The Eric Konheim Memorial Fund
RMI is deeply saddened by the recent passing of longtime friend, supporter, and partner—Bud Konheim. Bud’s establishment of the Eric Konheim Memorial Fund will continue the legacy of not just Eric, but now also Bud’s tremendous spirit and dedication to a better, more sustainable world.
Eric Konheim was an avid river runner, recycler, and nonconformist who lived life true to his environmental beliefs. He lived frugally, saving up money so he could spend time on the rivers he loved. When he tragically died in a kayaking accident at age 28 in 1991, his family discovered tens of thousands of dollars hidden in his pillow. Those funds, he had written in a will, were to be bequeathed to Rocky Mountain Institute.
Eric’s father, Bud Konheim, was a successful fashion designer and CEO of Nicole Miller, an apparel firm known for its nonconformist glamour and shown on the covers and in the pages of leading fashion and lifestyle magazines worldwide. Bud realized how strongly Eric felt about the environment and the work RMI was doing. “Eric was very passionate about the environment,” according to Bud. “He would come up to my office and argue with me about why I was using so many plastic bags for our clothing.” One day in the late 1980s, Eric told Bud about RMI, expressing that he found an environmental organization that was not fighting business, but works with businesses to make them greener and more profitable.
After Eric’s death, Bud worked with RMI to create the Eric Konheim Memorial Fund as a memorial to Eric and everything he was passionate about. “I was devastated, but I tried to take the positive from his life, his environmental passion and desire to be an architect, and carry it on through this fund.” After twenty-eight years, Bud and Nicole Miller were still carrying on Eric’s support for RMI and spread RMI’s work throughout their networks in the fashion industry and the world.
The Eric Konheim Memorial Fund is more than a way to memorialize Eric. It’s now also a way to celebrate and memorialize Bud, and for their family and friends to keep Eric and Bud’s memory and deep passion alive. RMI is honored to be trusted with such an important purpose. It’s a responsibility and expectation we strive to live up to every day with the impact we drive in the world—for Eric, for Bud, and for all of us.
and please help us celebrate his life, and further his legacy with a tax-deductible gift.