Saratoga Springs, NY- Richard Leifer, a treasured husband, father, mentor and friend, passed away peacefully after an extended illness on Monday, December 19, 2011, with his family by his side.
A passionate golfer, a world traveler, an intellectual, humorist and seeker, Richard's warmth and integrity made him a light to those who loved him and earned the respect of all who knew him. His imprint on the world began on October 9, 1942, in Bayside, Queens. After growing up in Los Altos, CA, and receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Richard began his career as an associate professor of management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It was there that he met and fell in love with Jane. The two then moved to Petaluma, CA, to begin a family and in 1980. Richard's vitamin and natural body care product line, Fern River, was one of the first of its kind to enter the marketplace.
Richard was then called back east to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, where he spent the next 25 years as an associate professor at the Lally School of Management. At RPI, Richard was the Director of the Executive MBA Program and taught a special executive level series in conjunction with General Motors.
After co-authoring two books, “Radical Innovation” and “Grabbing Lightning,” Richard was regularly called upon by large and small companies and organizations to help them establish a more innovative culture. Richard also gave regular talks and workshops on his radical innovation concept at the Technical University at Denmark and at the MBA program at the University of Alberta.
In addition to writing an ongoing business column for 10 years at The Saratogian, Richard was also on the board of directors at Brandes Associates, Inc.
Richard is survived by his beloved wife of 32 years, Dr. Jane Leifer; sons, Gabriel and Jeffrey Leifer; brothers, Bill and Ben; sister, Betty; and grandson, Andrew.
A memorial service was held Thursday, December 22.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Richard's name to The American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge or to The Saratoga Hospital Foundation; two organizations selflessly dedicated to providing comfort to patients and families in need.