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Retired Insurance CEO John Ritenour Reflects on His Personal and Professional Legacy

Most business owners and entrepreneurs think about the type of legacy they will leave behind once they retire. IOA co-founder John Ritenour, who retired from the Insurance Office of America (IOA) in 2018, has had more time over the past three years to ponder this topic.

IOA Remains a Family Business

John Ritenour and his wife, Valli, established IOA in 1988, shortly after they moved to Florida. Their son, Heath Ritenour, took over as CEO when his father retired. During John’s 30-year tenure as company CEO, IOA became the 11th largest privately held personal and commercial brokerage firm in the United States. IOA now has over 80,000 clients and 1,300 employees who work from 60 offices across the country. Here are just two awards IOA achieved under John Ritenour’s leadership:

  • Top 100 Insurance Brokers in the United States as rated by Business Insurance
  • Top 100 Property and Casualty Agencies as rated by Insurance Journal

John Ritenour has also received recognition from several organizations. These include:

  • Eloise Trainor Award for his work with the Symetra Tour that he sponsors through the IOA Charitable Foundation
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Dyntech and Crummer
  • Success Award for Business Achievement from Success Magazine

John Ritenour Has Had the Drive to Succeed from an Early Age

Ritenour grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, a steel mill town located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Nearly everyone in town was working class, including his own parents. He still recalls telling his mother as a young boy that he would own some of the bridges and buildings in town one day. Entrepreneur John Ritenour always appreciated how hard his parents worked, but knew he wanted a different lifestyle for himself. That desire drove him to quick success in the insurance industry and eventually starting his own business.

John Ritenour on the Importance of Community and Partnerships

As someone who has always valued the importance of community connections, Ritenour looks forward to spending more time volunteering now that he is retired. He also intends to encourage others to invest in their own communities by forming relationships and donating their time.

Ritenour’s business model was ahead of its time in the late 1980s. From the first days of launching IOA, he operated on the principle of cultivating relationships and treating clients and employees so well they would have no desire to leave. He formed partnerships early on with several college, amateur, and professional sports teams. Then, John Ritenour created the IOA Sports Division. Making this move sent a message to his clients that he understood their unique needs and challenges. IOA has insured the following teams over the years:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Orlando City Soccer
  • Orlando Magic
  • Washington Wizards

Having a strong interest in sports also inspired John Ritenour to sponsor two legs of the Symetra Tour and the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Life has been quite a journey for Ritenour so far, and he still has a lot to accomplish.

As someone who has always valued the importance of community connections, Ritenour looks forward to spending more time volunteering now that he is retired. He also intends to encourage others to invest in their own communities by forming relationships and donating their time.

John Ritenour and his wife, Valli, established IOA in 1988, shortly after they moved to Florida. Their son, Heath Ritenour, took over as CEO when his father retired. During John’s 30-year tenure as company CEO, IOA became the 11th largest privately held personal and commercial brokerage firm in the United States. IOA now has over 80,000 clients and 1,300 employees who work from 60 offices across the country.

Having a strong interest in sports also inspired John Ritenour to sponsor two legs of the Symetra Tour and the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Life has been quite a journey for Ritenour so far, and he still has a lot to accomplish.

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