WIPPS announces new board members for 2021

The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service has welcomed two new members to its Board of Advisors.

Rich Poirier, president and CEO of Church Mutual Insurance, headquartered in Merrill; and Dr. Fernando Riveron, a long-time Aspirus Hospital cardiothoracic surgeon, began their two-year terms recently.

“WIPPS’s mission to unite, listen civilly and find common ground resonates with me,” Poirier said. “I believe we have an obligation as citizens of this great state to create a better, more equitable experience for all Wisconsinites. With WIPPS, we have a platform to address and help solve the problems facing our state and, ultimately, our nation.”

Active in his community, Poirier currently sits on the Board of Directors of Aspirus, Inc.; the NTC Foundation; the Marathon County Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Wausau Wolf Pack Youth Lacrosse Association.

Poirier, who received his law degree from Marquette University, went on to serve four years in the U.S. Navy as a Navy judge advocate in Norfolk, VA. After discharge from active duty, he continued his service in the Navy Reserves, retiring in 2010 with the rank of Captain.

Dr. Riveron, a native of Havana, Cuba, has made central Wisconsin his home for the past 30 years. “WIPPS’ mission of education and encouraging civic dialogue is important to me, and imperative for our country,” he said. “I believe that much of our political division stems from a lack of basic understanding that can be improved by exposure and education regarding differing points of view.”

As a cardiothoracic surgeon, holding numerous Aspirus leadership and board positions during his 24-year career at Wausau, Dr. Riveron is keenly aware of not only health care needs but community needs in the area. He looks forward to furthering his community involvement through his work on the WIPPS Board.” I am deeply committed to the cause of improving awareness of local as well as national civic issues.”

Dr. Riveron is currently semi-retired, working as a traveling cardiothoracic surgeon through Riveron Surgical, LLC.