When Gordon Clemons first arrived to lead CorVel in 1988, Richard Schweppe was the first person that Gordon hired. Richard’s expertise was in accounting, and Gordon asked him to join CorVel with the goal to take the company public. This wasn’t Richard’s only offer—a major HMO also offered him a position. However, the chance to work with Gordon again and take CorVel public was an offer Richard couldn’t refuse.
Richard began his career at CorVel as the Director of Finance. In March of 1991, when the company filed with the SEC, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). It was an exciting time for the company. They had survived the lean, early years where the goal was to survive. As time went on, they more than survived—the company grew and developed an unrivaled company culture. Everyone contributed, everyone did their part. No one was too big for a small job. If a phone rang, you answered. Even Gordon, as CEO of CorVel, picked up the phone when it rang, and when the Wall Street Journal asked to speak with the CEO, he replied, “that’s me!” It was moments like this that shaped CorVel.
CorVel has now been a public company for 30 years. The company grew organically and developed from within. Many of the executives climbed the ranks at CorVel, moving from positions such as case manager and financial analyst, to Chief Marketing Officer and CFO; most of them have now been with the company for more than 20 years.
Valuing the stability, reliability, and people of CorVel, Richard has been with the company for its entire 33 years and worked with Gordon for over 35 years. Gordon always said, “In order to last 100 years, you have to get through each year—the good and the bad,” and Richard agrees. “So many people are always looking for the next big thing, but sometimes the grass isn’t greener,” he said.
In 2017, Richard officially stepped down from CFO and passed the baton to Brandon O’Brien, who started with CorVel nearly 20 years ago as a recent college grad. He works together with Jennifer Yoss, Chief Accounting Officer, who also began her career with CorVel shortly after graduating college and has been with the company for more than 18 years. Richard consults with the financial team on a regular basis, and still talks with Gordon at least twice a day.
When deciding which path to take all those years ago, Richard made the right choice. In the end, that HMO was bought out and disappeared, while today we are celebrating CorVel’s 30th anniversary as a public company!