Richard Crist was born July 8, 1936, to Bea and Harry Crist in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. He received his elementary education in Cortland, New York, two years of high school in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated from high school in Florence, Kentucky, in 1954. He earned a BS in civil engineering in 1958 from the University of Kentucky, was elected to Tau Beta Pi, engineering honorary, and became a Licensed Professional Engineer in 1962. His desire to become a civil engineer began early in his life while visiting construction projects supervised by his father for Mid-Valley Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline from Eastern Texas to the refineries in Northern Ohio.
After graduation, Mr. Crist worked for the Kentucky Department of Highways in the Bridge Design office before he became a construction resident engineer in charge of the initial construction of I-75 in Northern Kentucky. He was assistant district engineer for construction for the Highway Department when he resigned to take an engineering position with Hilltop Concrete Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio.
After a year at Hilltop, he met R.C. Durr a heavy/highway and mining contractor of Independence, Kentucky, and went to work for the R.C. Durr Company in 1967. He was chief engineer and later became vice president of the company. During his tenure, the company built over 300 miles of highways and railroads in South Central United States. When the Durr Company ceased construction operations in 1987, Crist bought the equipment and started his own company, DMC, and continued in heavy/highway construction. Two of DMC’s most unique projects were the renovation of the I-75 (Death Hill) section in Northern Kentucky and the tunnels and building foundations for the $400 million Delta Air Lines expansion at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
In 1997, DMC ceased as a heavy/highway construction company and currently develops residential and commercial projects in Northern Kentucky. Mr. Crist was formerly the local president and the Kentucky vice president of the Jaycees; president of Northern Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (received the Outstanding Engineer in Construction Award); board member of the First United Methodist Church, Covington, Kentucky; president of Kentucky Highway Contractors, Inc.; president of Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors (board member for 11 years and one of only 18 Lifetime Members of this association).
Mr. Crist was a charter member of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering’s Construction Management Founders Society; charter committee member to organize Kentuckians for petter Transportation; member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; board of directors member of the Boone County Water and Sewer District; board of directors member of the Sanitation District of Northern Kentucky; and charter member of Boone County Conservation Commission.
Currently, Mr. Crist is a Board of Directors member of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and a University of Kentucky Fellow. In April 2001, he was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Construction Management Founders Society and Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Kentucky. Mr. Crist has one daughter, Sheila Crist Kruzner, an attorney in Northern Kentucky who is married to David A. Kruzner of the Concours Group, and a four-year-old grandson, Palmer Crist Kruzner.