Richard Borer: Much Left to Do

Former West Haven mayor and current Easter Seals Goodwill Industries President Richard Borer enjoyed shifting gears from politics to non-profits-which shouldn't be that much of a surprise considering his current passion is competing in triathlons, which consists of switching among swimming, biking, and running.
Former West Haven mayor and current Easter Seals Goodwill Industries President Richard Borer enjoyed shifting gears from politics to non-profits-which shouldn't be that much of a surprise considering his current passion is competing in triathlons, which consists of switching among swimming, biking, and running.

There's an old saying that "once a politician, always a politician," but H. Richard Borer has never been one to shy away from new endeavors.

Rich was the mayor of West Haven for 14 years, from 1991 to 2005. But since April of 2006, he has been president of Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, first located in New Haven and now headquartered for the past three years on Washington Avenue in North Haven.

And, he says, "I try not to look back too much; there's just too much to do."

In a recent interview at the North Haven location, where Rich was constantly interrupted by workers, staff, and clients giving him high fives and slapping him on the back, the energetic chief executive talked about the company's North Haven footprint and how he wound up working there.

"After I finished as mayor," Rich says, "it was on my bucket list to get my master's of business administration, which I did. Then I was encouraged to apply for this job, which I did, and I was lucky enough to be chosen from hundreds of applications."

Rich admits that he still gets a kick when he's in West Haven when somebody approaches him at a restaurant and says, ""I wish you were still mayor," but, "I love what I do here and I see myself doing this until I drop."

Rich spends a lot of time fundraising for the organization, a tough job in tight economic times. "But luckily people know about our mission, so it makes my work a little easier."

Easter Seals Goodwill Industries is a dual-branded non-profit service provider. Its mission statement reads: "To enhance employment, educational, social, and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and other challenges."

Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 100 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.

Easter Seals Goodwill Industries also owns and operates 13 second-hand retail stores and one outlet through south-central and eastern Connecticut.

All proceeds from store sales directly support the mission of Easter Seals Goodwill Industries.

Rich is excited about working in North Haven.

"This is a perfect location for us, on Upper Washington Avenue," he says, noting it's an area that North Haven officials have targeted as ripe for future development.

Rich lives in the Woodmont section of Milford, where he was born and grew up. He is the father of four children who live in the area, John, Jennifer, Katie, and Drew, and has three grandchildren with another on the way. He also has eight brothers and sisters.

"I like to have big family sleepovers at my house in Woodmont on Friday nights," says Rich.

Rich comes from good genes. His parents, Rich and Irene, are still in their son's words "very active" at the age of 87.

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