Buffalo, NY — Melinda R. Rich, who served as vice-chairman, executive vice-president and a member of the board of directors for Rich Products Corp., has been named chairman of the family-owned corporate parent company, Rich Holdings Inc.
She succeeds Robert E. Rich Jr. who served as chairman for 16 years. He is now senior chairman and will support his wife as she leads the company.
Rich joined Rich’s in 1985 and worked in various roles as part of the leadership team, including executive vice-president of innovation. In that position, the company reports that she unified initiatives across the enterprise, established best practices and processes and identified new business opportunities and technologies. She also expanded the breadth and accelerated the pace of product development in support of Rich’s long-term growth strategies. She also chairs the board’s Finance and Audit and Compensation and Organization committees.
“This decision was made after years of very deliberate and careful planning,” she says. “Intentional succession planning is a crucial part of fostering a robust leadership pipeline — especially in a family-led company like ours. We expect and demand that our senior leaders actively participate in this kind of forethought, and we hold ourselves accountable to the same expectations as stewards of Rich Products and our family of businesses.”
In the course of her career, Rich has focused on developing and nurturing the company’s award-winning organizational culture. She has also served as executive vice-chair of Rich Entertainment Group, responsible for overseeing the organization’s baseball, theater, restaurant and travel interests.
“Serving this company as chairman is one of the great honors of my life,” she adds. “I’ve had the privilege of being an integral part of Rich’s for nearly four decades and deeply admire and respect what we, as the Rich family, have built over the past 77 years. I have the utmost pride in what our family name stands for and an even deeper desire to preserve and protect what my predecessors worked so hard to establish.”
Rich graduated from University of Colorado in 1979 with a B.A. in psychology and business. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from The Culinary Institute of America in 2001 and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from D’Youville College in 2007.
“Mindy’s steadfast support and commitment to remaining a private, family-owned business that’s successful over the long-term cannot be understated,” says CEO Richard Ferranti. “Her leadership as chairman is key as we continue to transform our company to create greater value for our associates, customers and communities for generations to come.”