Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meet Our Board: Paul H. Rich

Pual H. Rich
New Board Member Paul H. Rich
The ideal Board of Directors of a non-profit organization includes individuals with expertise and experience in a variety of fields, including law, finance and real estate. Paul H. Rich, who joined the Ackerman Institute Board of Directors in 2007, is a seasoned consultant who has worked for many years with family-owned and closely-held businesses. As a co-managing principal of the Rothstein Kass Business Consulting Group, Mr. Rich provides a wide range of strategic business counseling services. He is an expert in succession planning, structuring and negotiating mergers and acquisitions, facilitating as an executive coach for business owners and high net worth individuals. In addition, he has extensive experience securing bank and private financing and rendering IPO and private placement advisory services. Mr. Rich’s success is the result of a passion for his clients, clarity of mind, an appreciation of service, and, most importantly, empathy that he combines with his technical expertise. These traits also serve Mr. Rich well in his role as a member of the Ackerman Institute Board of Directors.

Mr. Rich recalled that he first heard about the Ackerman Institute from his wife Diane, a social worker, and her colleagues.

"They all knew about the work of the Institute and thought very highly of it," Mr. Rich explained. "Then Judith Stern Peck told me about her involvement and the great respect she had for the Institute. Eventually, I met Peter Steinglass and Lois Braverman and learned more."

"I've always been interested in psychology," Mr. Rich said, "and I found the Institute’s work very meaningful. My interest only increased as I learned how much the Institute helps the community."

Mr. Rich’s enthusiasm for the Ackerman Institute grew as he enrolled in the core Foundations course.

"I took the course for one year as a learning and growth experience," he said. "The teaching was amazing and the open thinking and depth was mind expanding. I fell in love with the level of education as well as with the value of the community work."

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Mr. Rich is a graduate of New York University. He also enrolled in graduate courses at Pace University. Mr. Rich’s family had a business, which he was involved in for a time, where he gained valuable business knowledge as well as insight into some of the emotional issues endemic to family businesses. After he liquidated that business he became a certified public accountant, eventually becoming co-senior equity partner of a large regional accounting firm which was the result of a merger of a medium-size CPA firm that he co-founded. He also co-founded a successful management consulting firm, which now operates as Rothstein Kass' Business Consulting Group.

"In accounting, many of the issues you face, even though they are business issues, have psychological underpinnings," Mr. Rich said. "I am very interested in the psychology of business, how decisions that appear rational on the surface often come from a deep emotional place."

As a Board member, Mr. Rich focuses on financial concerns, but he also is very involved with planning.

"The most fun is being part of the long-range planning committee," he remarked. "We are trying to answer questions such as, where is the future of Ackerman? How can we help the community? How can we grow? I believe Ackerman needs to grow because it offers so much to the community and can really benefit so many families."