About Our Founder

It starts with a spark. For Don Richardson, the Founder of Aspen, that spark happened when he was working as the Director of Technical Services for Northern Arizona Healthcare. He was responsible for all aspects of telephone, radio and clinical information systems during an unprecedented time of rapid IT network growth, the 90’s. Devices that demanded an ever growing amount of bandwidth coupled with an explosion of computer networks were taxing the hospitals infrastructure.

While sizable metropolises across the country were able to meet these infrastructure demands head-on with large companies, smaller cities like Flagstaff were beholden to companies out of their neighboring large municipalities, like Phoenix. This put the hospital at a disadvantage. They were forced to pay exorbitant travel costs, and send large sums out of their hometown.

Aspen Communications, Engineering & Contracting Founder - Network Designs Services in Prescott Arizona

Don saw a solution. His nature was to plug any hole he found, even at the expense of his own needs. Don started Aspen as an answer to that need. Believing that through a commitment to sustainable practices, high personal and professional standards, and lots and lots of continuing education, he could find local people and train them to serve their community. Don set the bar in Flagstaff and after 10 years of service to that community he expanded to Prescott; another city with similar needs.

In the three years before his passing he used that spark to start a fire across the country. Aspen now services the entire nation, and continues to adhere to Don’s incredibly high standards. We see an ever growing number of new businesses attempting to reach his superior conventionalities. This would be the greatest compliment to Don, my father, who wanted nothing more than to be of service. Of service to our beloved nation as a career Navy veteran. Of service to his beautiful wife, Sheila. Of service to his eight children and 14 cherished grandchildren. And service to his Creator.

Dad left this world the way he spent every day of his life here on earth, as the bravest man I have ever known. While I miss him every day, I take great comfort in aiding to continue his work. Aspen will forever be our living tribute to him. Psalm 23:4

-Natalie King


Don Richardson is the President/CEO of Aspen Communications LLC, dba Aspen Engineering & Contracting. Don directs all business development, strategic operations and long range planning. Don brings over forty years experience in the field of electronics and communications to Aspen. He began his technical training while serving in the United States Navy, rising from the rank of Seaman to Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-4) over a 26-year career. During that time, he attended the Navy’s most advanced courses in electronics, completed an Associates Degree (AA) in Management Occupations, and served with distinction in a variety of duty stations in the field of electronics and communications systems operations, installation, maintenance and repair. Don also served as the Team Officer for Special Operations Team 12, was a member of the First Naval Counterinsurgency Forces and served with the Naval Advisory Group (Viet Nam).

Don earned a Bachelor’s Degree (BSBA) in management and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) focusing in management from Northern Arizona University. In his post-military career, Don has held the positions of Telecommunications Manager for the Bureau of Land Management and Director of Technical Support Services and Director of Integrative Medicine for Northern Arizona Healthcare. At the Bureau of Land Management, he was responsible for all BLM voice, data and radio communications within the states of Wyoming and Nebraska. During his three-year tenure, he implemented major renovations in equipment and management, saving the Bureau hundreds of thousands of dollars. A desire to enter the private sector and move back to Flagstaff brought Don to Flagstaff Medical Center as Telecommunications Manager. With the affiliation of FMC and Marcus J. Lawrence Medical Center in Cottonwood, Don was promoted to Director of Telecommunications and Wide Area Networks, and later, to Corporate Director of Technical Support Services for Northern Arizona Healthcare. Don’s responsibilities included development of all voice, data cabling and transport, clinical information systems and ancillary systems for all Northern Arizona Healthcare facilities. He was directly responsible for the design, engineering and installation of the NAH Integrated Affiliation Information Network, a system written up in trade journals for its balance in achieving effective operation, reliability and cost efficiency. During his last two years at Northern Arizona Healthcare, Don also held the position of Director of Integrative Medicine Development and Outreach and was responsible for developing the business model for CenterPath, the first integrative medical clinic of its kind in Northern Arizona.

In February 1999, Don made the decision to leave NAH and pursue a path in private enterprise by creating Aspen Communications LLC, dba Aspen Engineering & Contracting. In addition to his diverse education and over 40 years of technical experience, Don holds a K67 (Low Voltage Communications Commercial and Residential) Contractor License, a L11 (Electrical Commercial) Contractor License, General Contracting License, and is an internationally certified BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Services, International) RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) making him a perfect fit to head up this business enterprise.

Don’s outside interests include the study of the martial arts and service to the community. An 8th degree Black Belt, he is the President of North American Martial Arts.

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