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Ricky Steele at Terry College of Business

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Reader Feedback

Since the publication of the Heart of Networking, Second Edition, it has been gratifying to read what others are saying about the book on Amazon. I wrote the books to share ideas I’ve had over the past 40 years. I tell people that I never intended to make money selling books (or through my speaking engagements) and so far, it has worked out great.

My book focuses on what I call the “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Networkers.” Due to my great respect for Mr. Stephen Covey, and my fear of an immediate law suit, my book was named The Heart of Networking instead. I focus on the concepts of servant leadership and Golden Rule living. Giving without expecting a pay back is crucial to being a true servant.

You can find my book at I hope you will read my book and post your thoughts.

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IT United CIO Forum

Ricky will be the moderator for the 2011 CIO Forum Series on March 9th. Be sure to pre-register by contacting Katie King in order to secure your spot. This year’s panel features Bill VanCuren of NCR Corporation, Ed Steinike, from The Coca-Cola Company, and Becky Blalock, Southern Company. Last years forum was a great success, and this year is sure to be the same.

2011 CIO Forum jpeg

Shoebox 2010 

Shoebox 2010
Milton at CIO Forum

CIO Forum Sponsors:

Hexaware 2011



 On behalf of Joe Surber and the IT United Cabinet, you are invited to attend the 2011 CIO Forum. Please join us Wednesday, March 9th for a networking breakfast followed by a panel discussion with some of our area’s leading CIO’s. This event is created as a special benefit to those firms who have participated in the 2010-2011 United Way Campaign.
The CIO Panel will include:
Bill VanCuren, NCR Corporation
Ed Steinike, The Coca-Cola Company

                Becky Blalock, Southern Company

Partnership in Success Awards will
be given by:

John Seral, GE Energy

The CIO Forum event will be moderated by:


Ricky Steele, Hunter Technical Resources 


IT United CIO Forum Event
Wendesday, March 9th  

Networking Breakfast begins at 8 am

IBM Hillside Auditorium
Please RSVP to Katie King by Friday, March 4th.
Shoebox 2010 
IT United is designed to deepen the understanding of, commitment to and support of United Way with technology leaders, and to recognize their deep commitment to service. A team of prominent Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and technology leaders formed IT United in 2007.  United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta sincerely thanks all of the Technology professionals who serve on the IT United Cabinet. 



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Heart of Networking Second Edition

I may be the world’s worst blogger. I have something to say on a regular basis but I never seem to find the time to say it. This past week is a very good example. The Heart of Networking Second Edition debuted on Thursday, January 20th at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Innovation at King & Spalding Law Firm in midtown Atlanta. 150+ people attended and I shared for 45 minutes from the book. The response by email, on line, and by telephone has been very positive.

The new book contains every word that was in the first edition. The basics of networking shared in the first book are true and truth does not change. The additional 50 pages is filled with examples of how I use social networking to expand my reach. Social Networking will never replace one on one networking because most people enjoy interaction with other folks. I do believe that Social Networking enhances how man has networked all the way back to the caveman.

You can purchase the book at my website, You can purchase the Kindle version at I would love your feedback on my website or on Amazon.

Ricky Steele

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Ricky’s Return to IEI: 1/20/11

 DUE TO SNOW JAM 2011, IEI has been rescheduled for 1/20/11

January 20th, 2011- Entreprenuerial Forum



Ricky Steele is the ultimate Rainmaker. Steele has a long history of developing new business, expanding the brand, marketing, public relations, and community engagement for clients across many industries. Today, Ricky is the Chief Development Officer for Hunter Technical Resources, one of Atlanta’s premier staffing and recruiting companies.

Please join us as the IEI Entrepreneurial Forum kicks off its twelfth year of breakfast programs with an insightful and entertaining presentation by Ricky Steele.

Ricky wrote The Heart of Networking in 2004 distilling his rich experience in forging relationships that generate business. In practical, straightforward, and real-world language, The Heart of Networking reveals the secrets of building your own business network. Steele teaches how to build a business environment that enables and promotes your own success by creating satisfaction among clients, customers, colleagues, bosses, investors, and the community.

