#9732   RONALD L. KRANNICH, Ph.D., is one of today’s leading career transition and travel writers who has authored more than 100 books (see below), including several self-help guides for people with difficult backgrounds: No One Will Hire Me!, The Ex-Offender’s New Job Finding and Survival Guide, The Ex-Offender’s Re-Entry Assistance Directory, Best Resumes and Letters for Ex-Offenders, The Ex-Offender’s Job Interview Guide, Best Jobs for Ex-Offenders, The Ex-Offender’s Re-Entry Success Guide, The Ex-Offender’s Quick Job Hunting Guide, The Ex-Offender’s 30/30 Job Solution, 99 Days to Re-Entry Success Journal, The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide, The Re-Entry Start-Up Pocket Guide, The Anger Management Pocket Guide, The Re-Entry Personal Finance Pocket Guide, and Re-Imagining Life on the Outside Pocket Guide. He is the founder (1982) and president of Impact Publications, a leading publisher and distributor of career, life skills, and education materials. Ron received his academic degrees in Political Science, Public Administration, and Southeast Asian Studies from Northern Illinois University. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Fulbright Scholar, university professor, and management trainer, Ron specializes in producing and distributing books, DVDs, training programs, and related materials on employment, career transition, addiction, anger management, criminal justice, life skills, and travel with special focus on the military and ex-offenders. He can be contacted at



“Going to prison saved my life!” and Other Serendipitous Life-Changing Adventures of Rotarian Ron Krannich

Funny things often happen on the way to getting a life — you head in one direction but end up somewhere else! So much for planning. That’s how some people “discover” The Landings and join such service organizations as Rotary International.

Serendipity has been a recurring theme in the life and career of local resident and Rotarian Ron Krannich, who has morphed from Peace Corps Volunteer to academic and then to publisher and author of 100+ travel and career books with more than 7 million copies in print.

A Seductive Exotic Language

Originally from Pekin, Illinois (yes, home of Senator Everett Dirksen and the infamous “Pekin Chinks”), Ron stumbled into the world of travel and international development based on one fateful decision in 1965 – signed up for a newly offered foreign language as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University – Thai. This became the classic “be careful what you wish for” experience. The rest is history as he completed Thai language work at Cornell University and joined the Peace Corps (almost sent him to Iran, but he argued for Thailand); taught high school; completed a Ph.D. in Political Science with emphasis on Southeast Asia and local government; became a Fulbright Scholar and a university professor; left higher education with the publication of his ultimate swan song, Moving Out of Education; finished several research and development projects abroad; and founded Impact Publications in 1982, a niche publishing firm focused on career- and travel-related publications. Today, Impact primarily specializes in military transition and ex-offender re-entry resources. Thailand and Southeast Asia still remain Ron’s second homes as he usually revisits there every other year.

A Ying/Yang Writer and Niche Publisher

Highlights of Ron’s writing career include 4+ million copies of a military transition guide (The Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide), which is given to 250,000 departing servicemembers each year (the project is now in its 17th year) and a high-end international shopping series (primarily focused on arts, antiques, jewelry, and fashion) on over 25 countries, from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, and India to Turkey, Yemen, Egypt, France, Italy, Bermuda, Mexico, and Brazil. “This has been the therapeutic ying and yang of writing – from helping people find jobs and change careers to assisting others in discovering the treasures and pleasures of traveling and shopping abroad.” But this was more than just your garden-variety of travel writing. When living in northern Virginia, Ron built a uniquely designed house around a 700-piece Asian and African art collection, which was driven by the travel series. Featured in The New York Times and on CNN Travel, the house and collection survived nearly 30 years. “After my wife passed away in 2008 and I remarried in 2013, the “museum” was next to go in the process of moving to this area. I’m now in the final stages of dispensing with the art collection as I move on to other non-collectible pleasures in life. We still haven’t downsized, and I don’t see that happening for some time. We like our space and enjoy hosting large parties in one of the most scenic places in The Landings.”

