Richard Alex Jaenicke
December 14, 1939 – March 07, 2017
We are sad to announce that our partner and friend Richard Alex Jaenicke has departed this earth. While Richard is gone in the flesh, his spirit is with us always.
As a Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Nucerity, Richard left his mark most notably by defining our culture of Love, Respect, and Partnership. These were not mere words to Richard. They defined who he was and how he lived his life every day. Richard’s greatest joy was spending time with our independent business partners. In fact, he called more than 26,000 new Distributors to welcome them into our Company. Richard’s life is embodied in the soul of our Company – it defined us when we started, as we grew, and will always be the foundation of our wonderful Company.
As one person close to Richard said, “he had the unique ability to speak with you and make you feel like you were the only person in the room.”
Richard Jaenicke was one of the original pioneers of fiber optics and lasers in Silicon Valley. He always used his exceptional insight to envision an opportunity’s potential and possibilities, leading him to successfully co-found, fund and build technology and growth companies throughout his business career.
After earning BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University, Richard started his career as a salesman for Optics Technology Inc. He worked under maverick genius Tom Perkins who founded the computer division of Hewlett Packard. After Tom left OTI, Richard rejoined Tom to co-found University Labs Inc.
Richard spearheaded the design work at ULI with the goal to “make a gas laser as simple and reliable to operate as a light bulb.” After pouring his life savings into building a production unit in 1967, the small company took off. Soon they were manufacturing “Lasertron’s” by the hundreds while Jaenicke was working 80-hour weeks. ULI’s spectacular growth required the expertise of a larger company and they merged with Spectra Physics. After the purchase of ULI, Spectra Physics soon became the largest laser company in the world.
After leaving Spectra Physics, Richard became one of the early owner/operators of cable TV companies with a concentration in Oklahoma and Arizona. In 1981, Richard purchased Diversified Electronics, a software development company pioneering the creation of electrical and mechanical construction and engineering software for the emerging PC marketplace. Renamed DataTrak, Inc., the company went public and was subsequently sold to Software Shop, a large software developer on the East Coast.
In the early 1990’s Richard followed Lonnie McKinney to Houston, Texas to begin consulting for a company named Petrolon, Inc. where he also met future business partner David Dillingham. As Vice President of R&D at Petrolon, Richard recruited and led a product development team of highly regarded scientists from leading oil companies including ExxonMobil and Shell Oil. After the company was purchased from the original founders and renamed Slick 50 Corporation, the company experienced explosive growth into the hundreds of millions in sales in 46 countries which caught the eye of the major oil companies. In 1996, Slick 50 was ultimately sold to Quaker State Petroleum Company.
After the sale of Slick 50, Richard founded and was Chairman of CorporateNEWS, Inc., an Internet-based company offering news release and emergency communications services to such companies as Reuters, British Petroleum, and the Job Corps.
In 2003, Richard teamed with David Dillingham, Lonnie McKinney, and Dr. David Powell to form DermaCorp which became a very large dermatology practice with multiple locations and thousands of patients. Richard’s computer capabilities enabled DermaCorp to deploy electronic medical administration over the internet at a time when only the largest hospital organizations could manage their business in this fashion. Because of Richard, DermaCorp had efficiencies not available to like-sized organizations. At DermaCorp, Richard’s cheery personality endeared him to patients and staff alike. One of the medical staff stated, “Richard is the nicest man in the world”. Another said, “Richard is truly an Angel walking with us mere mortals.”
Richard is survived by his loving wife Karen Jaenicke, daughter Megan, son August and his wife Lan, and cherished grandson Alex.