Richie has relished the excitement, diversity, nourishment and insight from his 39-year career in sales engineering, process control consulting, strategy consulting, marketing consulting, and entrepreneurial start-ups in food, health care services, renewable energy, and resource recovery. He is a public speaker and advocate for changes to the American health care system. He is a passionate advocate, declarer, and student that knows how the world works and how to make things work (better) in the world. His actions are intended to inspire his children.
Rich graduated from Lehman College in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. It was at this time (in student government) that he discovered the power of advocacy. He then served as a Rotary Foundation ambassador of good will in Germany, where he studied the Holocaust. During this tenure, he was transformed in his beliefs and from this experience; he became convinced that one of the key lessons of the Holocaust was that mass extermination of innocent souls was possible when people were placed in groups, so as to dehumanize them.
He began his formal career in Honeywell as a sales engineer. During his tenure there, he fell in love with engineering, technology, and C-suite sales. He then became an operations consultant to Fortune 100 clients in North America, South America, and Europe working with over 150 manufacturing and distribution facilities, where he took apart and redesigned production processes to improve quality, throughput, and costs.
From 1989 to 1992, Rakowski was a partner at Marketing Corporation of America (now the Growth Platforms Institute, a part of the Interpublic Group) where he provided marketing counsel to Fortune 100 companies. His partners included the former VP’s of marketing from most of the top packaged goods companies. It was at this time that he discovered (and became enamored with) the power of brands.
In 1992, he founded and led New Paradigm Ventures (NPV), a consulting and investment firm in the health care and food industry market. A study conducted by NPV on medical outcomes improvement resulted in the care enhancement strategy that Mr. Rakowski brought to American Healthways to respond to perceived gaps in the U.S. health care system. During his tenure, Healthways stock grew from $18 per share to a non-split-adjusted $53 per share on a roughly 10% increase in volume. New Paradigm Ventures developed new business ventures in conjunction with brands such as Campbell Soup Company, Centrum, The Discovery Channel, GE, Nissan, and General Nutrition Centers.
He served as President of American Healthways, (now Healthways, Inc.; NASDAQ: HWAY), a large market cap health care company based in Nashville, TN, which serves the needs of patients with chronic and acute health conditions. This specific experience inspired him and passionately drew him into a focus on healthcare services.
In 2007, along with his partner and best friend, Andy Lipman, he founded Intersection, LLC with a business thesis founded upon the principles of insight, passion, and a commitment to develop and deploy emerging/transformational business models. In 2011 and then in 2013, this relationship platform was fortunate enough to attract two more partners: Stephen Garchik and Rami Karjian. It is rare to cherish who you work with and this blessing is something that makes Intersection very special for Mr. Rakowski.
Rich has extensively worked, lived, and traveled internationally and deeply believes that our economy, human community, and issues are global in nature.
Rich and his father were featured in the documentary film “Mr. Rakowski”, which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and examines the effects of the Holocaust on his childhood and their relationship. Rich has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, ABC News, and other media outlets.