Rick Ahaus (Chairman & Co-founder)
An electrical engineer by trade, Rick Ahaus has worked in his family business, Ahaus Tool and Engineering, since 1966. Beginning as a toolmaker in training he gained hands-on experience in the metal working industry. He soon became vice president of sales and engineering and, in 2005, chairman of the board. Rick is also actively involved in the Richmond community. He has been elected to both the Richmond City Council and the Richmond Community Schools school board. He has served as chairman of many local agencies including Richmond Power and Light, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, Dunn Mental Health Center, and the Wayne County Foundation. As a school board member, Rick recognized the importance of students reading on grade level in the third grade. He suggested that reading at grade level become the number one priority of RCS. That philosophy prompted Rick and Vic Jose, a retired Richmond businessman, to establish the Third Grade Academy in 2008. TGA is an intensive summer reading program designed to improve reading skills and comprehension. To provide an avenue for funding Every Child Can Read, a 501C3 organization was created. Rick serves as chairman of that board. To further emphasize the importance of reading, in 2012 ECCR created the K-Ready program which encourages parents to read with their children 20 minutes every day. This program serves all Wayne County children four and younger.
Guy Guthrie (Secretary)
Mr. Guthrie, a retired community businessman, serves as secretary on the board and also serves on the steering committees for both the Third Grade Academy and the K-Ready programs. Outside of these committees, Mr. Guthrie also serves as board treasurer for the Hope House (residential addictions treatment program and men’s homeless shelter), board treasurer for Christian Charities, Inc. (which runs Operation Backpack Blessings) and on the board and executive committee for the Circle U Help Center (food pantry and daily meals provider). Mr. Guthrie grew up in Richmond and returned after a business career in the Midwest. His wife of 43 years is a retired school teacher.
Jon Ford (Treasurer)
Mr. Ford serves as treasurer for the ECCR board. Mr. Ford is a 1958 graduate of Hanover College. He worked for Ralston Purina/Purina Mills for 40 years in various locations including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Battle Creek, MI, Davenport, IA, Mechanicsburg, PA and Richmond, IN. He retired in 1998. Jon has been married to Judy for 56 years and has 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Mr. Ford also serves on the Reid Hospital Board of Directors as their Board Chair, Board of trustees of Ivy Tech Richmond, the Indiana Hospital Association Board of Directors and as an Elder at Christ Presbyterian Church. In the past, Mr. Ford has also served on various local boards including the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Wayne County Foundation, Starr Gennett Foundation, Hanover College Alumni Board and the YMCA.
Dr. John Dehner
Dr. Dehner graduated from DePauw University and Indiana University Medical School. He worked for 42 years in Radiology and Radiation Oncology. He retired from the medical practice in 2006. He is married and has four chidren and eleven grandchildren. He has been a resident of Richmond, Indiana since 1966.
Mrs. Stidham has a degree in elementary education. She taught 5th grade for many years. She was an owner/teacher of a local preschool. She ran after-school programs in private school for many years. She has been a board member of the Boys and Girls Club for 19 years. She also started and ran the Christmas Shop for 16 years. Mrs. Stidham has also ran an etiquette program for 13 years to give children tools and confidence for success. She is a member of Central Methodist Church and has organized a group to perform and introduce dulcimer music to children.
Mr. Burton is a partner in the law firm of Burton & Simkin in Richmond, Indiana. He has been practicing law since 1992. He graduated Cum Laude from Indiana University in 1992 and received is undergrad from the University of Michigan in 1988. His areas of practice include personal injury, civil litigation, medical malpractice, business, real estate, wills, estate planning, estate and probate proceedings.
Dr. Denice Honaker
Dr. Denice Honaker has served as a faculty member in the School of Education at IU East in Richmond, IN, since 2009. She has over 20 years of experience in education. Her career started in early childhood as a teacher, director and owner of preschools and daycares. In addition, she taught kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, Reading Recovery and Literacy Intervention in the Richmond Community School Corporation.
Dr. Honaker earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Early Childhood and Literacy Education) from IU Bloomington, an M.S. degree in Elementary Education from IU, and a B.S. degree in Bible/Church Music from Johnson University.
Dr. Jerry Wilde
Jerry Wilde is the dean of the School of Education and a professor of educational psychology for Indiana University East. Prior to this academic appointment, he spent years working with students who had emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties. He is the author of numerous books and articles on topics such as the use of cognitive-behavior therapy with children and adolescents, anger management, frustration tolerance, and anxiety treatment.
Leslie is an advocate for kids and learning in the Wayne County area. She has worked and volunteered for literacy projects since returning to the area in 2000. She has both bachelor's and masters degrees from Indiana University-Bloomington. She lives in Richmond with her husband, Chad, and two daughters.
Kimberly Poinsett has been with First Bank Richmond since 2004. In her current position as Community Relations Director, she oversees First Banks philanthropic initiatives, community involvement and employee engagement. Prior to joining First Bank, She was with Richmond City Government for 12 years as Community Relations and Media Director for Richmond Parks and Recreation.
Kim is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and Centerville High School. Her involvement with community organizations includes the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Indiana Small Business Development Center, IUE School of Business Advisory Group and the Richmond Lions Club.