A Tribute to NEEE Founder Ralf Schaarschmidt Sr.

Community / NEEEremembers / Astarisborn

May 10, 2023 1 minute read

Allyson Chase

Posted by Allyson Chase

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of our founder, Ralf Schaarschmidt Sr. His ideals will always be the foundation of New England Excess Exchange (NEEE) as we continue to build on the professional legacy he impressed on all of us through the years.

Much like NEEE, Ralf Sr. has a unique and varied history. He was raised in Germany until the age of nine. There he witnessed atrocities no child should see, while experiencing poverty and starvation. After his family relocated to the United States at the age of ten, Ralf joined ROTC in high school and eventually attended the University of Connecticut (UConn), graduating with degrees in both Political Science and History. He enjoyed sports and was the university’s Soccer Captain for both his junior and senior years. He then joined the military and was stationed in Germany. Shortly after being discharged, he met the love of his life, Mari.

Ralf Sr. and Mari moved back to the U.S. and settled in St. Louis, MO, where Mari was raised, to begin their lives together. Ralf received a third degree in Risk Management and Insurance from St. Louis University (SLU). He was hired by Hartford Insurance and they moved to Atlanta, GA. He later obtained a position with The London Agency in the same city.

After Mari decided she’d had enough of the city life and wanted to move to the peaceful Green Mountain State of Vermont, they settled in Montpelier. It was there that NEEE was born.

Ralf Sr. started the company in their basement in 1981. While contributing to her husband’s new business venture, Mari also worked another job to support their young family. Mari formally joined NEEE in 1985 as CEO and head of Marketing.

As many of you know, Ralf Sr. and Mari were a power couple, even before the term was popular. Together, they built NEEE and brought so many of us into the industry over the years.

Ralf Sr.'s stern smile of approval will be missed, but his legacy will be carried on by his New England Excess Exchange family.

Barre Groundbreaking-2

NEEE moved to Barre in 2014. Ralf Sr., Mari, and Ralf H. (Goober) Schaarschmidt II are seen breaking ground on the company's new location.

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