Richard Graeter

IDFA Ice Cream Board Vice Chair / President and CEO, Graeter's Ice Cream Company

Richard Graeter is the President and CEO of Graeter’s Ice Cream Company, which for four generations has remained dedicated to the tradition of handcrafting artisanal ice cream in extremely small two-and-a-half gallon batches using old-fashioned French Pot freezers. The time-honored French Pot process is a lost art used now used only by Graeter's. It produces a singularly dense, smooth, and creamy product that has been acclaimed by celebrities and ice cream aficionados alike.

Since becoming CEO in 2007, Richard has worked with his cousins and business partners, Chip and Bob, to expand Graeter's to cities throughout the Midwest, opening stores in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, as well as expanding distribution to grocery stores across the USA. In 2010, Graeter’s opened a new manufacturing plant that was named by Dairy Foods Magazine as its Plant of the Year in 2011. The new plant now runs 40 individual French Pot freezers (up for the original four) morning, noon, and night to keep up with the growing national demand for Graeter's authentic French Pot ice cream.

In recognition of his leadership, the Specialty Food Association inducted Richard into their Hall of Fame in 2020. Previously, Ernst and Young named Richard an Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, and the University of Cincinnati’s Goering Center for Family and Private Business inducted the Graeter Family into its Family Business Hall of Fame in 2015. The Munchies, People’s Choice Foods Awards, named Graeter's as the Best Ice Cream in 2013, and again in 2015, and Graeter's took home the trophy for the Best Sweet Dish at the Best of the Munchies SOBEWWF event in 2014.

After graduating from Walnut Hills in 1982, Richard earned a BS in Accounting and Finance from Miami University in1986, and a JD from University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1989. After practicing corporate and tax law at Dinsmore & Shohl, he returned to his family’s business in 1994.

In addition to leading Graeter’s, Richard is active in the community. He served on the board of directors for Cincinnati Public Radio from 2003 to 2012 (Board Chairman 2009-2012, Chairman of the Finance Committee 2004-2008), and currently serves on its Public Radio Campaign Cabinet (to fund a new headquarters) and Community Board. He has also served on boards for The Cure Starts Now Foundation, the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation, and The Spirit of Cincinnatus, and the Cincinnati Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati. He is a member of Cincinnati Regional Business Committee and Vistage Worldwide. He is also a member of Ryland Lakes Country Club, serving on its board of directors from 2011 to 2017 (President 2012-2016). Richard is an active Freemason and has served in various leadership roles within his lodge, the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and Valley of Cincinnati, AASR. He currently serves on the both the Investment Advisory Committee and the charitable Foundation Board for the Valley of Cincinnati, AASR. He received the honorary 33° in recognition of his service in 2010.

Richard is married to his wife Nancy, who is a senior executive with Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. They live in East Walnut Hills and Northern Kentucky. Their two children Will and Kate both graduated from Walnut Hills High School and now attend Miami University.