Rick Minicucci served as President of the NetSmartz Workshop Division, created through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) where he also served as the Chief Technology Officer since 1996. NetSmartz was created to meet the growing need for education about Internet dangers in an unprecedented way. The NetSmartz Workshop provided Boys & Girls Clubs of America with original, animated characters and age-appropriate, interactive lessons on CD-ROM that use the latest 3-D and web technologies to entertain while they educate. Boys & Girls Clubs leaders and children played vital roles in helping to refine the appearance of the characters and program content, helping to ensure that the NetSmartz messages were on target and characters appealed to the respective age groups. In September 2001, the NetSmartz Workshop content was pilot-tested and later released to all Clubs nationwide in August 2002.
While at NCMEC, Minicucci developed a missing children's network, established a searchable image database, created an imaging laboratory for age progressions, and created an online partners program to disseminate photos and text via online services. Minicucci also created a strategic technology plan and built critical corporate and nonprofit partnerships, which supported significant funding efforts and supported NCMEC with donated technologies and other support.
Mr. Minicucci began his time at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as a volunteer in 1989. At the time, Mr. Minicucci, who owned a computer imaging and 3-D graphics company, was developing a mug shot system for the FBI. Mr. Minicucci had been a long-time volunteer and consultant for the program when he owned and operated JRM Software, Inc. JRM Software developed such software as Kidlink, which runs a replication of the Missing Children database in mall and airport kiosks, and DVTS, a video teleconferencing software package originally designed for GTE Vantage Solutions. FBI Special Services Agent Horace Hefner, volunteering for NCMEC, asked Mr. Minicucci to modify the work he was doing into age-progression software for the center. Minicucci developed the software pro bono.
In 1999, Mr. Minicucci received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University College of Communication, from which he graduated in 1973. Since 1981, the College's Alumni Association has honored alumni whose professional accomplishments have brought credit to themselves, the College, and Boston University. Alumni reflecting the highest standards and accomplishments in their professions are selected by the Alumni Association's Board of Directors on the following criteria: service to community, service to profession, service to profession, or special distinction. Mr. Minicucci was honored with a Service to Community Award. Minicucci and his wife Cheryl live in Herndon, Va. and have two children, Jennifer and Mark.