University of Minnesota as a jazz drummer. He turned down an offer to become a studio musician in LA, to pursue a career in the restaurant business. At 23, as a restaurant General Manager, changed courses and decided to join the military, and the rest is history!
He has been married to wife, Liz for 33 years and they have two grown children: son, Steven is a graduate of the United Air Force Academy and now an Air Force Captain flying the C-17 and daughter, Autumn is a graduate of the University of Portland where she played D1 Volleyball. After graduating, she played a year of professional volleyball in Europe. She now is a footwear developer at Nike.