Richard Lundgren had an extensive background in the U.S. Forest industry. After graduating from the UW, he worked in the pulp and paper industry with Crown Zellerbach Corporation in a number of accounting and purchasing positions. In the early 1970s, he joined Palmer G. Lewis Co., a leading building materials company in the western U.S., where he became President and Chief Operating Officer. He ended his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company with responsibility for their North American building materials distribution network. He served on the Board of Directors for Palmer G. Lewis Co., Skipper's Seafoods and Safeco Insusurance Company. He was a past president of the North American Association of Building Material Distributors.