Richard Birney has served on the Inheritance of Hope (IoH) Board of Directors for over five years. He has been an integral part of the organization for even longer.
Richard and his wife Peggy first met IoH founders Deric and Kristen Milligan in the pews of Fishkill Baptist Church. Richard remembers, “They sat on the row in front of us. I could tell they were both nice and we invited them to lunch. That started the whole thing. And it’s still all about relationships.”
In those pews, a life-long friendship and life-changing partnership developed. Richard, an expert in venture capital and start-ups, mentored Deric through the early stages of forming IoH. They worked together on a business plan, and Richard asked many difficult questions to prepare Deric for the rigors ahead. As Richard explains, not all entrepreneurs calculate the costs of implementing their bright ideas. However, the leadership of IoH has been up to the challenge, since the very beginning.
In 2009, Richard and Peggy hosted Inheritance of Hope’s second Legacy Retreat® at their vacation rental property in Fishkill, NY. An intimate group of a few participants enjoyed events in the Birneys’ living room, and each family stayed in a private lakeside cottage.
From those beginnings, Inheritance of Hope has served families from 38 states. Now, the Board of Directors is actively seeking ways to engage a wider audience. Positioning IoH to be the leader in its field, the board hopes to create a center of expertise for families facing the loss of a parent. Through new initiatives such as webinars and more frequent communications, IoH will be able to offer hope to more families.
As Richard points out, the problems faced by these families are very real and widespread. Every community is touched by the untimely illness of a young parent. The board continues to learn what benefits families most during Legacy Retreats® and hopes to use this information to reach even more.
Richard emphasizes that at the heart of these goals is always the loving acceptance of anyone into the IoH family, and the principle that “Every Family Deserves a Legacy.”®
“A key part of our agenda is to provide hope and the faith that there is more to our legacy than that on earth.”
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