Alfred University News

Alfred University draws on Crayola for newest Trustee

Rich Wuerthele '83
Rich Wuerthele '83

Since graduating from Alfred University with a degree in business management in 1983, Richard Wuerthele has enjoyed a successful career as an executive leading some of the most recognized names in the consumer goods industry. As a newly-elected member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees, Wuerthele will have the opportunity to use his business acumen to serve his alma mater.


ALFRED, NY – Since graduating from Alfred University with a degree in business management in 1983, Richard Wuerthele has enjoyed a successful career as an executive leading some of the most recognized names in the consumer goods industry. As a newly-elected member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees, Wuerthele will have the opportunity to use his business acumen to serve his alma mater.

Wuerthele, who will begin serving on the Board of Trustees July 1, is president and CEO of Crayola LLC, a global leader in children’s creative expression products, including the iconic Crayola Crayon. He has also served as CEO of Newell Brands’ Home Fragrance and Outdoor and Recreation divisions, which include, respectively, the popular Yankee Candle and Coleman brands.

 “We are extremely pleased and honored to have Rich Wuerthele join our Board of Trustees,” said Mark Zupan, Alfred University president. “Rich’s expertise in business and his sustained record of success leading companies like Crayola will serve our Board and Alfred University well.”

 “I am excited, honored and humbled to be joining Alfred University’s Board of Trustees,” said Wuerthele. “I wish to thank Mark Zupan, Greg Connors (’92, Board chair), Steve Heine (’81, Trustee), and the entire Board of Trustees for affording me this opportunity. I look forward to joining the team and working to continue to advance Alfred University into a global, premier university.”

“Rich Wuerthele’s record of success in his profession speaks for itself,” Connors commented. “We are fortunate to have Rich on our Board of Trustees. I look forward to working with him to promote Alfred University and advance our mission.”

 Wuerthele was appointed to lead Crayola—a Hallmark Cards, Inc., company with more than 2,300 employees, four manufacturing facilities, eight distribution centers, and five Crayola Experience retail attractions—in January of 2020. He helped Crayola weather the effects of the COVID pandemic, with the company experiencing record-breaking revenues.

During his tenure with Crayola, the company launched its award-winning Colors of the World collection. Unveiled on May, 21, 2020—World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development—the Colors of the World collection of markers, crayons, and pencils match the skin tones of nearly all the world’s population. The Colors of the World collection has won awards from PRWeek (Global Award for Corporate and Social Responsibility), The One Club for Creativity (ADC Award for Product Design), DrivenxDesign (New York Design Award, Product Design and Education), and the Toy Foundation (Toy of the Year).

Wuerthele came to the Easton, PA-based company with more than 30 years of experience in the consumer goods industry, where he used a unique blend of experience in marketing and manufacturing of both consumer and commercial products to lead a variety of companies.

Prior to serving as Division CEO for Newell Brands from 2016-20, Wuerthele served two years as executive vice president/general manager of Bauer Ice Hockey, an Exeter, NH-based maker of ice hockey equipment. Before that, he was at Newell Rubbermaid for 12 years (2002-14), as president of the company’s Tools Business Segment; Industrial Products & Services, LENOX Tools; and North American Sales Organization. He also served as vice president of sales for LENOX Tools.

Wuerthele began his business career with Black and Decker Corp., where he served in a variety of sales and marketing positions—including vice president of sales, wholesale, and vice president of marketing, DeWalt—from 1986-98. He spent four years (1998-2002) with Dahaner Tool Group, as vice president of industrial sales and general manager, consumer tools.

Prior to joining Black and Decker, Wuerthele was assistant director of Student Activities and assistant soccer coach at Southern New Hampshire University. He says his experience in business and higher education administration will serve him well as a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees.

“I believe my experiences in building successful businesses and successful teams will easily assist in helping Alfred University move forward,” he said. “My experience in both higher education and business will bode well for me as I assimilate onto the Board.”

While a student at Alfred University, Wuerthele was a four-year starter on the Saxons’ men’s soccer team, twice being named team MVP. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity as well as the undergraduate honor society, Delta Mu Delta. He and his wife, Alfred University alumna Eileen Wohltmann Wuerthele ’85, live in Easton, PA, and are the parents of three children.

“Alfred University was instrumental in helping me be successful both personally and professionally. AU helped me on both fronts by honing the soft and hard skills a person needs to be successful in life,” Wuerthele commented. “In particular, the University awakened a driving curiosity in me which has been the backbone and much of the reason for my success in my professional career.”