VIENNA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Envision EMI, a leading provider of educational, leadership and career-focused programs, announced today that John B. Richards has been named chief executive officer, effective immediately. Richards, who has more than 30 years of senior corporate leadership and marketing experience across a variety of industries, replaces Will Lynn, partner and executive vice chairman of Gryphon Investors, who is president of Envision EMI and had been serving as interim CEO.
Most recently, Richards, 62, served as CEO and a director of Gift Corporation Inc., and for the past five years, Richards has also been a principal and managing director at The New England Consulting Group, a marketing management consulting firm. Richards has held senior level posts at a variety of well-known companies, including serving as CEO of Elizabeth Arden Red Door, Dean & Deluca and The Picture People. He was also the President of North American Operations at Starbucks Coffee, and an Executive Vice President at Four Seasons Hotels.
“We are very pleased to welcome an executive of John’s caliber to Envision,” said Lynn. “Throughout his career, John has built highly-respected category leaders and gold-standard brands, and we believe his leadership and marketing experience will be instrumental as we continue to grow the Envision platform. From our well-known National Young Scholars program to the highly-anticipated 2013 Presidential Inaugural Conferences, we look forward to introducing the unparalleled Envision EMI programs to new groups of students and educators. ”
“I am excited to join Envision EMI, with its history of providing the finest experiential education programs,” said Richards. “Parents and teachers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of supplementing class work with enriching experiences, and we believe Envision’s programs are preparing the next generation of leaders by helping them explore topics of importance and great interest. I look forward to working with Envision’s team of talented professionals and educators to deliver exciting, real-life experiences to a broad group of motivated learners.”
Envision is currently enrolling high-achieving students in fifth grade through college in 12 different leadership and career exploration programs to be held this summer and fall in Washington, D.C. and select cities across the U.S., as well as in Australia, Europe and China. In January 2013, Envision will host its 8th Presidential Inaugural Conference, a nonpartisan educational event held every four years in Washington, D.C. for middle school, high school and college students in conjunction with, and in celebration of, the Inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States.
Mr. Richards holds a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
About Envision EMI
Envision EMI is a leading provider of educational, leadership and career-focused programs for high achieving students. For more than 25 years, Envision EMI’s programs have provided more than 600,000 students, from elementary school through college-age, with hands-on, on-site experiences that go beyond the typical classroom. Envision EMI's conferences are run under several brands that are well-known in the marketplace, including the National Young Scholars Program (NYSP), the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF), and the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP). Envision EMI is owned by Leadership Platform Acquisition Corporation (LPAC). For more information, please go to: www.envisionemi.com.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) focuses on leveraged acquisitions of, and growth investments in, middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. Having managed $1 billion of discretionary equity capital, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $25 to $100 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $25 to $250 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, professional resources and operational expertise.