Skip to main content

A True Gentleman

The late Kilian J. Schmitt, entrepreneur and public benefactor, is affectionately described by those who knew him in many ways: A true gentleman who believed in personal sacrifice and giving for the greater good. A friendly, cordial and kind fellow with a wry sense of humor who loved hamburgers and Mercedes with equal enthusiasm. A brilliant investor who was also modest, unassuming, trustworthy and straightforward – a “very down-to-earth guy.”

He started out with nothing, but he was always grateful for what he had... He felt that he should return that to society.

Roger LathanFormer Schmitt Foundation Director
Our Mission

Our Purpose

The Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Foundation continues Mr. Schmitt’s legacy of bettering the Greater Rochester community through supporting effective health care, higher education, human services, medical research, and performing arts initiatives.

Who We Are

Board of Directors

James R. Ryan, Jr., President. Mr. Ryan has been a director of the Schmitt Foundation since 2004 and has served as president since 2017.  He is the president of RYCO Management, a company that develops, owns and manages office space in the Rochester area.  Mr. Ryan has served on a variety of local boards including The Wilmot Cancer Center, Rochester Prep Charter School, Harvard Business School Club of Rochester, St. Thomas More church, CNB Wealth Management and Oak Hill Country Club.  He most appreciates the opportunity provided by the Schmitt Foundation to be involved with a variety of initiatives that serve to improve the lives of Rochester area residents.  Mr. Ryan may be reached at

James R. Dray, Vice President. Jim Dray is a retired Engineering Director from Praxair who continues to consult for the Industrial Gases Industry. His father and Kilian Schmitt were great friends and travel companions. Jim used to cut Kilian’s lawn and go to Red Wing Baseball games with him. He has been a board member since 1989 and has been vice president of the Board since 2017. He is a strong supported of science initiatives and has taken great pride in working as part of the Schmitt Foundation to further scientific research and progress through the association with the University of Rochester Medical School. He has made Liquid Nitrogen ice cream for thousands at schools, science fairs and other charitable events as part of his commitment to promoting science and making it fun.

Megan Henry, Secretary

Leon Fella, Treasurer

Jeffrey J. Harradine, Assistant Secretary. Mr. Harradine has been a director of the Schmitt Foundation since 2017. He is Senior Managing Counsel at Xerox Corporation, and was a mentee of longtime Foundation board member Alfred “Skip” Hallenbeck. Mr. Harradine is a strong proponent of learning at all levels, and is grateful for the opportunity to support creative educational initiatives through his service to the Foundation. Mr. Harradine may be reached at

Contact the Directors

To begin the application process  Click Here