Ricky has just completed a revised and expanded version of his classic book.  The release of the second edition of The Heart of Networking fortuitously coincides with IEI’s meeting on January 13th. This new edition of The Heart of Networking updates timeless principles of building professional relationships by exploring the effective use of social media tools for networking; tools that were not available when the book was first written.

So please register and join us on Thursday morning, January 13th, for this illuminating presentation, when Ricky Steele will share insights, tips, techniques, and nuggets of wisdom on developing effective business relationships. It’s a program you can’t afford to miss.

Steele is a native of Atlanta and served as Director, Emerging Growth Technology Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was instrumental in helping PwC take the dominate position among the Big 5 within emerging growth companies.

Mr. Steele has been profiled and cited in numerous local business publications and several national technology publications including The Wall Street Journal. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has named Mr. Steele one of the “Who’s Who in Technology” during his employment at both PwC and Korn/Ferry International.

A life long entrepreneur, Steele received the Georgia Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1986. He was hired as a consultant by BETA, SSA, and WIT to study the various technology associations in Georgia which produced the original business plan for The Technology Association of Georgia.

Mr. Steele has had a passion for serving the needs of his community throughout his career. Steele was a Founder and the first Chairman for both Atlanta’s Table, part of The Atlanta Community Food Bank and Hospitality Helping Hands. Steele has also served on the Board of Trustees for Leadership Atlanta and The Ron Clark Academy. He is also active with High Tech Ministries. Mr. Steele is an Alumnus of Leadership Atlanta (1986) and Leadership Georgia (1987).


All pre-registered attendees will receive a free copy of Ricky’s new book: The Heart of Networking (second edition), which he will personally sign following the meeting. The new book will retail for $19.95.

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2010 Record Year For Hunter Technical Resources

2010 is a huge year in the life of Hunter Technical Resources. In early September, we passed our total sales from 2009 which was a tough year for everyone in technology. On October 8th, we surpassed our sales for 2008 and on Tuesday, October 26th we passed 2007, our previous best year. We are excited that every placement between now and December 31st, will set a new record. 

Needless to say, this could never have been possible if not for a great group of clients. It is not really fair to call them clients because the majority of them have become our friends. We are grateful to all of them for allowing us to serve their IT Staffing and Recruiting needs. 

This great accomplishment would also have been impossible if not for the talented and dedicated team here at Hunter. I have had the privilege to work for a number of great companies over the years as an employee and as an owner. Hunter employees are the hardest working, most focused group of people, from our four founders to our two newest recruiters, that I have ever experienced.

All in all, I am blessed to have the opportunity of working at Hunter and Good Lord willing; this will be my final rodeo.

Thank you for allowing me to brag on Hunter Technical Resources, our wonderful clients and my co-workers.

Ricky Steele


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Gainesville Chamber of Commerce Membership Meeting

October 19th, 2010

Royal Lakes Golf & Country Club

A workshop featuring guest speaker Ricky Steele, Chief Development Officer, Hunter Technical Resources, one of Atlanta’s top staffing and recruiting companies. Steele is often described as the ultimate Rainmaker and has a long history of developing new business, expanding brands, marketing, public relations, and community engagement for clients in many different industries.

Steele is also a published author with the release of his first book, “The Heart of Networking.” He frequently conducts seminars and speaks on “successful networking through servant leadership and living the Golden Rule.”


Tickets are $10 for members, $20 for non-members. For tickets contact:

Brittany Holtzclaw
770 532 6206 ext. 115

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The Honorable Andrew Jackson Young

Last night I had the privilege of hearing Andy Young in a conversation with alumni of Leadership Atlanta. It was during my drive home that I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessed life I have been fortunate to live. Needless to say, there have been some really hard times in my life personally involving family crisis, financial issues, and heath among others. But in the context of what many people have endured, it has been manageable through my faith and my family.