 Ron is usually working on three books simultaneously along with several articles. So far this year he has revised books on military spouse employment, job seekers with not-so-hot backgrounds, and ex-offender re-entry strategies. He’s currently finishing volumes on employment barriers, interview skills, savannah travel, and great water destinations while completing new career and travel websites. Locally he serves as PR/communications chair for the Rotary Club Skidaway Island and The Hamiltons.

Independent writing/publishing has been a very fun and rewarding career for Ron, which he manages to continue to this day, even here in The Landings. “Despite major changes in the publishing business – from paper to electronic — prisons are still primarily a paper market since they are surrounded by a huge firewall that keeps the internet and cell phones at bay.” As for retirement, it’s very slow in coming, if at all. “I’m really not into retirement since I’m not sure what I would be retiring from or to. After all, I’m a writer with lots of flexibility. Being a naturally curious person who loves learning, my writing has been good for both my soul and mind. With keyboard in hand, I’m aging both gratefully and gracefully!”

Being engaged, doing meaningful things, and having an impact on others are common themes that run throughout Ron’s career and his involvement with Rotary International. “It has been a great ride and there’s lots more to come in the years ahead!” He tends to be a very optimistic and positive person.

A Prison Experience

Ron’s most memorable and life-changing experience relates to prison. In 2004 he was asked to give a presentation on employment strategies to inmates preparing to exit the state prison system via the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland. Thirty minutes into the presentation Ron took ill. Staff immediately called 911, and Ron was rushed to the local hospital (some say it was the fastest anyone has been exited that facility!) where it was determined he was having a heart attack. He was immediately medevaced to Washington Hospital for further diagnosis and treatment. The timing was excellent and treatment included inserting a coronary stent and a lifetime of heart healthy medications and lifestyle changes.

In the end, going to prison literally saved his life. Had he been at home rather than in prison surrounded by observant people and trained medical personnel, he probably would have laid down and died! Because of this experience, Ron has been in a “payback mode” for 15 years with prisons and ex-offenders. His company, Impact Publications, is the center for hundreds of ex-offender re-entry resources, including everything from employment to anger and rage management, addiction, and recovery training products. Some of his bestselling books for this audience include The Ex-Offender’s Re-Entry Success Guide, Best Jobs for Ex-Offenders, Overcoming Employment Barriers, and Best Resumes and Letters for Ex-Offenders. He has also produced a series of popular pocket guides (latest being Re-Imagining Life on the Outside Pocket Guide and The Military Spouse’s Employment Pocket Guide) that are widely used in prisons and throughout the military. “My military and ex-offender markets occasionally intersect. Indeed, over 180,000 prison inmates are veterans. Recognizing this special population, many states now offer treatment and re-entry programs for incarcerated veterans.”

“Writing and publishing have been very rewarding adventures. Not only did my prison experience save my life, I get to work with hundreds of people who are in the business of reducing recidivism and repairing broken lives.”

A New Partner and More Adventures

Ron and his wife, Suzan Kiepper, moved to The Landings from Virginia (Woodbridge) and Maryland (Annapolis) in 2014. This is a relatively new marriage since they both suddenly lost their spouses 10 years ago. This marriage largely resulted from online curiosity – they met late one night in 2013 while surfing on Suzan is a former hospital executive and psychotherapist who enjoys classical music and bridge and volunteers with hospice. They both love travel, especially cruising to exotic places and returning to Ron’s favorite destinations in Southeast Asia. Suzan’s tailor is in Bangkok, her favorite boutique is in Hanoi, and her best-kept-secret handbag dealer is crammed into a third-floor sweatshop of a rundown commercial building in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Marriage to Ron came with an unusual bonus – he loves to shop and knows all the ins and outs of shopping for the best of everything throughout the world. Indeed, shopping with Ron is always a fun travel adventure!

Ron tries to avoid prison visits since he feels he probably already stretched his luck!



Career Development and Job Search

Military Transition



  • Mayors and Managers in Thailand
  • The Politics of Family Planning in Thailand




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