Board Chair Postman's Message to LCB Community

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Left justified header

Jan. 4, 2022

Fr:      Board Chair David Postman

To:     The LCB Community

Re:     Retirement of Agency Director Rick Garza

On behalf of board members Ollie Garrett, Jim Vollendroff and myself, I’m writing to share some big and bittersweet news for our agency. You’ll see below a note that Rick Garza sent to LCB staff yesterday announcing his intention to retire July 1.


Rick has been at the LCB for about 25 years – 25 years that saw this agency go through multiple major shifts in scope. Throughout that Rick played a key role to ensure that whether the state ran the liquor stores or licensed private companies, whether cannabis was only for medical use or for any adult or whether there were 1,000 employees here or 300, we would not waver from our mission of protecting the public health and public safety.


There are few executives in public or private sector who have navigated such huge tidal shifts in mission.


It’s bittersweet because Rick has been an incredible mentor to me in my time as board chair and it’s hard to imagine the LCB without him. But I know he is excited about the next phase of his life and I’m sure his family is looking forward to that, too.


The board has asked Rick to play an instrumental role in finding his replacement. Rick knows the world of liquor and cannabis regulators better than anyone. He understands this agency and its relationship to the Legislature. We need that knowledge to find the right person for the job. 


Rick has agreed to help with that and to work with the new director to ensure a smooth transition and a download of his career’s worth of knowledge.


We will have time later in the year to give Rick a proper sendoff. This isn’t goodbye today, not by a longshot. This is the launch of yet another major LCB effort that Rick will have to manage – finding a director he can feel confident will continue his great work.


Agency Director Garza's Message to LCB Employees

Dear LCB Employees, 


I am writing with mixed emotions to let you know that I will be retiring in July after almost 40 years of state service, including 25 years at the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). I still remember driving to Olympia from Grandview in the Yakima Valley fresh out of college and eager to begin my career in public service.


Looking back, I am very proud of all of that we’ve accomplished together because we’ve always made our agency culture central to our work. Values such as “respect and courtesy,” “professionalism,” and “open communication,” to name just a few, make the LCB a great place to work and worthy of our time and dedication. Frankly, it’s one of the main reasonsI stayed.


Over the years we’ve successfully addressed major challenges, including liquor privatization and the creation of a regulatory system to allow adult-use cannabis that has been a model for the nation. I also greatly appreciate the work you do every day to serve the people of our state. Your professionalism, dedication and resilience have earned us their trust and respect.


As most of you know, the Board appoints the director to run the day-to-day operations of the agency. Board Chair Postman will share the news with the public at the Board meeting tomorrow and follow up with a message to our stakeholders. The Board has asked me to help lead the search for my replacement and work closely with the new director to ensure a smooth transition. We are committed to transparency throughout the process. And you deserve a seamless transition to ensure the important work of our agency is not interrupted.


I am so grateful for the many friends and memories I’ve made during my tenure at the LCB. None of it would have been possible without the support of our Board. As you know, they share our commitment and passion to carry out the work with which we have been entrusted. I want to thank David, Ollie and Jim for their leadership and giving me the opportunity to serve you.