Phil Riegel ’87

Phil graduated from Suffield Academy in 1987 and is now Director of Development. Phil holds bachelor’s degrees in Russian language, literature, and Russian history from Syracuse as well as a certificate of area studies from Leningrad State University. After graduating from college, Phil moved to Tbilisi, Georgia [in the former Soviet Union] to work for an American/Georgian joint venture. Phil was later employed by Lowara S.P.A. in Vicenza, Italy, and was responsible for the territory of the former Soviet Union.

Where were you born?
Seneca Falls, NY

What do you love about where you are from?
I grew up on Cayuga Lake. Out the back door and into the boat. The Finger Lakes are amazing.

If someone was traveling to where you are from for 24 hours, what would you recommend? What would you tell them to do/ where would you tell them to go?
The Finger Lakes Wine Trail—make sure to stop by the acclaimed Treleaven Wines and say hi to my man Lev Saltonstall ’06 https://treleavenwines.com

What do you love about where you live now?
I love living in the Gay Manse. It blows my mind that the house was built in 1742 and that George Washington slept there.

What is your favorite thing about day-to-day life at Suffield Academy?
My interactions with colleagues and students.

What is the first thing you do every morning when you get to work?
Coffee.

Who is your favorite artist?
Jackson Pollock.

Who do you live on campus with?
My wife Elise, our two children, Vivian and Charlie, and our dog, Lada.

How do you think your pet would describe you?
A pushover.

Which of your roles at Suffield Academy do you relish the most?
Most recently, advisor to the Model UN with a shout out to Bruce Cohen '66 for creating the Class of 1966 Endowment for the Model United Nations. The most recent conference in NY brought out the best in our students and I was thrilled that they received an award for excellence.

What is something you believe one can never over-invest in?
Travel.

What is your favorite book?
The Overstory by Richard Powers.

What is/are your prized possession(s)?
A backgammon board that I got in Istanbul. Great times playing with my father-in-law, Abe.

What is your favorite song of all time?
There are too many great songs to pick one.

Who is your role model?/ Inspiration?
My wife.

If you could ask anyone for advice, who would you ask? (alive or dead)
Warren Buffet.

What is your favorite movie?
The Lord of the Rings series.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
New Zealand. I might want to retire there and I need to check it out first...

What is your favorite food?
Sushi.