For fashion industry CEO Richard Gossett, charity really does begin at home.
Richard is the founder and CEO of International apparel design and marketing company RDG Global. As a father, a businessman, and a philanthropist, he believes that it’s just as important to focus on the immediate needs of your community as it is to focus on long-term goals; RDG’s mission statement is, after all, "Improve what is, and create what’s next."
The Gossett family lives in Bronxville, NY, just a stone’s throw away from nearby Mount Vernon: The two cities are close in proximity, but vastly far apart in terms of economics. That’s how he came to sit on the board of The Boys and Girls Club — and why he has remained for over 5 years.
“A friend of mine was the head of the board and invited me because I live one mile from Mount Vernon, where the Boys and Girls Club is located. Compared to Bronxville, Mount Vernon has a high percentage of low income families so I wanted to give back to my community and lend a hand to those in need — especially the kids,” he notes. A father himself, Gossett can't stand to see children want for anything.
And lend a hand he does – to say the least. It's rare that a CEO will get as personally involved in helping his own backyard — and in such a direct way. Gossett has organized numerous fundraisers over the years for the Boys and Girls Club. In 2015 he threw a fundraiser that collected $35,000 to purchase a new van for the organization. During the 2017 holiday season, he hosted a breakfast where the “suggested” $500 entry contributions helped to upgrade the Boys and Girls Club from top to bottom, literally, funding repairs and updates to the boiler, alarm and lighting systems, flooring, and more. And every year, Irene Gossett, President of RDG Global organizes a Christmas event where families can purchase products donated by RDG Global and other industry contributors for $1; the proceeds are then donated all back to the Boys and Girls Club.
A spin instructor with 20 years of experience, in 1998 he launched one of the first cycling studios in the US, an East Hampton studio known as The Zone. Now, Richard takes his passion and uses it to hosts a fundraising ride for St. Jude, donating thousands to the children’s research hospital each year.
Gossett and his wife Irene, also open up their own home in the name of charity. In addition to donating a stay at their East Hampton house for auction at the Boys and Girls Club Annual Gala, they do the same for the annual Young At Arts Benefit, as well as Macy’s United Way Campaign.
More often than not, great change comes from leading by example. And for Richard Gossett and his wife Irene, that means starting right where you are.