As a prominent member of the D.C. business community, Rich LaFleur volunteers with Junior Achievement because of its focus on developing today's students into tomorrow's leaders.
"There are few organizations like JA that align the business community with supporting a financially responsible future for our country, our economy, and personal success," he said.
LaFleur is the Partner-in-Charge, Industries and Markets, of Grant Thornton LLP, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Junior Achievement's mission to promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship resonated with LaFleur's role at the firm, leading to his 12-plus years of JA volunteerism.
He currently serves as Chair of the Montgomery County Advisory Council and Chair of the 2018 Washington Business Hall of Fame Committee.
"I got involved with JA for the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that invests in our children, providing a path to their future in a financially responsible manner," he said.
Grant Thornton engages with Junior Achievement on multiple levels. Tim O'Neil, Grant Thornton's Partner, Audit Services, recently filled LaFleur's JA Board of Director's seat. Grant Thornton employees regularly volunteer in-classroom and at JA Finance Park®, as well as host JA Bowl-a-Thon events.
"A valuable aspect of Grant Thornton's ROI is from our JA relationship," LaFleur said. "It's rewarding to inspire others to get involved and give of their time, talent and financial support."
One of LaFleur's most memorable JA moments was meeting David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, who sponsors the Junior Achievement Essay Competition. He also enjoyed meeting and getting to know Craig Rice who is a member of the Montgomery County Council. "He is an authentic civic leader for whom I have a ton of respect," LaFleur said.
Beyond philanthropic work, LaFleur is a passionate D.C. sports and Dallas Cowboys fan. Roger Staubach, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, is a successful businessman whom he greatly admires.
LaFleur attended Miami University of Ohio where he met his wife, Janet. They have two adult children, Alison and James, and one furry child, a golden retriever named Winston.
As far as his advice for the next generation, LaFleur encourages young people to think beyond salary.
"Find work that you deeply enjoy and are passionate about because financial rewards are only one part of a fulfilled life."
If you are inspired by this story and would like to volunteer with JA, there are plenty of different ways to get involved. Simply fill out our Volunteer Inquiry Form and a JA staff member will be in touch shortly to discuss what time, location, and opportunity are right for your schedule and interests.