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Jeffrey Richard to Lead American Technion Society

Melvyn H. Bloom to become Executive Vice President Emeritus

NEW YORK, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Technion Society (ATS) announced today that Jeffrey Richard, of Riverdale, N.Y., will become the organization's new Executive Vice President in May, following a nationwide search. Melvyn H. Bloom, who has led the organization for the past three decades, will become Executive Vice President Emeritus.

The American Technion Society (ATS) announced today that Jeffrey Richard, of Riverdale, N.Y., will become the organization's new Executive Vice President in May, following a nationwide search.

Mr. Richard, a fundraising professional with more than two decades of top-level experience in the field, currently serves as Vice President for University Development at Columbia University, where he has played a major role in Columbia's $6 billion campaign. He served previously as Columbia's Deputy Vice President for Professional Schools and Programs, preceded by four years as Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

"Our eight-member committee carefully considered a number of candidates that were presented to us by executive search firm Korn Ferry," said Ben Z. Sosewitz, Chairman of the Search Committee. "Jeff brings the skills and the energy needed to not only continue our tradition of fundraising excellence, but to help us reach even more people to achieve ever higher goals in support of the Technion."

"We are delighted to welcome Jeff to the ATS to build on the wonderful accomplishments of the organization," said Scott Leemaster, ATS national President.

In addition to his work at Columbia University, Mr. Richard served as Director of Development at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where he was responsible for implementing a comprehensive campaign and successfully increasing revenue from major gift philanthropists. 

Prior to his work in higher education development, he spent a number of years in the Jewish communal world as the National Coordinator for Major Gifts for the United Jewish Communities, and as Associate Director of Development and Annual Campaigns at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. Jeff is active in his community as a Trustee of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale; a Board member of the Heller School Alumni Association at Brandeis University, his alma mater; and is a Development Committee Member of RAVSAK: Jewish Community Day School Network. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Hillel Foundation at Tufts University.

"The American Technion Society presents a unique opportunity to merge my vocation and avocation," said Mr. Richard, referring to his professional experience in fundraising and his lifelong devotion to Israel and to education.

He added that he hopes to help inspire future supporters with "the magic of Technion science and technology that can help make a difference in people's lives around the world."

Mr. Richard received a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University. He also received a Master of Management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and a Master of Arts from the Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service, at Brandeis University. He was awarded the Jane Addams Fellowship at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. He was also recognized with a number of awards and scholarships.

Mr. Richard will work closely with Mr. Bloom, who will continue to serve the organization for the next two years to assist in a smooth transition and planning for the future. "Mel Bloom is a visionary in the fundraising world and I'm grateful that he will continue to be part of the ATS as I learn its multiple aspects, aspirations and challenges," Mr. Richard said.

"I had the privilege of working with Ben Sosewitz and the very conscientious Search Committee throughout the year-long process. I look forward to helping Jeff learn about our organization, and how our strategy, good planning and top team have delivered consistently good results," said Mr. Bloom.

The ATS is one of the most successful fundraising organizations in the United States, in league with many of America's top universities.  Since its founding in 1940, it has raised nearly $2 billion, 93 percent of that during Mr. Bloom's tenure. The current 2009-2015 "Innovation for a Better World" campaign is expected to achieve or exceed its goal of $520 million, as has been the case with all of the organization's previous campaigns. This record of achievement has placed the ATS on The Chronicle of Philanthropy's "Philanthropy 400" every year since the list's inception in 1991.

"The American Technion Society is key to the Technion's achievements and continued success. Jeff's work in higher education development shows great promise for the future of the organization that will help sustain our unprecedented level of growth," said Technion President Peretz Lavie.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel's renown as the world's "Start-Up Nation." Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is a vital component of Cornell NYC Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City's economy.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.

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