Some of the great blessings I thought about last night was the opportunity I have had to meet so many wonderful people. Many of them have had a great impact on my life including my father, father in-law, Bill Turner, Bill Bolling, Rob Johnson, Robert Campbell, Allan DeNiro, Charlie Paparelli, Bob Lasher, and Mike Adkinson all quickly come to mind although there are certainly others. Then there are those who I have met and spent time with over the last 30 years who I am more a fan than a friend. At the top of that list is Ambassador Andrew Young and President Jimmy Carter. I wrote about both of them in my book, The Heart of Networking

Last night, I heard Andy Young speak for at least the 25th time. Every time I hear Andy, I know that I am in a room with greatness. If you have not had the privilege of hearing Andy speak, I suggest you read his books or watch the new PBS series, Andy Young Presents, winner of 3 Emmy Awards. Listening to Andy Young is like sitting in a live history lesson of the last 50 years in Atlanta, the civil rights movement, and his world view. I first met Andy Young on the night of his inauguration as Mayor of Atlanta in 1981. I bought my first tuxedo for the occasion. Over the next 30 years, I have crossed paths with Andy many times. I was fortunate to travel with Andy and a delegation of Atlanta leaders on Atlanta Convention and Bureau promotional trips to Washington, New York, Chicago, and London. The London trip will always be a special memory because a few of us celebrated Andy’s birthday at a beautiful restaurant on the River Thames along with Andy’s mother who also was on the trip. During that trip, we visited a night club and while Andy danced with my wife, Beth, I danced with his bodyguard who was a striking and tall Atlanta policewoman. 

I can not do justice to the legacy of Ambassador Young in this blog. Research Andy’s life and legacy on Andy’s website or on Wikipedia. . Andy has been a minister, civil rights leader, congressman, ambassador, mayor, Olympic organizer, business leader, husband, father, and mentor to many. During Andy’s mayoral term in Atlanta, he facilitated over 70 billion dollars of new private investment in our city. As everyone knows, Billy Payne, was the great visionary leader of the 1996 Olympics in our city. Those in the know, know that without Andy’s network across Africa and the Middle East, the 1996 Olympics would have been held in Athens, Greece. 

Needless to say, the impact Andy Young has had on society at large is vast and historical. Personally, he has had a tremendous impact on me and I am grateful that our paths crossed 30 years ago. 

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Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

I had the pleasure of meeting a very successful and influential person on Thursday the 7th of October at Rocky Mountain Pizza close to the Georgia Tech campus. Tony Hsieh, CEO of and serial entrepreneur was sitting at the bar sipping on Grey Goose Vodka. Mr. Hsieh was dressed in jeans and  a white tee shirt. It was not what you would normally expect from someone who had accomplished all that he has in his short life. He was sitting alone enjoying his Grey Goose without a body guard, publicist, or entourage. I introduced myself and we spent a few minutes talking about life, Zappos, and our mutual respect for Seth Godin, who was also in Atlanta that night for a Friday morning speech. I enjoyed our short time together but it was not until this afternoon that I understood why. Mr. Hsieh was in Atlanta as part of his Happiness Tour. He bought a luxury bus and was traveling from town to town sharing his vision of what true success means. After touring his bus, I thought seriously about joining the movement and riding the bus to the next stop in Miami. There was also a little too loud band and a snow machine created a ski slope which was available for the attendees to slide down. The first official slider was the Honorable Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman, and I believe future mayor of Atlanta.

In addition, he brought cases of his New York Times and Wall Street Journal #1 best seller, Delivering Happiness. I was prepared to buy 4 or 5 copies to read and share with others. To my surprise, the book was being given away as a gift from Mr. Hsieh. I brought the book home over the weekend and planned on starting it after all the ball games on Saturday. I opened the book after the UGA game and was not able to put it down until the entire 244 pages were devoured. My wife was amazed. I currently have 7 or 8 half finished books sitting in my office, study, and by the bed. As an full blown ADD/ADHD person, I have a hard time staying interested in a book long enough to finish. That was not the case today.

I can not do justice in a blog post to the power or insight of this book. I highly recommend it to anyone regardless of your job, personal interest, or goals. You will read a story of failure and great success told with honesty that few are willing to display when telling their own story. 

