It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that I advise you that Richard Diaz, longtime Director of the Riordan Leadership Institute (RLI), passed away suddenly yesterday morning.

Richard led the institute for the last 15 years.  Indeed, in many respects, Richard not only led RLI, he was RLI.  Through his efforts he inspired and empowered hundreds of professionals to be actively and effectively engaged with non-profit organizations serving the greater Los Angeles area.  In addition to his leadership of the traditional RLI programs, Richard recently began several new initiatives to expand RLI to meet needs in other areas of the Los Angeles metro.

The Los Angeles Junior Chamber Charity Foundation is doing what it is able to support Richard’s family, friends and co-workers in this time of grief.  We plan on continuing the ongoing programs and moving forward with the other initiatives Richard recently started to continue the legacy that he began and sustained for so many years.

Richard is survived by his partner Gerry Regalado, his sisters Carmen Diaz and Dolores Diaz-Carrey, his brother Michael Diaz and the hundreds of people who participated in RLI in some manner — many of whom looked to Richard as a teacher, friend and mentor years after their graduation from the program.  We will let you know when memorial service arrangements have been made.

Richard was a man of integrity, honor, passion and commitment to the people of Los Angeles. We will miss Richard and all that he  has done to make Los Angeles a better community.