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MR. RICHARD NEUHEISEL
Richard Neuheisel, is born in Wisconsin and raised in Cashton, Wisconsin, a town of only 700 people. Good athlete held the State of Wisconsin scoring record in basketball when he graduated from high school. Attended University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance, went on the Law School where he graduated in 1961. Fulfilled a US Army commitment for two years, and then settled in Arizona where he taught Business Law at Arizona State University for 15 years before going into private law practice. During those years was elected to the Tempe City Council. It was as a City Council man he learned about Sister Cities International, the sister city program started by President Dwight Eisenhower...formed the organization in 1970 and twinned with Skopje in 1971. It was the first time an American city partnered with a city in Eastern Europe and was quite historic. The "cold war" was at its zenith and there was great distrust between East and West. This partnership helped increase friendship and understanding between East and West and there are now some 150 sister city relationships between American cities and cities behind the so-called Iron Curtain. Tempe went on to adopt seven more sister cities which circle the globe  (number nine is pending) and has been honored as the finest sister city program in America many times. Tempe Sister Cities has sponsored some 745 student exchanges over the years...151 Skopje students have participated in the student exchange program with Tempe. At the same time Mr. Neuheisel was president of Sister Cities International, the national organization, for some 16 years. During this time the number of sister city relationships between American cities and those around the world doubled. He has visited some 120 countries. The Tempe Sister City program, under his leadership, has also led the nation in philanthropic work...wheelchairs to three sister cities and many projects in Timbuktu, Mali...including the financing of seven drinking water wells, school and medical supplies, sewing machines, and last year completion of an elementary school. Currently there is a civil war going on in Mali and Timbuktu has been invaded. Many Timbuktu friends have escaped to Bamako and TSC is sending financial aid to tide them over. It was Mr. Neuheisel's idea to create an annual Oktoberfest celebration in Tempe as fundraiser for the sister cities program. This Oktoberfest began in 1973 and will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. Attendance has gone from 200 people at the first Oktoberfest to 200,000 last year. It is run entirely by volunteers. Mr. Neuheisel is a member of many organizations including Kiwanis International and was recently inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. He is married to the former Jane Jackson (more than 50 years), has four children: Rick, Nancy, Kate and Deborah and nine grandchildren.

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