Rich Crawford sets an exemplary standard for any group looking to enhance their event with an Inspirational, Humorous and Motivational speaker.
Richard P. Crawford Jr. was born and raised in Grinnell, Iowa. The son of Richard and Carol Crawford, he shared his childhood with one older brother, Ben. By age ten, Rich was legally blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa. He began attending the Iowa School for the Blind at Vinton, Iowa.
After five years, Rich was asked to leave the school for the blind because he was a discipline problem. He went back to Grinnell, IA., to attend public school. This was long before the integration of handicapped students into classrooms.
Rich overcame many obstacles in his high school career. He became involved in many extracurricular activities. He participated in wrestling and his senior year (1968) he was both Captain of the wrestling team and qualified for the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament. He was also in choir, drama, and school politics. He was elected senior class president.
After high school graduation, Rich became the first person in his family to attend college. Rich graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA., with majors in Business Administration and Business Education. He graduated in just 3 years while holding down numerous part-time jobs. He later received his MBA from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D.
Rich and his wife, Sara, met on a blind date. They have been married since November 20th 1982 and have three children and two granddaughters. Rich enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. He enjoys fishing, reading, deer hunting, motorcycle riding, snow skiing and other outdoor activities.
January 2, 2017, after 41 years in the investment business, Rich retired as Senior Vice President investment advisor of R. W. Baird. His team managed over 235 million is assets with clients from over 25 states doing business with fourth and fifth generations of family members. Rich is looking forward to the next chapter of his wonderful life and giving and sharing with other through public speaking.
Rich values education and prides himself on his community service, especially his service to the blind.
He has served as the President of the Siouxland Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
Rich has been recognized by four different Iowa Governors. He was appointed by Iowa Governor Robert Ray for a 3 year term, he was one of three Commissioners overseeing programs for the blind in Iowa (1980).
He was chosen as the Handicapped Iowan of the Year by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (1986).
He received a Governor’s Volunteer of the Year Award from Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (2000) for his work with blind children and their families and advocating for the blind.
Appointed by Iowa Governor Chet Culver to serve on the Targeted Small Business Loan Board, a division of the Iowa Department of Business and Economic Development.
Service to the National Federation for the Blind (NFB)
– 1998-2008 2nd Vice President of the NFB of Iowa
– 1988-1998 President of the Siouxland Chapter of the NFB
– 1998-2010 Secretary/Treasurer of the Siouxland Chapter of the NFB
Has been active in Lions Club, Kiwanis, and Rotary. He has also served on the board of directors of the Siouxland Boys Club, March of Dimes, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.