[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 172 (Thursday, November 19, 2009)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2812-E2813]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. THOMAS E. PETRI

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, November 19, 2009

  Mr. PETRI. Madam Speaker, as Bill Gates once said, ``Great 
organizations demand a high level of commitment by the people 
  I rise today to recognize Rick Kessler, whose commitment to one 
particular organization--the Ripon Society--has not only spanned three 
decades, but has left a lasting impact on public policy debate in the 
United States.
  In 1962, as a student attending Harvard University, I helped found 
the Ripon Society. The intent was to provide Republicans with a place 
where they could debate the issues and discuss the challenges of the 
  Rick's involvement with Ripon dates back to the early 1980s. He had 
been involved with John Anderson's presidential campaign, where he 
served as National Finance Director before going on to serve on the 
Inaugural Committee for President Reagan.
  Rick joined the Ripon Society as Executive Director in 1981 and 
immediately set out to revitalize the organization. Among his 
accomplishments, Rick created the Congressional Advisory Board; the 
nonpartisan Ripon Educational Fund Transatlantic Conference; the 
Congressional Liaison Board; the Rough Rider Awards Dinner; and he 
oversaw the rejuvenation of The Ripon Forum, the Society's journal of 
thought and opinion. More than anything, though, Rick carried the 
organization on his shoulders through good times and bad.
  In 2004, Rick was invited to follow in the footsteps of the Honorable 
Bill Frenzel and become the President of the Ripon Society. He has 
served in this role with great distinction.
  Rick also was busy raising a family. He and his wife Daphne have been 
married for 21

[[Page E2813]]

years, and are the proud parents of two wonderful children, their 
daughter Sam and son Ryan.
  After five years as President, Rick recently announced that he is 
stepping down and becoming President Emeritus of the Ripon Society. I 
would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all that he has 
done for Ripon. What started out 47 years ago as a seed on the Harvard 
campus has become a strong and sturdy tree in Washington, DC, today.
  It is a tree rooted in ideas, and one whose growth over the past 30 
years would not have been possible without the dedication and 
commitment of Rick Kessler.
  I thank him for his service.