Strickland was a Massachusetts native, and after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War, he attended the University of Massachusetts–Bridgewater, where he earned his B.S. in mathematics and physics. He later earned an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth.
He continued to work while earning his degrees, eventually being named international director of marketing for one company. In 2003, he struck out in his own and opened RF Safety Solutions, a consultancy that specialized in radio frequency safety and training. Since his passing, the company is no longer accepting new business.
Stickland was a noted radio frequency hazard expert and contributed articles on the subject for Radio World. Read some of his Spotlight on RF Safety columns here.