Our People

Rick Knickerbocker

VP, Client Engagement

Specialties: Proposal and Capture Management, Process Evaluation and Improvement, Business Development Strategy & Competitive Analysis, Research & Analysis, Proposal Writing, Editing, and Reviewing

Home Base: Grosse Pointe Park, MI

Over the past 15 years, Rick primarily focused his career on managing and developing proposals for health care and human services, including Medicaid, CHIP, and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). Rick has been instrumental in growing organizational opportunities to serve families and individuals in the areas of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) solutions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs, as well as Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS).

Rick comes to Optimetra from Molina Healthcare where, as an Associate Vice President, he transformed the organization’s proposal unit from five individuals to a team of 21, instituted a capture plan and processes, implemented industry-standard proposal processes and procedures, and improved the overall presentation and content development of the organization’s responses. His work resulted in six contract awards during the final year of his tenure. Prior to this role with Molina, Rick held proposal leadership positions at Xerox and UnitedHealthcare Community & State.

Beginning his professional career as an award-winning journalist, Rick stumbled into the world of government proposal responses when an RFP quite literally dropped on his desk. He has never looked back, managing and developing RFP responses in a wide range of domains, including engineering, architecture, and construction services to red light photo enforcement systems.

As a seasoned professional, Rick understands that creating a winning proposal begins 12 to 24 months ahead of an RFP release. As such, he emphasizes the importance of an in-depth capture plan that highlights customer priorities along with an organization’s competitive position, strengths and weaknesses, competitive intelligence, and win themes. Rick then works to craft a comprehensive, compelling, cohesive, and coherent response tailored to a specific customer and market opportunity.

With an understanding that what goes into a proposal is oftentimes more important than how a proposal is written, Rick often states that a good proposal won’t necessarily win new business, but a bad proposal always reduces an organization’s chance of success. As such, he conducts extensive pre-work to ensure bidding organizations understand the customer as well as the customer understands itself prior to putting “pen to paper.” He ensures information is presented in a manner that is compliant; resonates with the customer; speaks directly to the customer’s priorities and pain points; and is backed with compelling visuals, data analytics and outcomes, and proof points.

Rick compares the work of a true proposal professional to that of an air traffic controller. He thrives on being the calm in the eye of a storm, directing traffic to ensure all planes land safely.

Find out more about Rick on LinkedIn.

Rick Knickerbocker
Don't count the days, make the days count. – Muhammad Ali