Purpose in Empowering: Continuing a Legacy Through the Next Generation

When Rick Herman learned that We Raise Foundation (formerly Wheat Ridge Ministries) had created a fund in his name to recognize inspired young leaders, he was both honored and humbled.

“One of the real joys over 23 years of working at Wheat Ridge Ministries was observing these really talented and dedicated leaders trying to do good in their communities and make a difference,” he said.

Rick served Wheat Ridge Ministries from 1992 to 2015; in 2006, he was elected to serve as president. He retired in 2015.

“It’s been really fun to see the leaders that they’ve selected for the award,” he says. “These are just brilliant people, no matter what age, but it’s really cool that We Raise can honor and promote them. And by doing that, they’re encouraging other people with similar aspirations.”

[Meet all of the Richard E. Herman Leadership Award Winners]

In retirement, Rick has kept his focus on the nonprofit world—but at a slightly different pace. “When I was still with Wheat Ridge, I always seemed to be looking ahead to something related to the organization and what we were up to,” Rick said. “After retiring, it took a while to just be at peace with the fact that I didn’t have to be engaged every minute of every day and always have some big plan in the works or some travel about to happen.”

But if you think that means he isn’t busy, think again—he remains engaged in the nonprofit world, serving on several nonprofit boards and completing short-term contract projects.

The Hermans moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2018 after Deb retired from Concordia University Chicago, where she served as chair of the Art Department, curator of the University Art collection, and tenured professor of art. The couple volunteers with a food packing ministry through their church and finds themselves occupied by projects in their house and yard and exploring their (still) new neighborhood.

Rick continues to be in contact with We Raise staff and the Hermans support the foundation with monthly giving. “I didn’t lose my interest in the mission of We Raise just because I’m not in the building,” he said. “I really appreciate that We Raise is an organization that will take a risk on the front end of important initiatives addressing the issues at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality.”

One of the big blessings of retirement for Rick and his wife, Deb, has been more time with their granddaughter, Eleanor.

Rick says that he and Deb are glad to be reasonably healthy people for a couple in their 60s and are looking forward to whatever lies ahead. “We have a lot of opportunity to be generous with our resources and respond to the gospel by giving back,” he said. “I would say if you’re looking to see what’s new out there in the human care, social justice, and social ministry, you’re always going to see those things supported by We Raise.”

Whether you contribute to the Richard E. Herman Leadership Award Fund or provide a monthly gift, your generosity helps We Raise invest in organizations and programs that bring healing and hope to the communities that need it most.

We thank Rick for his many years of leadership at We Raise and for his continued faithful support … and we thank you, too, for the important role you play in our work!

We work hand in hand with Christian non-profits to end poverty, violence and inequality in our communities. Take action today and raise up those in need.