Finally, I discovered why I was so taken by my meeting Mr. Hsieh. Humility is his strong suit. Although more successful than 99% of planet earth, I met a young man sitting in jeans and a tee shirt by himself content with who he is. At first I thought he was painfully shy and was avoiding the crowd. That was not the case as I watched him greet each new person who discovered his “hiding place”. Again, he was not shy, he was content and very humble in every thing he said and did that evening.

Buy the book, It will have an impact on the way you think and hopefully in the way that you live going forward. It certainly has had that effect on me.

Ricky Steele

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Father’s Day

Today we celebrate the fathers in our lives.

I am very fortunate to have had two wonderful earthly fathers. My dad, Richard E. Steele, Sr. was a man’s man. Most of the lessons I learned in life both positive and negative, I learned from watching him. He was a entrepreneur in every sense of the word and the first networker I knew although no one called it networking back in the 60’s. Dad was medically discharged from the Army when he re-injured a knee that he had injured during his football playing days at the University of Georgia. Dad began his career with a wife and new born son making $200.00 per month. He worked hard and built many businesses over the years by networking in the Columbus area. One of the things he did that made me most proud is his making the decision to integrate the largest hotel in Columbus. Dad was one of the owners along with a few wealthy businessmen he partnered with to purchase the hotel several years earlier. He received many threats, late night phone calls, and cars would ride slowly by our house late at night. Dad never backed down because he knew that he was doing the right thing. My dad died on March 17th, 2002. I slept on the sofa next to his bed every night for weeks and I was with him as he took his last breath. The pain I experienced watching him die was very tough and I did not think it possible to experience any worse until my mother died 5 months 7 days later. 2002 was not a great year in my life. I am so thankful to God for making me Richard E. Steele, Jr.

My second dad I inherited when I met my wonderful wife to be. James R. Ellis was a very different man than my dad. He was content with where he was in life and focused on important things like his faith, family, and friends. Jimmy never had an unkind word to say about anyone. He was the manager of a restaurant in Columbus and probably never made $20,000 any year of his life yet he was one of the wealthiest people I have ever known. Jimmy had a hard life growing up but did not let it make him bitter as it would be for some folks. He loved me as a son and I learned a great deal from him. Jimmy died much too early at 57 years old in 1987. I lost a dad and a great friend that day. My children barely remember Jimmy and that is a shame. My children would have learned lessons from Jimmy that I did not have the ability to teach. My children all turned out great. However, I am confident they would be even finer people if they could have had Jimmy in their lives for a few more years. I thank God for putting Beth in my life and as a result of our relationship, I gained a wonderful, kind, loving, father in Jimmy.

My third dad I have known my whole life. He is my heavenly father and yours. Unfortunately for me, I have not followed him or His direction all of my life thinking that I could run my life on my own. I started off as an entrepreneur following my dad’s footsteps. The biggest problem with “self-made” men is that they are in love with their creator. I began following my heavenly father in 1975 and was very passionate about serving Him. Several years later due to a tragic event, I decided that I did not need His help any longer. I reengaged with Him in 1995 through the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. I would give anything to have back the 15 years I spent running away from God. I made more than my share of mistakes over those years and unfortunately can not change the fact that I hurt people along the way. What I do know is  the minute I came to my senses and asked God to again become my Father, a heavy burden was lifted off of my life. I received forgiveness that I did not deserve because of the price He paid for my sins. That forgiveness did not change the fact that I had hurt people and made a lot of mistakes. There are always consequences for behavior both good and bad. I have suffered through some tough and awkward times as a result. However, I have survived because I have a heavenly Father who loves me in-spite of me being me. As much as I loved my dad and Jimmy, I love my heavenly Father so much more. I know one day I will see my dad and Jimmy once again when I join them in our Father’s house. 

Whether your earthly father is alive or not, you do have a heavenly Father that is very much alive. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. I encourage you to learn more about Him. 

Happy Father’s Day!

Ricky Steele

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