Inspiring The American Dream Foundation Announces Three Additions To Board of Directors

Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 25, 2015

Ryan Heafy, Patsy Smith and Rick Klausing Recruited to Help Drive Expansion for Opportunity to Succeed Program

Sunset, SC — August 25, 2015 – Inspiring the American Dream Foundation today announced the election of Ryan Heafy, Patsy Wood Smith and Rick Klausing to its Board of Directors. The appointments support Inspiring the American Dream Foundation’s growth strategy that includes aggressive expansion for its Opportunity to Succeed Program throughout Upstate, South Carolina.

RyanRyan Heafy is an innovator in workforce development in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). His vision is to bridge the gap among industry, academic institutions, students and communities. An engineer by trade, Ryan’s career is one of strong innovation, transformation and leadership with expertise in quality systems and supply chain management. He has been involved in several entrepreneurial ventures including iMAGINE Upstate and his own manufacturing consulting company. Ryan is CEO of iMAGINEXT Solutions LLC and Partner at Switch Image Concepts. He was recently named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People of 2014, as well as Greenville Business Magazine 2015 Best & Brightest 35 and Under.

Patsy SmithPatsy Wood Smith started her teaching career with fifth graders at a small mountain elementary school and ended up leading those fifth graders to four national honors. They won Scholastic’s Kids Are Authors Contest for three consecutive years and were the first school to win this award more than once. Her students also won Pizza Hut’s National Contest to celebrate their Book It program’s anniversary, bringing a large cash prize to the small school as well as National recognition. Today, Patsy is the principal of Youth Leadership Academy — a charter school that focuses on leadership, health and wellness, and citizenship. Patsy leads the way by setting a culture for the school where students feel safe to explore, make mistakes and ultimately succeed. She is committed to building student confidence and self-esteem, as well as teaching social responsibility.

Rick KlausingRick Klausing, began his career as a mathematics teacher in Ft. Wayne, IN. Shortly thereafter, he became a partner with Klausing Home Builders in Ohio. Upon obtaining his MBA, Rick joined Burroughs Corporation in Detroit as a systems analyst in the finance department where he was quickly promoted to team leader. This was followed by assignments as senior financial analyst, accounting manager and controller of an application software development center in Atlanta. After Burroughs and Sperry combined to form Unisys, Rick served as a marketing division financial manager, and then a services group controller. Later, he was promoted to Senior Project Controller, managing all financial aspects of a suite of major US and international contracts with private and government organizations. Along the way, Rick became involved with several not-for-profit organizations including Junior Achievement, the Unisys Charitable Giving Committee and the Atlanta Food Bank.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome such a dedicated and accomplished group of individuals to our Board of Directors,” said Bob Basmadjian, Co-Founder and Chairman of Inspiring the American Dream Foundation. “Ryan, Patsy and Rick bring a wealth of experience and complementary skill sets to our organization. They are a perfect fit as we begin to roll-out our Opportunity to Succeed Program throughout Upstate, South Carolina.”

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About the Opportunity to Succeed Program

Officially launched in February, 2015, Inspiring the American Dream Foundation’s Opportunity to Succeed Program has been developed around three guiding principles – teach, share and empower:

  • Teach students about the American Dream, while making the learning experience fun and interesting
  • Share with students the necessary skills and character traits to achieve their American Dreams
  • Empower students by helping them to visualize their personal American Dream journeys

Central to the program is a new and innovative curriculum that has been designed to inspire and challenge students to become proficient readers, while exploring their American Dream. The program highlights specific character traits, like perseverance, which will help prepare the students to achieve their goals in and out of the classroom.

About Inspiring the American Dream Foundation

Inspiring the American Dream Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, has been established to help inspire children and young adults to achieve the American Dream, a set of ideals in which freedom, ability and virtue provide the opportunity for prosperity, happiness and upward mobility, regardless of race, ethnicity or social class. By engaging children of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds with an appreciation for the ideals, values and virtues inherent in the American Dream, the Foundation will help prepare students across the country to become independent, prosperous and productive members of society. For additional information, visit

 Media Contact
Inspiring the American Dream Foundation

Bob Basmadjian
Tel: +1 864 868-0202