Richard Merpi

Richard Merpi

School of Communication

Richard Merpi

2006 Alumni Academy Inductee

Richard Merpi has been producing and directing video and live productions for more than thirty years. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, public and private institutions to communicate their message and market their products.

Rick launched his career while at Western Michigan University. In 1971, he was disc jockey and program director at the student-run radio station, WIDR, where he formatted the station and staged live WIDR events in the city of Kalamazoo. While a full-time student, he was hired in 1972, by WKMI-AM in Kalamazoo as an on-air personality.

During his tenure at WMU, Rick distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding television production students in the department. His senior production of "Goodbye Mr. Chimps" was used as a teaching tool for many years after he graduated. It is part of the university archives.

Before college, Rick served honorably in the U.S. Army and used his GI Bill to attend WMU.

As technology in his industry evolved, Rick established his own business and worked in every medium: film, video, cable, CD-Rom, DVD, live satellite. He was among the first to develop video news releases; he created an interactive computer bidding system for non-profit fund raising; large screen computerized walls for the office furniture industry; and blended live events with multi-media technology to maximize impact for grand openings of businesses, convention centers, and hospitals.

Rick is involved in his community. He built and operated a restaurant in the historic Gaslight Village of East Grand Rapids. He serves on the board of the East Grand Rapids Recreation Department. He's past president of the East Grand Rapids Youth Development organization. He's a founding campaign cabinet member of Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids. He's coached baseball, soccer, and basketball. He teaches an adult bible class at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church and sings in the choir.

Rick is married and has two sons and two daughters.

 

School of Communication
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008 USA
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