Tom Richards most recently served as the Mayor of the City of Rochester from March, 2011 until December, 2013. He began his service to the City in January, 2006 as the Corporation Counsel. Before joining the City, he was the volunteer founding Chairman of the Greater Rochester Enterprise, a public/private partnership dedicated to the economic development of the Rochester region.
From 1998 until 2002, he was the chairman, president and chief executive officer of RGS Energy Group, the parent company of Rochester Gas & Electric. He joined RG&E in 1991 and served as general counsel, senior vice president for corporate services, senior vice president for finance and president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining RG&E, Mr. Richards was a partner in the Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (now Nixon Peabody) law firm. During his 20 years with the firm he specialized in civil litigation and served at various times as the managing partner and chairman of the management committee.
Mr. Richards is currently serving as Chairman of the Rochester Joint School Construction Board that is responsible for an approximately $800 program to modernize the Rochester city school facilities.
He has been involved in a number of charitable and community organizations and is currently serving on the boards of Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, University of Rochester Medical Center, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Volunteer Legal Services Program, Rochester Area Community Foundation and as a Trustee of the Seneca Waterways Boy Scout Council. He also serves on the Board of the Canandaigua National Bank.
He has received the New York State Bar Association Root/Stimson Award, the Rochester Rotary Award and the Monroe County Bar Association Rodenbeck Award. In each case, the organization’s highest award for public service.
Mr. Richards is a graduate of Bucknell University and Cornell University Law School. He served for four years in the U.S. Navy, including a year as the Swift Boat Officer in Vietnam. He and his wife Betty live in Rochester. They have two sons whose families include five grandchildren.