CEO, Entrepreneur, and Private Equity Leader
Ralph Thurman
Ralph Thurman

Ralph Thurman is a successful entrepreneur and executive who has worked as an operating partner and senior advisor in the private equity field for more than a decade. Prior to that, Thurman led several major healthcare and technology organizations and earned recognition from Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year in Healthcare.

Previously, Thurman was the president, director, and CEO of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals Inc. Under his leadership, the company achieved the highest total return to shareholders among pharmaceutical companies for that decade. He later headed Corning Life Sciences as chairman and CEO. During this time, he achieved a $3 billion incremental market capitalization following the spinoff of two NYSE companies.

Ralph Thurman was also the founder, chairman, and CEO of Viasys Healthcare Inc. He created the company by acquiring and integrating 23 businesses and investing in R&D to push major products to the #1 market share position. Within five years of Viasys’ IPO, Thurman had increased the enterprise value of the company four times over.

Prior to his business career, Ralph Thurman was a United States Air Force fighter pilot with more than 420 hours of combat flight. He instructed other pilots in advanced flying techniques and earned several honors for his service, including induction into the Distinguished Flying Cross Society.

Currently, Thurman is working on a book that compares his experiences as a fighter pilot to his leadership in the boardroom. He draws many parallels between the skills needed to excel in military service and business leadership.

Ralph Thurman is also an active philanthropist. He has donated to several charities and causes in his local Philadelphia community and around the world. In addition, he is the founder of The Giving Tree Foundation. The organization has funded an orphanage for 80 boys and created a food program that provides meals to more than 300 students. Previously, Thurman co-chaired corporate fundraisers for the Philadelphia American Red Cross and spearheaded the creation of an endowed chair in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to annually fund two full scholarships at The Gifft Hill School in the West Indies.

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