As CEO and President of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Rich engages in extensive public policy action at the local, state, and federal level. He is also charged with: strategic planning; managing the board of trustees; establishing relationships with strategic external partners; negotiating complex real estate transactions; fundraising; and leading his senior staff.
During his tenure, annual revenues have grown from $52,236 in 1995 to $15 million; net assets (exclusive of land) have improved from $50,000 to $10 million; and preserved land has increased by 50,000 acres.
In addition to the dedication Rich exudes at work, he is active in many civic and social pursuits as well. A sampling of these include the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the Land Trust Alliance National Leadership Council, America’s Conservation PAC, and the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. He is an officer and founder of the WR Conservation Education Fund.
Rich and his wife, Jen, a physician and a partner at Green Road Pediatrics, live in Shaker Heights with their daughters Isabelle and Josie, who are all seated with him tonight.
Dr. Harry John Visser graduated magna cum laude from Hiram College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry. He went on to graduate, Pi Delta, with a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in 1978. He then matriculated from a three year residency program in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Lindell Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri from 1978 to 1981.
John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He served as President of the Missouri Podiatric Medical Association from 1985-1988. He has also served as an examiner of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He currently serves on the Missouri State Board of Podiatric Medicine where he has been appointed by three governors: Governor Ashcroft from1988-1993, Governor Blunt from 2005-2014 and Governor Nixon who reappointed him in 2014. He has been board president on three separate occasions.
John was award “Podiatrist of the Year” in 1995 and also the Meritorious Service Award from the American Podiatric Medical Association in 1997.
He has written numerous articles for nationally recognized podiatric journals and is an acclaimed national, as well as international, speaker and presenter. He has lectured in England, Germany and Hungary.
John has been Director of Residency Training in Podiatric Surgery at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center since 1985. He also assumed the role of Director of Residency Training in Podiatric Surgery for DePaul SSM Health Center in 2012. He currently has 15 residents under his leadership role.
He is a member of the Faculty of the Department of Orthopedics of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Larry is a native of Ravenna, Ohio. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Economics in 1969 from Hiram College where he met his wife, Joyce, in his freshman year. He went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Industrial Administration from Purdue University in 1970 and did further graduate work at Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati.
After receiving his degrees, Larry worked for the Ohio General Assembly and taught at the University of Cincinnati. In 1978 he followed Joyce to the Philadelphia area where he joined Conrail as Service Development Analyst in the marketing department. He has worked in the freight railroad industry since then, advancing to Director of Short Line Marketing at Conrail, a position he held until he left Conrail in the mid-1990s. In 1994, he incorporated a consulting company, L.A. DeYoung, Inc., through which he provides a range of services to freight railroads. He consulted for Norfolk Southern Corp. in its purchase with CSX of Conrail. In 2001, as a result of his consulting, he and Joyce bought into the newly-formed Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad where he joined the board and was elected Vice President of Government Relations; several years later he became a board member and Secretary of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad’s parent company, the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad, which he also served as Chief Operating Officer. He remains on the boards and is Secretary of both firms.
Larry is the author or co-author of eight books about railroads, including Erie Lackawanna in Color (Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4), and Conrail Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment. He also has published numerous articles and photographs in magazines dealing with the railroad industry and model trains.
Almost since his graduation, Larry has been active with Hiram through his involvement with the Alumni Annual Giving Committee, Reunion Committees, the Board of Visitors and now as a trustee.
Larry is involved in many professional and civic organizations outside of Hiram as well, including the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, the Chester County Concert Band, the Society for Industrial Archeology, Surrey Services for Seniors, The Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Society, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. His interests include transportation, history, music, travel, and photography.
Ray is a 1951 graduate of John Carroll University. He has held executive positions at Price Waterhouse, McDowell-Wellman Engineering Co., Deloitte, and Gilford Instrument Laboratories and Bearings, Inc. During his career, Ray joined Financial Executives International, an association of senior-level financial executives, and became a member of its national board and ethics committee.
He has served on advisory committees to the John M. and Mary Jo Boler School of Business at John Carroll and served on the University’s board of directors.
Ray believes in giving back to institutions that give so much to others, including Hiram College. Over the past ten years, he’s shared his passion for wildlife and conservation by supporting many projects at our Field Station, including the “Endangered Waterfowl Facility”. This facility not only helps protect two of the world’s most endangered waterfowl species it also allows Hiram College students to learn, engage and support the conservation efforts on a day to day basis. Rays generous support of this facility annually propels roughly 15% of the graduating Biology seniors into careers in Veterinary Science and Conservation Biology.
Most recently, Ray has lent his support to a Tiny House project in the works at the Field Station. This project will expand the opportunities for students to “live and learn” and be part of a tiny house community within the Field Station.
For Ray, his commitment to Hiram College and the Field Station has always been about creating these kind of additional opportunities for all Hiram students to learn, share experiences, and become students of the environment.
Jen began her career at Hiram in 2005 as the assistant director of alumni relations and annual giving. During her 12 years at the College, she has moved into several progressively responsible positions, managing all major gifts and planned giving, and overseeing the annual giving program as well. She has also played a lead role in helping to grow Hiram’s endowment.
In 2015, Jen was appointed to the role of vice president of development and alumni relations. In this position, she is responsible for all aspects of the College’s fundraising efforts. As VP, her duties include the following: managing the annual fund and major gift programs, supervising alumni relations, and growing corporate and foundation relations. In her first year in this position, Jen helped the College secure two seven-figure gifts, including the largest single cash gift in the College’s history. These two sizable gifts, in turn, contributed to a record-breaking year in gifts and pledges. Indeed, Jen helped to lead Hiram to its most successful fundraising year in the College’s 167-year history, garnering $9.3 million in gifts.
Prior to joining Hiram, Jen gained five years of experience in development and alumni relations at two other institutions of higher learning. In this sense, her career has been a varied one, having worked at a large public university, a private research institution, and a small liberal arts college. Her most recent role before coming to Hiram was the associate director of alumni relations at Case Western Reserve University. There, she was responsible for the university’s alumni and student outreach efforts.
Jen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in art therapy and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Bowling Green State University. She also gained a master’s degree in education with a focus in higher education administration from Kent State University.