The 61-year-old -- who goes by “Rick” -- has transformed C&S into the world’s largest grocery wholesaler since taking the helm of the business in 1989, making him one of the 100 richest people in the world and the wealthiest man in New England. Cohen’s grandfather, Israel, co-founded C&S in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1918, according to the company’s website. After a flood destroyed his inventory in 1929, he opened a new warehouse twice the size on higher ground, a few blocks further from the city’s Blackstone River. His son, Lester, expanded the business into supplying military bases after a tour of duty as a bomber navigator in World War II. Rick joined the company in 1974, after receiving an accounting degree at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school. A three-week union strike almost shuttered the business a year later, leading Cohen to persuade his father to move the company to Brattleboro, Vermont, where it could build larger warehouses and hire nonunion workers. Cohen took over as CEO and chairman when his father retired. He moved the headquarters 18 miles east to Keene in 2003. The billionaire and his wife, Jan, live on a street where the average home value is $294,000. The couple owns the most valuable single-family home in Keene, assessed at $1.5 million. Cohen’s wife is executive producer of the Kaddish Project, a touring musical on genocide, and the Holocaust studies center at Keene State College was renamed after the family for their financial support, according to the school. One daughter, Perry, is C&S’s vice president of corporate learning and talent management; another, Rachel, teaches high school at a charter school in Lynn, Massachusetts.