Co-Founder and Executive Director
Jerry worked his way through college (BA Psych, MA Sociology) at a fruit cannery in San Jose, California—long since replaced by the Silicon Valley phenomenon. Youthful forays included a volunteer stint among the Chatino’s of south Mexico, hitchhiking throughout Europe, an unsuccessful engagement with the Peace Corps and studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Over the years he has travelled about, been a fork-lift operator, bill collector, social worker, carpenter and handiman, instructor of sociology, janitor, Latin American Teaching Fellow, caddie, research director, newspaper boy, gardener, research sociologist, lumberjack, advocate and frequent graduate student. He went through two Ph.D. programs and wrote one dissertation, earning his degree at the University of Texas.
His principal claim to fame is being the co-founder of Down Home Ranch—with his marvelous wife Judy—and helping it become a unique, celebrated 410 acre Texas ranch and home to 40 adults with Down syndrome and other conditions. After 28 years Jerry stepped aside from the ranch, retired briefly, got bored and then starting ramping-up the Point Rider Foundation. Jerry hopes to grow the corpus of the Point Rider Foundation—then to make charitable grants encouraging innovative practices and programs for people with ID. He and his wife have raised four remarkable daughters, enjoy three terrific sons-in-law, and several grandchildren. They love travelling, eating out, watching good movies, writing together and Fr. James’ sermons on Sunday.
Jerry and Judy live happily in Austin, Texas